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Lincoln Heights Celebrates 75 Years After Its Historic Founding

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Tana Weingartner
/
WVXU
Lincoln Heights residents unveil a mural depicting the community's history.

When it incorporated in 1946, Lincoln Heights represented the hopes and dreams of its predominantly Black residents looking to govern themselves in a country that was often still openly hostile and segregated.

Despite losing a large portion of its industrial tax base due to opposition from neighboring communities, Lincoln Heights grew to a population of 6,000 by the 1970s. It existed as a self-sufficient community with its own grocery stores, schools, police, fire department and entertainment venues. The village produced cultural luminaries like poet Nikki Giovani and musicians The Isley Brothers, among others.

But, hobbled by its lack of tax base, the village ran into big challenges. Its population dropped to nearly half in the proceeding decades, and Lincoln Heights lost many of its businesses and even its police and fire departments. But that's not the end of the story.

Dedicated community groups have pushed hard to restore Lincoln Heights' vitality and pride. And now, as the community is gearing up to celebrate its 75-year anniversary, those groups have big hopes for new development and community-building efforts.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the history and future of Lincoln Heights are Village of Lincoln Heights Vice Mayor Jeannie Stinson; Lincoln Heights Council Member and member of community group The Heights Movement Daronce Daniels; Village Manager Joyce Powdrill; and Silverton Village Manager Tom Carroll.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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The transcript of this discussion has been edited for clarity.

Michael Monks 

Joining us live first, are village of Lincoln Heights vice mayor Jeannie Stinson, and we also have with us Lincoln Heights Councilmember and a member of community group, the Heights Movement Daronce Daniels. We have spoken to you before, Daronce, about the Heights Movement and your passion for Lincoln Heights. And I hope that you'll share with our listeners. Now, when you look around your village, what do you see?

Daronce Daniels 

We just came out of a great weekend, where we celebrate our mayor's prayer breakfast where we you know, we had a great chance to honor you know, the legacy of Lincoln Heights, you know, we speak on that a lot. But then we got a chance to also celebrate our future. We opened up our Lincoln Heights produce market where our young people from the community really took hands on and really learned from, from seed all the way to fruit and design that space. And when I talk about that, and why that why that gives me so much hope, is because you had a generation that is often, you know, talked about a negative light, similar to how the Village of Lincoln Heights is, but they use that as motivation to show what they can do what they can produce. I think that's the energy that's going to carry Lincoln Heights forward. You know, we're an innovative community, you know, as you talked about before, you know, Nikki Giovanni, Carl Westmoreland, you know, you can go on to the futures of you, Yvette Simpson, to some great, great, great characters from the community who have that mindset that they can do better. And that's what I'm seeing a lot in the Village of Lincoln Heights now is that, you know, we've, we've picked ourselves up, we realize, okay, we have a plan to move forward. And I think we have the great, the great players to move forward as well. You know, I'm like I said before, I'm a football coach. And I always talk about how do we establish the team in the right way to move forward and you know, football is a beautiful game because 11 people moving you know, in different points to make that play move forward. And that's what I'm seeing in the Village of Lincoln Heights now is 3000 residents who are optimistic who are moving forward who are ready to get engaged, get their hands dirty, and pull this community to the to the greatness that is that it should be.

Michael Monks 

And vice mayor Stinson, I would ask you the same question and we heard neurons there reference 3000 actively engaged community members who want to see the village move forward. That is half the population from its peak earlier in the 20th century. What do you see when you look around?

Jeannie Stinson 

I see potential. I see potential new homes, new businesses, I am recognizing that our streets are starting to be repaved. That's a great start because once there's infrastructure, your streets are paved, people don't mind right into your neighborhood so they can pick out which lot they'd like to build their new home on. We have the Port Authority here, and they're building those new homes. We just finished up with some new homes from Habitat for Humanity. We appreciate them coming back into the community and helping us to build. I see quite a bit of potential. And as an educator and working with the young people in the community, they're recognizing it too.

Michael Monks 

When you talk about the younger people recognizing that opportunity as well, what effort has gone into assisting that?

Jeannie Stinson 

One effort that we partner with St. Monica's Recreation Center, a lot of our young folks that go there and they get extra help with homework, a lot of our kids, they don't have to be latchkey kids, they can go to the center, and they'll get a hot meal, they'll get help with homework, and they'll get positive influences poured into them. Also, we have different sports teams here that I think I want Mr. Daniels can probably speak more on it. But our sports team each year we go to the championship. Want to say the last two years we've won a championship? That boosts confidence that reminds our older generation about what we did when we were younger, when we used to travel with the football teams. We used to travel with the baseball teams, we have all these great things in place, we just need to build them back up. And I notice the potential in them becoming large again.

Michael Monks 

Daronce, is that something that you see as well that somehow sports is a way to rally around a community?

Daronce Daniels 

Well, you know, I'm biased. Once again, like I said, I'm a sports guy. But I think that sports is definitely, when we talk about the history of the community has been something that communities always rallied around, you know, Lincoln Heights had his own high school boy in the 1970s. We want multiple state championships. And when you look back at the history about some of the peak times in Lincoln Heights that was also around that same potential time where Lincoln Heights was able to show pride in their own community by allowing those those athletes be ambassadors, be role models, those coaches being role models and ambassadors, not just for their players, but for the whole community as a whole. So I think that's where sports ties into it. But I think what Ms. Jeannie is alluding to, and I think that we as we're getting to, you know, as a whole of you talking about reimagining Lincoln Heights is, you know, not just sports figures, because I think one thing is you talk about the African American Culture, Sports is definitely something that we've always been prideful on. But I think what is great about Lincoln Heights, is that we have so many other great figures other than athletes, and if we can now show our young people and expose them to so many great things, other than just athletics, you know, like, like, you know, how do you now become an engineer? How do you now become a civil servant? How do you now become a firefighter? How do you now become a police officer? How do you know, God bless if you become a council member? How do you now do those things where you now can now take leadership take ownership in your community? Because I know one thing that we do want to do in our neighborhoods right now, is that we don't want to continue to ask our young people, what do they want to be? We want to ask them what problems they want to solve. And how can your community empower you to solve those problems. And when they see the results in that, and they know that the community has their back to solve their problems, not only will they get back, but they'll stay and raise their family here. And that's how we'll get back to that 6000 [population] mark.

Michael Monks 

Daronce you mentioned moments ago, a produce market. That's the Jackson Street produce market?

Daronce Daniels 

Yeah, yeah.

Michael Monks 

It's open for the first time last weekend. And this is another opportunity that has been created and provided for young people as well. Can you talk a bit about how that works?

Daronce Daniels 

Yeah, so this is actually you know, it's her birthday today so I have to give a shout out to miss Kathy Goodwin-Williams, one of our former council members, this was this came off the backs of her and her hard work three years ago, I was just a young pup on council trying to figure out where I could find my way. And you know, she took me under her wing and say, Hey, you know, this gardening program is something that we had alignment on. When I you know, we came and ran a couple years ago, one of the things that we talked about was bringing fresh fruits and produce into the community. So Kathy Goodwin-Williams the Lincoln Heights CDC was able to work in and grab on tight control of a blighted piece of land a few years ago, we were able to kind of work that piece and get that going now, things happen. And things kind of work themselves out where that that space did not turn out like we wanted to the first time. But then the second time around, we had some great partners that came into play from General Electric, some great partners that came into play from United Way. Some great partners, like Procter and Gamble, class of 44. And I feel like I'm gonna forget somebody. So I'm extremely sorry, but especially the Village of Lincoln Heights, but the great thing about that, right, they asked how can they provide time, talent and treasure, they didn't come in and say, Hey, this is what you need to do. This is how you need to formulate that project. They wanted to listen. So I want to thank them first because they listened not to just us. They listen to the residents. The residents are the people that got involved and said this is what I want to grow. The residents got involved and said this is the art I want to put on there. The residents are the ones who say I want this sold and this community plots and things of that nature. So once again, the produce market is just a symbol of the four different ways that we can move the village forward. Right? When you talk about black neighborhoods, you talk about health disparities. Well, what are some of those health disparities lack of fresh produce. So check that piece off there. Something else he's talking about economic empowerment, we were able to pay our young people to not just work in the community garden, they also built savings accounts by working in a community garden. So economic empowerment that's checked off workforce development and skill development where not only did they learn how to garden, they also learn how to paint, organize, and get things of that nature done. And then lastly, you just talk about overall just beautification and social justice. Well, you got to go out there for yourself and see, so I just encourage everybody to go to 1120 Jackson Street any Saturday, um, you know, obviously not this Saturday, we have Lincoln Heights Day, but any other Saturday between the hours of 12 to two and um, we're just kind of calling this our re reimagining of our crate challenge. We have some crates where we get some pass out food and things of that nature as well. So please come on out and check it out. 1120 Jackson Street any Saturday from the hours of 12 to 2, starting next Saturday.

Michael Monks 

Vice Mayor Stinson, you also referenced just moments ago how you used to travel with a football team, there was a sense of community pride around sports. Have you lived in Lincoln Heights for your life?

Jeannie Stinson 

Not for my whole entire life. My family was born and raised in Lincoln Heights. I moved away to Florida for a few years. But I came back.

Michael Monks 

Well talk to me a bit about witnessing as a younger person, those I don't know, glory days of the village and then what might be characterized as decline ahead of this, this ongoing effort to create a renaissance there. What was it like watching the decline of your hometown?

Jeannie Stinson 

I wasn't here when the decline was going on. I was not here. But when I came back, and I recognized that my community wasn't as vibrant as it had been when I was growing up. That's when I decided that I want to be a part of the council and make a difference.

Michael Monks 

What looked different for you from the time that you left and came back?

Jeannie Stinson 

The engagement. Before, families, you always seen families together and it was just a community that always stuck together. We were never separated. And it just seems to me when I came back that we became a little separated or I'm gonna say separated, separated. And it was my goal to reunite the community and families.

Michael Monks 

Were their physical differences that were recognizable to you from the time that you left the village to the time you came back?. Could you describe some of those for us?

Jeannie Stinson 

Well, the streets weren't drivable. And a lot of the places that I used to go or shop at, they were not there anymore. Businesses went away and streets became deplorable. And when streets became deplorable, people moved out, homes became abandoned. And these were great structures. And all we needed was for somebody to be in there.

Michael Monks 

Based on what you know, now now that you're a village official and have been for a little while. What do you cite as the reasons for that decline in the village?

Jeannie Stinson 

Lack of education.

Michael Monks 

In what way?

Jeannie Stinson 

I think that when the village was first incorporated, they had a plan. And I think the plan got lost along the way. I think that some people chose to go a different route, I think the people that started the village. They were hard workers. educated, family oriented, and I think that along the way, we lost that. I don't have an explanation for it.

Michael Monks 

Daronce, what about from your perspective, you are aware of the history of your village. What are some of the reasons that have been explored?

Daronce Daniels 

Well, once again, just given the the verbal history that's been passed down to me by by my grandfather, my father, you know, some of the things that you talk about are some some things that you can't really control, you know, Lincoln Heights, they were put into a tough spot when they first tried to incorporate in 1938. If you know, from east to west, there's two railroads on each side. And you're supposed to get both parts of that land, from Glendale-Milford Road all the way down and you only gain 10% of your original incorporation. And you talk about that you lose a lot of your tax base that you have to follow up on that your tax base is now very, very deep. When Lincoln Heights was at its highest peak, a lot of our residents work at General Electric, and not only they work in General Electric, they had to supplement some of that income by having small mom and pop shops and jobs as well. But then when you know, when the trade deal hit us in the 1970s, a lot of jobs left GE and when a lot of jobs left GE in the 1970s a lot of those mom and pop jobs started trickle trickle down as well. 1980s hit, you got the crack epidemic. 1990s, the crime bill hit, you lost a lot of families, they're starting to be ripped away. 2008 you have the housing crisis, you know, you have so many, so many things that hit America as a whole, so many things that hit the African American community as a whole. And one thing that I say that is beautiful about Lincoln Heights, is that it's a true microcosm about the African American experience, you know, Lincoln Heights is is beautiful, because through all of that, though, we're still here. And we're still standing, and we're still able to move forward, despite those adverse scars that we have ever taken. So I think there were some things that are out of our control that are some things, you know, we got to look at ourselves in the mirror as well, what we could have done better. But I think we've also done that recognize that I think we're moving forward in the right direction. But yeah, you know, I think there was some things that in an economic environment that that is, you know, some would say that it's not always set up for communities like Lincoln Heights to succeed, having corporate partners, having partners like other neighborhoods, having a strong village council, having strong residents, and involve those three ingredients to really move it forward. And really to push it to the way that the founders ideally saw this great historic African American community.

Michael Monks 

So we're just exploring some of the setbacks and challenges that the village has faced in recent decades. But even at its inception, there were serious challenges. You had a delay in incorporating about six years or seven years before it was able to incorporate understand that the residents of Lockland were concerned about competing business districts. And then years later, even as other surrounding communities like Woodlawn and Evendale were incorporated, even taking parts of what would have been Lincoln Heights territory, the application to incorporate Lincoln Heights was also delayed, and yet the founders of the village kept on. Do you think that there was a lesson from the earliest days of Lincoln Heights for the folks there today?

Daronce Daniels 

Absolutely. On two fronts on the front end, you know, persistence is key. Especially, as I said before, you talked about the African Americans experience, persistence, and understanding the goal is key. The second part that I think that that is important is controlling the narrative and being able to truly tell what happened so that future generations don't make some of the same mistakes, because this is what happened in the few that you talked about. Now, when we talk about to each other, that we tell each other that we sold the land out, like that's a rumor that's out there, that we tell each other that we've done each other wrong, instead of really looking at the history of the adverse situation that our founders were putting in the struggle that they had to do, and that sacrifice they had to make, because at a certain point, you could have said, Okay, if we're not gonna get all of it, we're not going to take none of it, and then we'll just see what happens. But no, they saw the importance of creating our own. And I think that is more important than anything on land ownership, you know, government ownership, having home rule and be able to now control your own destiny, as a community, what other place in the nation, can you say that? What other place can you say they took their own community and built it for their own, you know, so that those are some of the main points as you move forward, as, as the lessons that should be taught is persistence, and homeownership and being able to tell that story control the narrative, because when we have not done a great job in Lincoln Heights, and I think we're doing a better job of it now, it's telling our own story. because growing up when you heard, you know, when Lincoln Heights was a city, you know, like Lincoln Heights was a city? Like, you know, some of those things like, you know, you didn't truly understand it, and you thought that Lincoln Heights done itself wrong. Whereas more than Lincoln Heights was, was subjugated to some, once again, it was a systematic racism that put it in the situation that it's in, but it still shines and still has some glory moments and still produced some of the biggest cultural icons that has shaped this whole country or world. So I think those are the stories that we need to consider continue to focus on and tell our young people and celebrate, because if not, we'll continue to put rumors out there that, you know, that GE isn't part of Lincoln Heights because somebody sold it off. No, that's not true. GE is not a part of Lincoln Heights, because Lincoln Heights had to make a sacrifice, whether we're going to be incorporated to have our own, or we're going to sit here and play petty politics. At a certain point, we did stop playing petty politics. At a certain point we have realized what is the goal that we're trying to achieve, and get there together? Because that's the lesson that we truly need to take from our ancestors right now. And our founders.

Michael Monks 

Vice Mayor Stinson, I'm wondering what you think that those early founders of the village of Lincoln Heights would have to say about the community today?

Jeannie Stinson 

I have an aunt who is in her 70s, she wants to move back to Lincoln Heights. So I am going to say that they're thinking it's our time to shine again. It's our time to shine again. That's what I think that our forefathers are saying, it is our time to shine again.

Michael Monks

We're gonna take a quick phone call from a listener. Martinez is on the line. Hi, Martinez. What's your question or comment?

Caller: Martinez

Yes, hello, everybody. I'm a Lincoln Heights resident. I know both Councilman Daniels and vice mayor Stinson, and I imagine they probably know who I am. I've been a lifelong Lincoln Heights resident. And to my mind, the three most essential goals that the village should pursue whether or not they're actually attainable is, one, to get back its own police and fire departments. Two, get back its own school district. And three, to get back its own original boundaries, which included most of the land GE sits on and I was wondering whether the council or anyone else has ever discussed any specific plans to address achieving any of those particular goals?

Michael Monks 

All right, Martinez, we appreciate you listening and taking the time to call in. Councilman Daniels, is that something that you can answer for us?

Daronce Daniels 

I want to be very careful about how I answer that question. Just cuz I know there's a lot of things getting set up, I will give my point of view. And as all those listening understand, this is my point of view. I love the the way that our police department is is is starting to become more engaged with the community right now is getting a lot better. Here's what I envision. And I've talked to Sheriff McGuffey about this. And this is something that that we can move towards, if there's an opportunity, but we can train our residents within the community. You know, starting now, as we talked about engagement, and engaging our young people, you start with those folks right now who are in the sixth grade, seventh, and eighth, they continue to be an influence and then maybe now start getting them trained when they leave high school, provide them an opportunity to now become taking that sheriff's academy test. Now I know right now, the sheriff's everybody and that nature, they have to start from the jail to come to that nature. But I think if we can get trained residents from the village of Lincoln Heights, already engaged and understand the police process and understand community policing and get them trained to now come back into the community start off with shares. I think that might be a great start to to to getting what Mr. To what Mr. Marty, I want to go towards, because I think what we would what would be a detriment is that you now this, you know, you start off in just bringing a sheriff department and I mean, bringing in your own police department, you got a whole new batch of police officers, who have to re engage with the community. I think that might be a little bit of a step backwards. But I think getting some residents already trained, in both our police and fire would be great. Now, on your other end when it talks about just the the land piece of it, you know, once again, that would be that, in my opinion, that would that would be a great partnership, to work out with our neighbors that that would be something to talk about if you're talking about potentially sharing tax revenue and things of that nature. But that once again, that would just be my own personal opinion. And that will be some things that's a little bit more politically and logistically to handle but I wanted to do the due diligence and at least acknowledge your question, brother Marty, but um, yeah, the front end of it. I know there's on the front end. There's definitely a plan that that can be put in place to make that work with. That's just my own personal opinion.

Michael Monks 

Well I do want to thank vice mayor Jeanie Stenson and village Councilman Daronce Daniels for the time they gave us. We will continue our conversation about Lincoln Heights and take some more phone calls just ahead. We are talking more about Lincoln Heights with a couple of different guests just ahead. But first vice mayor, Councilman, thank you so much for being with us.

Michael Monks 

The Village of Lincoln Heights first incorporated 75 years ago following challenges from its own neighbors. And while it has faced decline and ongoing challenges, there is hope for its future here to talk about that are village manager Joyce Powdrill. And we also have the village manager from Silverton Tom Carroll back with us, as he presented recently to Lincoln Heights on its tax base.

Well, I'm looking at one of the slides from your presentation Tom, and it indicates that the 2019 Municipal income tax collections per person in Evendale, which is next to Lincoln Heights, for example, it has a population of 2730 was $5,839 per person, whereas in Lincoln Heights population slightly larger 3354 people, the municipal income tax collections per person was $184. Why the disparity there?

Tom Carroll

Great question. Back in 1946. When Lincoln Heights Incorporated, it was incorporated in a much smaller geographic area than what the village founders wanted it to be. And what was at the time, the Wright Aeronautics Plant, which is now GE Aviation, was specifically excluded from the village of Lincoln Heights. And then in 1951, when Evendale was incorporated, the Village of Evendale was incorporated in such a way to include what became GE Aviation and so these decisions that were made 75 and 70 years ago, continue to have tremendous implications for places like Lincoln Heights and Evendale today. So because Lincoln Heights was incorporated by the then Board of County Commissioners without any industry without any tax base, it was largely a residential area, it has a very modest tax base. And Evendale across it 75 has the region's most robust tax base again, nobody in Evendale did anything to make that happen in 2021. I'm not simply saying this is Evendale's fault. But I would say that there's a huge disparity, a 30 times disparity, between the amount of money a village like Evendale collects versus Lincoln Heights, and so those decisions 70 and 75 years ago have implications for public policy today.

Michael Monks 

Some of the other data you pulled out Tom include the fact that this year Lincoln Heights is managing its affairs on a tax base that is less than 58% of what it was just over a dozen years ago. And you also note that the village is one of 13 in the entire county, for suburbs with a tax base that was smaller than it was back in 2008. And you operate a village yourself, you're the manager in Silverton. What type of challenge does that present when you are trying to create a plan for the future?

Tom Carroll

A few challenges for Lincoln Heights. Number one, the tax burden for the residents of Lincoln Heights is really high. And here we're talking about property tax. The village of Lincoln Heights on $100,000 property, if you are the owner of a home, say $100,000 home in Lincoln Heights, you have to pay almost $3500 a year in property tax. And if you had the same $100,000 property in Indian Hill, you would pay $1200. So the disparity, because the tax base is low, the rate is high. It's simple math. So the tax burden to the residents of Lincoln Heights is high as a result of its relatively low tax base. And like any organization, if you're trying to govern yourself on 58% of what you had 13 years ago, you're simply not able to do what you want to do. You're not able to keep up with with what the residents deserve, and the residents demand. So Lincoln Heights as a village does a great job with a very limited amount of resource, but it needs additional resource and has for 75 years.

Michael Monks 

Joyce Powdrill is currently the village manager in Lincoln Heights. And Joyce, this is your challenge. You're the one who has to help come up with a plan for the future in spite of these obstacles or challenges that we see so clearly. But it is something you're working on, you've created, I understand six different pillars that you want to focus on. Could you talk a bit about, before we get into the specifics of those, how you deal with those challenges we just talked to Tom about and how you managed not to be overwhelmed by it?

Joyce Powdrill

I think it is focusing my time and energy on the task at hand, and having the support of strategic partners and having the professional support of Tom Carroll and Silverton. And even the community of Silverton has been beneficial in moving the village forward. So you talked about the six pillars of success. When I think about the challenges of the village, I focus in on every day, how can I affect change in the village by doing something in each of those categories? And I think over time, and I think I think we've we've achieved a level of success in the short period of time that I've been here. But I envisioned that we will create even more as the time goes on by just focusing on those six pillars of success.

Michael Monks 

Well, let's talk about them. They are economic development, village infrastructure, village operations, safety, stakeholder relationships, and marketing and branding. I do want to focus primarily on economic development because that does seem to be the key to a lot of municipalities futures. How do you lure economic development to Lincoln Heights?

Joyce Powdrill

For right now, I think our focus is laying the foundation and leveraging the existing opportunities that are in the village creating opportunities for other opportunities to thrive in the village. And so here are a couple examples of that. I talk about Memorial Field often, I consider that the crown jewel of the village. Tom Carroll, prior to me getting here to the village, made the great effort in securing funding from Hamilton County for us to rehab or do some significant renovations in Memorial Field. I believe taking that investment and seeking additional investment to doing more will allow that to be revived. A revitalize and be a catalytic investment for future investment in that area. That is one example.

Michael Monks 

You've also got some lots available right that you hope to have developed?

Joyce Powdrill

That was my next comment was, the village owns over 100 lots in the village. We are now in a kind of the last stages of codifying a memorandum of understanding with the Port Authority to start to redevelop those slots so that we can bring more residents back into the village. We're welcoming people who used to be live in the village, we want to welcome them back home, we want them, I think vice mayor Stinson talked about her life before she left and came back. I think we want to bring back that energy in the village and make this a place that people want to live work. And as people say, play and pray in the village.

Michael Monks 

And what type of amenities or what type of community do you think you need Lincoln Heights to be in order to bring folks back to living there who aren't currently there?

Joyce Powdrill

Wow. Because I have thought about this quite a bit. I think we have to create the environment for children to thrive. We have to create an opportunity where our children in the village can be supported. We bring the best. And that's why we're trying to bring Wi Fi to the village. I think that improving our roads will attract people, people get excited about living in a neighborhood where the roads are clean, safe, and the community is sanitary. So improving that, creating great gateways into the community. Bringing economic development opportunities to the community so that now we can increase the income tax base in the village. Just in an environment where people in the village and people outside of the village businesses can thrive. And so that we create an environment that is a sustainable community over time. The village didn't get in its position overnight. So it's going to take time to create the change that we want to see in the village. We're not looking for a band aid. We are looking for sustainability long term sustainability in the village and I think if we continue to focus on our pillars of success, we will create the great place to live work and play in Lincoln Heights.

Michael Monks 

That's Joyce Powdrill, Lincoln Heights village manager. We're also joined by Tom Carroll village manager of Silverton who has worked with leaders in Lincoln Heights about their path forward. And Tom, I want to talk about part of the presentation where you focus on momentum. So the village of Lincoln Heights is not without anything, it has things going forward to help get it back in the direction that it wants to go. And go over some of this with us. I know that we just outlined some of it with Joyce, including those 100 vacant lots in the village that there's an MOU with the Port Authority to help develop those we we've talked a bit about the Wi Fi in the village. What else do you see?

Tom Carroll

So what I'm working with Joyce on is trying to figure out let's let's take these 100 lots as an example. If the village is able to achieve an average of about $200,000 per home that's built on those lots, its tax base and tax burden could become roughly average in the county instead of an outlier. So we're working with Dan Ferguson at HCDC to try and figure out some math public policy wise, what does it take to solve for the equation to get its tax base to a point where it is sustainable to Joyce's point earlier. I'm also looking with Joyce at a couple of redevelopment opportunities that are along Lindy Avenue, a couple of former school sites, one of which the village owns and one of which is owned privately, as a potential place for some sort of redevelopment some sort of mixed use redevelopment. Now ultimately, that's going to be up to the village council to determine what the land use is going to be. But it's exciting because it could become somewhat of a central business district for the village in a way that I don't think it's had in many years, if ever. So I'm trying to apply the principles of planning and economic development. And Joyce and I work closely together, she brings very similar but important differences in our perspective as a former banker, in community engagement, and community development professional so Joyce has just been a pleasure to work with. She's a visionary and a mentor. And I've learned so much from her and I'm just honored to be involved as her assistant working in Lincoln Heights with her.

Michael Monks 

What about the partnership with GE Aviation that you lay out some ideas, Tom, that GE Aviation can continue to help support Lincoln Heights? And obviously GE is in Evendale and that's a part, you know, that's a part of Lincoln Heights is history as well. So how do they develop this relationship? How do they nurture it?

Tom Carroll

I think Joyce, you should probably take that, you're in closer discussions with GE than I am.

Michael Monks 

Sure, go ahead Joyce, my apologies.

Joyce Powdrill

No, no problem. Thank you, Tom. I think this relationship with GE Aviation is evolved and evolving in a very, very positive way. Right now, they are doing some significant volunteering in the village of Lincoln Heights, and we so appreciate that. They're providing us with tools and techniques that we didn't have before in the village. And now I think we're at a stage where we can have really candid conversation around treasure, how can they invest in a village, I think we're getting to a point where the leadership of GE is confident of the leadership in Lincoln Heights where they can feel like the investment in Lincoln Heights is going to bring a return on their investment. So we are talking to GE about investing maybe in the revitalization of Memorial Field, we're talking to GE about how they can help support the development of our Wi Fi in the village. How do we present, helping us to present better, some of their just the talents that they have inside the village that can assist us in how we operate the village more efficiently. So I am excited about how the relationship is moving moving forward in a very positive way with GE Aviation.

Michael Monks 

And Tom I know you're helping Lincoln Heights with some of these processes, and certainly with the presentation that was given to the council there. I'm wondering though, have you learned anything from Lincoln Heights that you think is applicable back in Silverton? Or in other communities in the county?

Tom Carroll

Yes, I've learned a lot in engaging with leadership in Lincoln Heights and the few residents that I've had the opportunity to speak to. I think my lesson Michael is more related to a broader conversation around systemic racism. And I'm a white 51 year old straight male. So I am learning how to have more forthright, more candid conversations around race systemic racism. What restorative justice looks like, what the implications of historical wrongs are in the present day. And I think, I feel like I have some of the scales have fallen off my eyes so that I can see things clearly. When I think about an issue like systemic racism in the United States, for someone like me, it's so hard to get my head around, what does it take to solve that? And, and I think it's because the problem is so big and massive that it's hard to know where to start and my analysis is simply, I am going to start in Lincoln Heights. I am going to try and solve and help Joyce and council, bend it back to make it right. There are injustices historically in Lincoln Heights. Nobody alive today is responsible for those historic injustices but we are here today and we can we can do something about it in the present day and that's my commitment as long as Joyce will have me.

Michael Monks 

And Joyce this weekend is the 75th Diamond Jubilee of the village of Lincoln Heights. Celebrations on Saturday and Sunday with a lot of events. When you have visitors this weekend in the community who might not live in Lincoln Heights or or may have left Lincoln Heights and are coming back for this celebration, what do you hope they see?

Joyce Powdrill

I hope that they can see that the residents are excited about their future. I hope that they see that there is opportunity in Lincoln Heights. I hope that they get a sense that we're taking our future in our own hands. They there is unmistakable momentum in Lincoln Heights. And that they will, after they leave, that they will have this huge desire to come and join, help and support all the exciting things that are going to happen in Lincoln Heights.

Michael Monks 

And again, the village of Lincoln Heights celebrating its 75th anniversary with the Diamond Jubilee celebration, this Labor Day weekend. My thanks for this conversation today about Lincoln Heights to village manager Joyce Powdrill and Silverton village manager Tom Carroll. I appreciate the time that both of you gave us today.