about the Gem City

Fordham's Vice President for Ohio Programs and Policy, Terry Ryan, wrote an op-ed piece for the Dayton Daily News that also ran in the last Gadfly contrasting the "two Daytons" (see here). This piece has garnered much reaction and following is one example of the many thoughtful responses we received:

I'm a five-year Dayton resident and read your editorial with interest. I agree with you regarding the "two Daytons" and was wondering if you'd consider answering a question. Your general tone conveys optimism. What would you say to a five-year Daytonian that's considering moving out of the city? I'm trying to find reasons to not sell out and move to the suburbs but repeatedly I'm coming up empty. I have two young children that attend public school and am part of a select group of educated urban parents that support it and embrace its diversity, even despite its reputation; I also work in Dayton and belong to our neighborhood association and consider myself an active and involved individual. But I am troubled by the immediate neighborhood, drive past boarded-up houses every day, and see blight and decay, and witness downtrodden people on a daily basis. I can't get past it, and it's incredibly depressing to live in this environment. What's even more troubling is that I have seen no improvement since I've lived here. If anything, East Dayton in particular has gotten much worse. Now they are even closing the area's last decent grocery store, the Meijer on Woodman Drive, meaning grocery shopping, along with most everything else, is now located in the suburbs. I feel like it's the last straw....