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Please consider attending this multi-many things event on Wednesday, August 28 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington, D.C.  Learn more at the Urban League of Cleveland’s website where you can view the flyer. I know many people have been communicating, planning and meeting about this event for some time now. I’m looking forward to it very much.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:23 pm August 16th, 2013 in Civil Rights, Cleveland+ | Comments Off 

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The video’s up for the most recent Feagler & Friends appearance:

I swish my hair too much, but I also never get seated in the last spot – see, Michael Heaton’s hair doesn’t have to swish at all – well, you know, Michael – the hair that’s there? :)

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:04 pm January 7th, 2013 in Cleveland+, Jill Miller Zimon, Media, Politics | 1 Comment 

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Please join me, Plain Dealer reporter Rachel Dissell, my Civic Commons colleague Dan Moulthrop, Thor Wasbotten, director of Kent State’s School of Journalism, Angie Schmitt, former daily reporter and current blogger at, and Afi-Odelia Scruggs, former PD columnist and current multimedia journalist who writes at Tuesday evening, December 11, 2012 at 7:30pm for a discussion about the our metro paper, its future and more, no doubt. From the event’s Facebook page:

The Plain Dealer’s owner has slashed staff and publication frequency at other daily papers, and some at the PD are speaking out in advance of possible cuts here. Dan Moulthrop of The Civic Commons moderates this panel discussion, which so far includes Rachel Dissell of the PD; Thor Wasbotten, director of Kent State’s School of Journalism; Jill Miller Zimon, Pepper Pike council member and political blogger at; Angie Schmitt, former daily reporter and current blogger at; and Afi-Odelia Scruggs, former PD columnist and current multimedia journalist who is covering the PD at

This event is part of the Write to Assemble series, hosted by Happy Dog and organized by Ohio City Writers. Admission is free.

The Happy Dog: West 58th St. & Detroit Ave., Cleveland, Ohio
Hope to see you there.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:37 pm December 10th, 2012 in Cleveland+, Media | Comments Off 

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Please come join the online live chat tomorrow (Thursday, November 15, 2012) with me and Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration, Ed Jerse. Many of you may recall that I love live chats, so I’m very excited to be doing this with the Civic Commons (my day job).

To add more fun, I’ve known Ed for many years and it is going to be an honor to moderate this conversation about the County’s efforts in shared services, collaboration, consolidation and yes – I’ll say it – merger. Please come lurk and engage from 11-12noon.

Can’t be there? Leave a question or comment now and Ed will respond later.

You can watch the event unfold here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:31 pm November 14th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Ohio, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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Stories don’t get any better than this one, Susie Porter, who once ran the Town Fryer restaurant, is heading off to college — at the age of 54, and the fact that I actually have a teeny connection to it (Bloggapalooza 2006) – enough that I cried three times reading the story and again while leaving a comment for Susie on her blog, Tips for Going Back to School For Adults and Non-traditional Students – makes it even more fabulous.

Please read that whole article, visit Susie’s blog, spread this information and thank her for her chutzpah, stamina and contributions. All before she’s even set foot on that college campus.

Supporting actor awards to Tri-C and Cornell’s admissions office, from what it sounds like, not to mention many others I’m sure Susie feels helped her along the way.

Just imagine what Susie may be doing after she graduates!


By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:27 am July 10th, 2012 in Blogging, Cleveland+, Education | 3 Comments 

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So, it was fun. It wasn’t quite like old times, but maybe that’s a good thing. You can see my photos here and you can read my full blog post here. The teaser:

On Thursday evening, July 5, for the first time in over four years, I saw Barack Obama in person.The last three times I saw him, he was either just plain ole U.S. Senator Obama (2006) or Senator and presidential candidate Obama (2007, 2008). The main differences I noticed? Age, confidence, charisma, and fervor — he displayed more of all four.

You can read the transcript or watch a video of the President delivering his remarks, made at James Day Park in Parma, Ohio. This stop was his last public speaking event of the day after multiple other stops in Ohio, all part of the Obama Bus Tour, complete with Ground Force One – the tripped out rolling home for presidents (note, however, as does the Wall Street Journal, that the campaign is paying for the trip). My tweets tell the story of the Parma stop, while my journalist friend at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Henry Gomez, covered all of the Ohio visits.

Why, at this point, would anyone who follows politics as much as I do, attend one of these highly choreographed and usually tightly scripted media-ready occasions? Especially when we are on the umpteenth day of 95 degree and 95% humidity weather, with a good mix of thunderstorm threats?

Great question!

[now go read the full post]

By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:09 pm July 6th, 2012 in Barack Obama, Cleveland+, Ohio, Politics, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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Haven’t gone to anything live-Obama since February 2008 but now I have a voting-age kid who wants to go – so we are going. I’ll be live-tweeting for where I’m a Contributing Editor for News and Politics (and moderating an amazing panel in NYC on women and online politics, including the head of Rutgers’ Center for Women and Politics, Debbie Walsh).

The hashtags will be #ObamaBusTour and #campaign2012 (that’s what I saw the Plain Dealer’s Henry Gomez using – looks good, a bit long – I might try #Obama #Parma).

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:00 pm July 5th, 2012 in Barack Obama, Cleveland+, Ohio | Comments Off 

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Never heard of collabbing? Here’s a teaser from one of my Civic Commons’ blog posts. You can go here to read the entire post. It offers a window into what I’ve been doing for nearly the last year as part of the EfficientGovNetwork, a project supported by the Fund for Our Economic Future and which I’ve been directing through the Civic Commons.

Over the weekend, I came home from a few hours out with a friend to find my middle-school son transferring files and installing programs from his fairly puny and old laptop to my college-bound son’s more powerful and newer one. Curious as to how the former presumably conned the latter into this arrangement, I asked. And the response warmed my kumbaya-loving heart.

“We collabbed.” Pronounced like, “co-labbed” like the nickname for laboratory, lab, and short for collaboration.

Now where on Earth did a 12 year old get such language to even describe what he’d done!?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:46 am July 5th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Government | Comments Off 

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Update: you can listen to the show here.

Thanks to still reading print, I read about this morning’s Sound of Ideas featuring Crain’s Women of Note. I am extraordinarily proud (and fortunate) to say that one of them, Marsha Mockabee of The Urban League – was one of my earliest mentors as I figured out what I would be when I grew up. She was my field adviser in 1990 during my social work school field placement with her when she headed up Career Beginnings.

The “Women of Note” honored by Crain’s this year are noteworthy for their accomplishments and their perseverance. On the next Sound of Ideas, we’ll spend an hour with four of them to discuss their struggles and successes. The president of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, the owner of two AAMCO franchises, the executive director of the Akron Marathon and the construction boss for a local developer will join us. Their stories with host Mike McIntyre Monday at 9.

Marsha Mockabee, President, Urban League of Greater Cleveland
Marlene Herman, Franchise Owner, AAMCO Transmissions &Total Car Care
Anne Bitong, Executive Director, Akron Marathon
Sue Frankel, VP of Construction, Robert L. Stark Enterprises

Thank you to all the awardees for their work and commitment, but also to those who recognize these contributions. And of course, congratulations, Marsha. To saw you are amazing seems kind of trite but, you are amazing. Thank you.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:28 am June 25th, 2012 in Cleveland+, Women | 2 Comments 

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UPDATE: You can watch the show here or below:

Good taping this morning amidst an insane schedule.  Who do I think I am!? A working mom (aka super being) or something? You can tune in on WVIZ/PBS on Friday at 8:30pm or Sunday at 11:30am, or the Ohio Channel on Monday at 1:30pm or 9:30pm or Tuesday at 5:30am.  The video posts toward the end of the week.

Here’s the show’s rundown:

Allegations of Dirty Parks & Dirty Pool

Posted Friday, June 22, 2012

Roundtable:  Mark Naymik, metro columnist, The Plain Dealer; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks; Greg Saber, Freelance Journalist

Bad Parks—Many of northeast Ohio’s lakefront parks are drowning in weeds, driftwood and trash, the victims of poor or non-existent maintenance.  A Plain Dealer report this week canvassed three parks, Edgewater, Euclid Beach and Wildwood and found them in appalling condition.  Each of these is under the umbrella of the State of Ohio which has put little money into them in recent years.

Politics on the Down-low—Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel has touched off debate with recent criticism of incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown.  Mandel has called Brown hypocritical for portraying Republicans as anti-women when he was once accused of domestic violence.  The accusations grew out of a decades-old divorce case.  Brown’s camp called Mandel’s action ‘despicable’ while the Mandel camp says the old family dispute is legitimate political rhetoric. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:07 pm June 22nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, EfficientGovNetwork, Josh Mandel, Regionalism, RIP, senate | Comments Off 

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At my age, there just are not that many things about which I can say I’m still a virgin. And now, I’ve given it up for TED.

So I thought I’d overshare for a bit, given that the sold-out audience was limited to about 700 folks at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium. That leaves thousands of TEDxCLE virgins remaining, all of whom deserve to hear, first-hand, if it was everything I’d hoped for.

Short version: If I hadn’t stopped smoking cigarettes nearly 22 years ago, I would have had one when the event ended.

Long version: There are so many ways to slice and dice this, and I’m an overthinker as it is, so let’s do it like this:

Please visit the full post here at The Civic Commons.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:03 am April 24th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Diversity, Energy, Ohio | Comments Off 

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It was difficult for me to focus on this evening’s work session in City Council because less than an hour before the meeting began, I learned that Juvenile Court Judge Peter Sikora had died earlier in the day. You can read what has been posted so far here.

I moved to Cleveland for graduate school – that joint degree in law and social work which I thought would lead me to juvenile court, truly. That’s what I wanted to be – a juvenile court judge. And so when I landed a clerk position in juvenile court after my first year of law school but before my first year of social work school, I felt like the luckiest person.  I was placed in the courtroom of a brand new judge in the late spring of 1989, the courtroom of Peter Sikora.

How many people know or recall that he was in the courtroom in Playhouse Square? Yup. That’s where I went – I took the bus. Every day. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:41 pm April 18th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Law, Ohio, RIP, Youth | Comments Off 

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WARNING: Expletives used.

Here in Northeast Ohio, Monday morning shattered when news of a high school junior shooting several of his schoolmates started streaming into my inbox via news alerts.

At 8:18 a.m., I read: Breaking News: Report: Geauga County Sheriff’s Department and OSHP heading to Chardon High School (the original item isn’t even there anymore, there’ve been so many updates)

I didn’t have to read another word before saying the trifecta out loud to an empty house, “G-ddamnit. Shit. Fuck.”

Even as I write this, my stomach cramps up, my lower lids fill up and I bite my lip drawing in a huge sigh.

I thought that the first thing I’d write about in this post would be about what we know. But ha. Really — just ha. Because I also think about all that we don’t know. And what of either category simply doesn’t matter?

For anyone wanting to keep up or catch up, so far, the best source for information has been the Cleveland Plain Dealer and you can find all their reports on the Chardon shooting here. I’ve heard multiple news outlets congratulate them throughout the week, and I’d say they’re deserving.

Read my full post here. Many thanks to for letting me contribute there.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:46 pm March 2nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, Courage, Education, Illness, Law, leadership, Ohio, Parenting, Social Issues, Youth | Comments Off 

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I think, and I’ve heard from multiple others who also think that Rachel Dissell’s front page article today in the Plain Dealer, “Jimmy Dimora trial reveals former Cuyahoga County commissioner’s coarse talk about women,” does a very good job of putting the information revealed through Jimmy Dimora’s trials about how he and those around him treated women in both a local and a broader context.

Definitely check out the comment thread – be sure you’re sitting down, even if you’re used to the tone they sometimes take on.  And also browse this comment thread on Connie Schultz’s Facebook page.

Folks, we have a long, long way to go.  If this cause inspires you, please check out Name It Change It, an effort to catalogue and call out, on a non-partisan basis as you will see from the examples, just how rampant the sexism is, especially when politics is involved.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:10 pm February 2nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Ethics, Gender, Government, intolerance, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Scandal, Sexism, Social Issues, Women | Comments Off 

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The last several months have been extraordinarily busy ones for me as I find and hit a groove with my work at The Civic Commons on behalf of the EfficientGovNetwork.  You can check out what Jill built, with some very excellent assistance from the Civic Commons team, here and can join us in person to see what we’re working toward this Thursday at an afternoon hour-long City Club Forum:

Local Government 2.0
Ohio’s State Budget and What it Means

February 2 @4:30pm

The $112 billion state budget Governor Kasich signed in July 2011 is in full effect.  The budget cut $2 billion to local governments and schools; repealed the estate tax and included an expansion of charter schools.  The votes were along party lines- Democrats criticized the budget for including too many cuts and GOP legislative leaders praised the budget for filling in a multi-billion budget shortfall.

The City Club, in partnership with The Civic Commons, ideastream and

The Plain Dealer, will examine the state budget as well as educate the community on the policies and programs proposed to help municipalities.

Moderated by: Joe Frolik, The Plain Dealer


Randy Cole, President, Ohio Controlling Board; Policy Advisor, Kasich Administration

Kathy Mulcahy, Mayor, Orange Village

Tony Paglia, VP, Government Affairs, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber

Make reservations*

*Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of the event. Reservations will be held 15 minutes past start of program, such as 12:15 for noon programs. Reservations will then be open to standby ticketing.

Special Event:
$20 Member
$20 Non Member

Reservations Toll-Free at 888-223-6786 or locally at 216-621-0082

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to pass this on to folks whom you think might want to join us.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:47 pm January 31st, 2012 in Business, Cleveland+, Economy, Education, EfficientGovNetwork, Government, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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I’ll be blogging for The Civic Commons every Friday and here’s my first post, “Government mergers: The wisdom and the waiting.”

No surprise, it’s about the wills and the will nots – as in, will merge/consolidate/collaborate/partner/share versus the will not merge, collaborate, partner, share.  Please strike up a conversation there – the commentary upon which it’s based expresses feelings a lot of folks have expressed. We need to get this all out there so we can move forward.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:48 pm January 20th, 2012 in BurbMerger, Cleveland+, EfficientGovNetwork, Government, Ohio, Politics | Comments Off 

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Joe Frolik has long been one of my absolute favorite Plain Dealer people, probably dating back to being on with him in the first year of WCPN’s Regional Reporter Roundtable (2007 – five YEARS ago!?).

And although his editorial today doesn’t specifically talk about the tough times women in tech and as entrepreneurs in general can have compared to men in the same context, it still is a gratifying highlight of kick-ass women supporting other kick-ass women.  That makes Joe that same thing, by association.

Thanks, Joe for highlighting Bad Girl Ventures. A new session begins at the end of this month – it looks like they are still taking applications.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:51 am January 17th, 2012 in Business, Cleveland+, Gender, Ohio, Women | Comments Off 

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That certainly is a huge desire on the part of many taxpayers (elected as well as non-), as well as something many taxpayers actually do not want to see (again, elected as well as non-).  Throughout Ohio, communities have examined dispatch configuration as a place to find ways to continue the service but at a lower cost, and hopefully at the same or better service level.  The success of doing that varies as much as the desires to do it or not do it.

What’s been your experience?

Here’s the article and here’s the study. I have not read the study yet, but here are two interesting charts from the article:

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:46 am January 10th, 2012 in Cleveland+, Government, Politics, Transparency | Comments Off 

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Originally posted on my Facebook page:

Just to show, again, how integrated consuming & producing news & information is with the use of social media:

1. I read about Inside Business’s Power 100 in the Sat. PD

2. I looked online to see that only one woman made the top 10 under 40

3. I blogged about that, then tweeted it, FB’d it & emailed one of the mag’s writers to learn more

4. This morning, I got followed on Twitter (happily so) by the editor of that mag, Steve Gleydura, who edits other prominent NE Ohio publications.

5. Viewing his twitter timeline, I clicked on a link to a video clip of him talking about the Cleveland mag’s most interesting people.

6. While watching & listening to that, I searched on my iPad for that issue to see who else was on the list. First thing: a good array of folks re: age, gender, race, occupation etc. Very nice. But really nice? Two women I know and think a lot of: Hallie Bram and Stefanie Penn Spear.

SO – kudos to all, esp. to Hallie and Stefanie

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:24 am January 9th, 2012 in Cleveland+, Diversity, Media, social media | Comments Off 

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UPDATE: I’ve been asked to offer some ideas on who I would put on this list. I’ll do that but also make suggestions about who IB should be sure they’re asking, especially since the NEO business community is one with which I’ve probably had the least interaction over time.  Who would you suggest?? Please email me or leave names in the comment section.

Original post:

It’s just another list, I know, but still. I haven’t seen the print version yet of Inside Business with the Power 100 (Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald leads), but that top 10 under 40, with just one woman – we should all find that truly alarming if it’s at all representative of 1) who we are supposed to think are leaders and 2) if we agree with the definition of “leader” as defined by this segment, why just 10% of the top 10 under 40 are women.  Tri-C and Case Western Reserve University are headed by women (and both listed in the top 10 women list), we have many judges who are women, doctors, philanthropists, clergy, public service, and yes, business.

I’m going to tickle Erick Trickey and see what light he can shed on this (thanks in advance, Erick).

Here’s the description of how it was done for the list published in 2011:

We started our search for the region’s most powerful by turning to those who know power best. We surveyed the leaders on our previous Power 100 list, asking them who wields the most clout in Northeast Ohio today, who gained power in 2010, who lost it and which up-and-comers are already proving themselves. We also invited the business enthusiasts on Inside Business’ e-mail list to offer suggestions and tips, which led us to trends and shifts that our sources in Northeast Ohio’s corridors of power confirmed. Finally, we applied our news judgment about the events and forces that affected our region in 2010 and our sense of which men and women most influenced the region’s economy and which are poised to do the same in the new year.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:25 pm January 8th, 2012 in Business, Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Diversity, Executive, Gender, leadership, Politics, Women | 3 Comments 

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