The Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center

UAC Reports: 1993-1995


August 1, 1995


The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of Nationwide's home insurance policies and guidelines on owners of property in African-American neighborhoods in the City of Toledo. The key question is whether there is evidence of a "disparate impact" among African-American, Mixed, and White neighborhoods. Disparate impact occurs when a policy or practice, although applied uniformly, has a discriminatory effect on a prohibitive basis and is not justified by a business necessity (Federal Register, 1994: 18268). For example, in a 1972 case involving Boyd v. Lefrak Organization, a class action suit for injunctive relief was filed by New York City welfare recipients, who claimed that a "90% Rule" requiring applicants for an applicants for an apartment complex to have a weekly net income equal to at least 90 percent of monthly rent excluded at least 77 percent of welfare recipients (Schwemm, 1978).

This study will utilize statistical data and analyses to address three major issues relating to the impact of Nationwide's home insurance policies on African-American neighborhoods.

In summary, the statistical evidence provided in this study clearly shows that Nationwide's policies on all three issues have a disparate impact on homeowners in AA neighborhoods.


Ronald Randall, Urban Affairs Center, and Department of Political Science

May 3-6, 1995


By now, it is a familiar story: the middle and upper-middle classes fleeing the central city at an accelerating rate for oversized homes on oversized lots beyond the reach of urban and even suburban municipal government. The official 1990 population count of Toledo is 332,943, a loss of more than 22,000 people, or 6.1 percent, in 10 years. The greatest population growth in the metropolitan area occurred in unincorporated areas. Two townships in eastern Fulton county, two townships in northern Wood county and the unincorporated areas of Lucas county showed a population increase from 1980 [65,859] to 1990 [79,313] of 13,454, or 20.4 percent. The suburban municipalities of Sylvania, Waterville, Whitehouse, Perrysburg, and Ottawa Hills, collectively, accounted for an additional 5612 between 1980 and 1990, a 15.7 percent increase. Other municipalities in the metropolitan area experienced minor population losses. These population changes are leading to increased segregation of the area by race and income.

In any municipal government, political leadership comes from elected leaders and from numerous citizens. this leadership cadre typically comes from the middle and upper-middle classes. As more and more of the middle and upper-middle classes quit the central city, one begins to wonder what happens to the leadership cadre. Regarding the nonelected political leadership cadre there are three possibilities:

  1. Leadership is concentrated in the dwindling number of middle and upper middle class residents remaining in the city.

  2. The class complexion of the leadership cadre changes, with working and lower class residents replacing middle and upper middle class residents in decision influencing circles.

  3. Leadership for the central city is increasingly exercised by the same people as before, even though more of them now live in the suburbs.

The most likely of the three possibilities might appear to be the increasing concentration of leadership in the traditional, but dwindling, leadership cadre. However, this group of people--who take an interest in municipal affairs and have the time, money, and energy to be politically efficacious--is shrinking rapidly. In cities like Toledo, it will have to share leadership with others and in some cities, there is virtually none of it left.

If the traditional political leadership cadre has shrunk to the point that it cannot exercise its former degree of leadership, then we might expect the class complexion of the leadership to change. More people of lesser income will be able to move into leadership positions to fill the vacuum left by the departing middle and upper-middle classes. But significant

Stakes are involved. Central cities, even though financially stressed by comparison with their suburbs, make decisions and dispense resources that are important to the politically powerful throughout the region. For example, the City of Toledo runs a utilities system that provides low-cost, high-quality water to most of the metropolitan area. Lower-income individuals have never been noted for their political efficacy, as compared to the middle and upper-middle classes, and a municipal boundary may not be enough to prevent the more affluent from dominating the lower-income individuals remaining in the city.

Therefore, the assumption of leadership positions in the central city by the less well off might not be entirely smooth. In fact, the departing members of the leadership cadre may work hard to remain in positions of power and not yield political power to others. Perhaps they work hard to prevent the vacuum from developing.

Because of the enormous stakes involved in municipal government decision making, it is reasonable to expect that the politically powerful may change their residence, but not release their grasp of the levers of central-city power. In this paper, I will explore the extent to which the leadership cadre hangs on to levers of central-city power, even while relocating to the suburbs.


The asymmetric nature of regional cooperation is more easily understood in light of the results presented in this study. A significant portion of the Toledo leadership cadre actually lives outside of Toledo. The high-culture institutions have led the way. They have long drawn the bulk of their board members from the suburbs. Mayoral appointees to boards and commissions are catching up as the affluent and politically efficacious citizens of the region increasingly take up residence in the suburbs. Well over half of the campaign contributions for mayoral candidates come from the suburbs. If campaign contributing is one measure of political efficacy in a region, the city of Toledo finds that the most politically efficacious no longer hold residence in the city. Many former members of the Toledo City Council have moved to the suburbs. One assumes that many current members of the council are familiar with the relocation of their predecessors and may aspire, themselves, to a suburban location once they have left city council.

In this context, the central city is in an increasingly difficult position to control its destiny. To the extent that we can generalize from the Toledo experience, it appears that suburban interests increasingly are in a position to exploit the central city for their gain.


Michael Indergaard, and Neil Reid

December 1994


The idea that small firms should form networks has been promoted by public development policies, academics, and private sector interests. It is though that collaboration in product design and production can help small and medium-sized firms become more competitive in a new economy. But it is unclear how one is to go about creating networks. This paper highlights three elements in the implementation of an urban network project: 1) a change agenda targeting a socio-economic system; 2) a change process involving the mobilization of firms and community supporters; and 3) a change agent whose roles entail defining problems, providing incentives, and making adjustments in the mobilization process.

The paper examines an effort to create flexible manufacturing networks (FMNs) in the central city of Toledo. This project makes an explicitly urban adaptation of a FMN model developed in rural Ohio. The Toledo project aims to generate networks amongst small firms for joint product development and production. The paper demonstrates how the urban setting requires modifications of a model developed for a rural region. The inner city presents a different social context for defining problems, marshalling resources, creating incentive, and mobilizing political support.


Ronald Randall, and Department of Political Science

March 2-5, 1994


As American cities are characterized by the accelerating flight of the affluent to the suburbs, the loss of manufacturing jobs in the central city, the abandonment of large sections of the city to slums, drugs, crime and hopelessness, Canadian cities appear healthy, vibrant and worthy role models. U.S. visitors concentration of amenities in their downtowns, general attractiveness, and lack of crime.


Compared to American cities, Canadian central cities have a great deal going for them. They have employment and income strength that American central cities should envy.

But troubling trends are clearly in place. Canadian central cities are clearly the respositories of the poor, as central cities have always been; but relative to their suburbs over the decade of the 1980s, we have seen general deterioration in a number of ways, particularly for certain central cities.

To the extent that there is a sort of natural movement outward from the central city, then protection of the central city requires that natural forces be reigned in by political and governmental efforts. Unfortunately for Canadian central cities, the political and governmental prognosis is not encouraging. As we described for Alberta, the provincial framework, which favored central cities, is now being reshaped to encourage suburban and exurban growth. Unless political and governmental efforts are mobilized in behalf of Canadian central cities, CMAs will increasingly take on the character of American metropolitan areas.


July 29, 1993


A future of change is in store for the residents of the City of Toledo and its neighborhoods. In November of 1992, Toledo voters overwhelmingly supported a change in the structure of Toledo's municipal government. Support for that fundamental change appears to represent a call more accountability from our elected officials. Toledoans cannot assume that change in our governmental structure, will automatically result in more efficient, effective, responsive, or accountable government. However, this change does present Toledoans with an opportunity to create their own an agenda for positive change. It is incumbent upon the citizens of Toledo, through Toledo's community-based organizations, to define a collective vision for our city and to help the set the public agenda for our upcoming municipal elections and our ongoing governance. This community participation will help to ensure that candidates for office address the most pressing community concerns in detail. This agenda will also provide citizens with a tool to hold elected representatives accountable for their actions towards meeting those public goals.

Throughout 1992, the work of the Toledo City Budget Subcommittee of the Working Group on Neighborhoods began to address some of the issues that must be included in such an agenda. The subcommittee was formed to identify existing obstacles to citizen participation and understanding of the budget processes and to comment, from our perspective, on the quality and efficiency of the processes and the financial reports and documents issued by the city. the results of that research were presented in The Report of the City Budget Subcommittee of The Working Group on Neighborhoods, issued in February of 1993.

One of the main conclusions cited in the report was that many of the decisions that directly impact the quality of life in our city are determined by fiscal juggling during the city's budgeting processes, rather than goal, or objective oriented fiscal or performance planning. In addition, the current processes in Toledo have resulted in relatively passive involvement by the public. The switch to a strong mayor/chief executive form of government, combined with the introduction of district/at-large council representation, provides us with an opportunity to develop a system that would include public involvement in and ownership of the affairs of government.

Following the release of the report, a coalition of citizens and representatives from Toledo neighborhood organizations, formed the STRONG CITIZEN FOR OF GOVERNMENT TASK FORCE. This coalition took on the task of developing a citizen input process that would accompany the changes in our governmental structure and provide a framework for ongoing citizen involvement in setting the priorities and agenda for our city government. the plan outlined here, is the result of the work of this task force. This plan is being presented in a draft form, and comments and input are welcome and enthusiastically sought.


David Beckwith, Lucy Gerlach, Ronald Randall, and John Schaffer

March 18, 1993


In September 1993, the Lucas County Mental Board (LCMHB) asked the Urban Affairs Center at the University of Toledo to conduct a study of families who have one or more members using the services of LCBMH, and specifically the Ide and Zepf Centers. As part of The Board's continuing effort to better meet the needs of the community, it was recognized that families are able to observe the outcome of LCBMH programs and services, and thus have much to contribute. Families are a significant source of information to the system, and are potential team members in the course of treatment.

The Urban Affairs Center responded tot he Board's request by replicating the study done in 1991/1992 on the perceptions of the consumers of LCBMH services. Lists of family members were provided by case managers at both Ide and Zepf Centers. Families were contracted by the case managers and asked to participate in small group meetings. These meetings were designed to elicit information regarding their family consumers' career in the system. Particular attention was given to family assessment of outcomes, specific services, and the constant question asked was, "What works, and what doesn't work?"

As difficult as it was to contact families and assure their attendance, and to plan, organize, and conduct the meetings, results appear more than worth the effort. It is not easy for families to address these issues even in private, and they were asked to engage in public discussion. Four meetings were conducted, each lasting about three hours including a break for dinner. Families were guaranteed privacy and confidential handling of the information which they shared. Tapes of the meetings were destroyed, and information conveyed to LCBMH does not contain names of participants or any means of identifying the sources of either the responses or direct quotes.

The results of these meetings, summarized here, indicate a great deal of support for the LCBMH system. There was a general perception that services had improved significantly over the last few years. Where there was a desire for improvement the consensus was that existing programs work, or could work, but agencies are short of resources and overwhelmed with large and increasing numbers of consumers. Families feel that both they and their consumer members have suffered one way or another from lack of resources, particularly from the scarcity of professional time.

Those of us from The University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center wish to thank the families who participated in this study. We have a new appreciation of how families are shaped by the chronic mental illness of one of their members. Families have suffered together, and in many different ways, and for many years. Many of them are asking for support from the community, and we recognize the pain involved in discussing their family history.


David L. Beckwith, Peter Ujvagi, and Sue A. Wuest

January 8, 1993


On January 8, 1993 a Roundtable on Neighborhoods in America was sponsored by the Clinton Transition Team. The Roundtable was chaired by Christopher Hyland, Deputy Political Director of the Clinton Transition Team.

Leaders from community and neighborhood based organizations, historic preservation and community arts advocates were convened to share the lessons they have learned through their efforts.

This report represents the recommendations of the roundtable participants to the new Clinton administration by defining goals and strategies that encourage the efforts of locally based initiatives to revitalize and rebuild our nations communities.


  1. Articulate a Vision of America as Community, and recognize the urgent need to come together to rebuild our communities where they are threatened; in the inner city neighborhoods, poor rural communities, the barrio, reservations, public housing projects, and ethnic and minority neighborhoods.

  2. Adopt a comprehensive community-based strategy to revitalize America from the bottom up.

  3. Recognize the key role of community based organizations in carrying out that strategy.


Saumuel Aryeetey-Attoh, and Ronald Randall

January, 1993


For the past decade, public officials, the corporate elite and concerned citizens have fretted over the deterioration of Toledo. Similar concerns are heard in all the other major cities of Ohio, with the possible exception of Columbus. This concern and the problems that cause it have important implications for both the central city and for its suburbs. The economy, infrastructure, cultural facilities and education system of the central city does not exist in isolation, but is a force integral to the relative health of the entire metropolitan area.


Our homeseller survey provides us with measurable and tangible evidence about the ominous population flight out of the city of Toledo. As long as housing construction in the suburbs proceeds at a pace substantially above household formation, suburban "pull factors" will draw population from city, with the inner ring emptying out more rapidly than the outer ring. That is, even if services and schools in the central city were improved, suburbs would continue to claim substantial numbers of city residents because of the interest that we found in new and bigger homes.

Policy implications are clear but difficult to implement.

What we are witnessing in Toledo and the majority of Ohio cities, is a disturbing trend-and intensification of fragmented, isolated, homogeneous, and highly segregated communities that exclude people of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Residents of the metropolitan area must realize that the city of Toledo is functionally related to the Northwest Ohio region. It continues to provide significant cultural, educational, and economic functions to the surrounding area. abandonment and neglect of the central city will further destabilize the entire metropolitan area. In the long run, destabilizing and degenerative forces emanating from the central city will filter into the surrounding suburbs-a phenomenon already occurring in Cleveland where the rate of growth of residents receiving public assistance is greater in some suburbs adjacent tot eh city than it is in the city itself.

Suburban residents must realize that rapid suburbanization ultimately imposes severe growth pressures on schools, utilities, prime agricultural land, and environmentally sensitive areas.

A proliferation of governmental entities in a metropolitan area severely limits the direct action that any one city can take. Central-city problems are exacerbated by intergovernmental policies which encourage suburbanization. At the local level, government continues to extend utilities beyond city boundaries. At the state of Ohio level, suburbanization is supported through road and highway improvements at the edges of metropolitan areas, home-mortgage assistance for first-time homebuyers which increases real estate activity and the pace of movement outward, and school funding. At the federal level, the capital gains provision on home sales is a disincentive for people to move back into the city.

Reversal of the ominous trends we find in Toledo and other major cities of Ohio requires major governmental intervention. The argument should be powerful-the health of the central city affects the entire metropolitan area.

Last Updated: 6/27/22