The Northeast Ohio Public Policy Series, which offers forums on topics relevant to the region, kicks off with the first of four discussions June 17. Each 90-minute forum is free and open to the public, starting at 7 p.m. at the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program’s facility in Beachwood.

During the first forum, “Regional Cooperation or How to Get 59 Civic Entities to Play Together,” panelists Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive, and Eddy Kraus, Cuyahoga County’s director of regional collaboration, will discuss cooperation between the 59 civic entities in the county to ensure future economic viability. Tom Beres of WKYC-TV will moderate.

On July 29, the Plain Dealer’s Steven Litt will moderate “Land Use in Cuyahoga County” featuring Lee Weingart, former Cuyahoga County commissioner and founder and CEO of LNE Group, and Grace Gallucci, executive director of Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. The forum will address issues of land use and transportation in the county and offer perspectives on economic development, local budgets and tax burden and impact on health and the environment. It also will touch on policies, programs and legislation the county could advocate to address these issues.

On Aug. 19, Jill Miller Zimon will moderate “How to Become an Education Activist in Northeast Ohio.” Michele Pomerantz of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Lyman Millard of Breakthrough Schools, Gregory Hutchings, a superintendent of Shaker Heights Public Schools, and Mary Rose Oakar, an elected member of the State Board of Education will be panelists. They will discuss how parents and concerned individuals can be some of the best advocates for education change. Specific topics include how to develop and deploy strategies to benefit education, advice to give others on how to influence education policy and whom to influence in matters related to education in Ohio.

At the final forum on Oct. 7, the Plain Dealer’s Brent Larkin will moderate “Housing Crisis in Northeast Ohio – Where Are We in 2015?” with panelists James Rokakis, former Cuyahoga County treasurer, Cleveland councilman and director of Thriving Communities Institute, and Thomas Bier, senior fellow of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. The discussion will focus on housing values and real estate taxes in Ohio, covering topics such as home prices, new construction, demolitions, foreclosures and home owning versus renting.

The series is co-sponsored by the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, the League of Women’s Voters-Greater Cleveland, the City Club of Cleveland and the Cleveland Jewish News Foundation.

WHAT: Northeast Ohio Public Policy Series: Forums on Important Issues For Our Region

WHEN: The first forum in the series, “Regional Cooperation or How to Get 59 Civic Entities to Play Together,” is June 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Siegal Facility, 26500 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood

COST: Free and open to the public

INFO: For more information, contact Michael Baron at or

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