Cleveland Eyes Philly's Immigrant-Driven Renewal

As residents flee, Cleveland mulls Philly-like policies
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2009 1:10 PM CDT
Surging crime and a declining population was hurting Philadelphia until it welcomed high-skilled immigrants who set up shops in poor neighborhoods.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In 2000, Philadelphia looked a lot like Cleveland: Surging crime, empty houses, a sliding population. Since then, a tide of immigrants has spurred entrepreneurship, filled high-tech jobs, and put Philly on course for its first population increase in 60 years. Now Ohioans hope to do the same, but they must first tackle rampant immigrant hostility, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Cleveland’s mayor says he frets that immigrants will steal local jobs, though thousands of high-skilled positions go unfilled regionally. Cleveland lost half its residents in the second part of the last century, and in 2006-07 saw the biggest population decline among US cities. “If we don’t get some good, talented, capable people here, we’re in trouble,” says a local leader.