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Notes from the Field

Welcome to Notes from the Field

Informal Observations on What We See and Hear across the District

Our “non-blog-blog” is one way we share what we learn from outreach and other informal meetings across the Fourth District.

The views expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

For the past 15 months as Community Development Officer of the Cleveland Fed, I have traveled across our district introducing myself to a wide variety of individuals, some of whom have worked closely with us and others who hadn’t a clue as to what we do. Those conversations have been challenging, entertaining, and uniformly enlightening. Part of our team’s responsibility is to understand what issues—current and emerging ones alike—are affecting the stability and development of our neighborhoods and communities. These conversations help us to not only identify common issues across our four-state district, but also discern the local differences that further identify the challenges we collectively face. My recent travels have provided me the opportunity to learn much more about the region where I’ve lived my entire life (and because you can see my photo you know it’s been a long life).

In nearly every conversation, after a discussion of the concerns and issues facing those who have met with me, I’ve been asked, “What are you hearing?” And in response, I share the common perspectives I’ve heard from previous meetings. Often these concerns and issues are very similar to the ones discussed. More frequently than I would have guessed, though, what I share either spurs additional conversation or provides a perspective that the listener hadn’t thought of or considered. In fact, all of us engaged in outreach and engagement have had similar experiences. That is the genesis of this new feature, Notes from the Field. We want to share more broadly what we’ve been hearing and learning from the people we’ve met with.

You will note that this isn’t a “blog.” While we don’t have the capacity to manage the operational characteristics of a blog now, we welcome at any time your perspectives on the topics we’ll discuss in this and future posts. We welcome you to share your thoughts, either directly through a phone call or by email. Each post will include contact information for the author. Additionally, posts may include links to related Fed research, tools, or resources we think you’ll find useful. I hope you use those resources to further your understanding of the issues we face.

Finally, I encourage you to let us know what you think of Notes from the Field. Is this informal channel appealing? Is the information we’re sharing helpful? Are there other topics you’d like us to address? Let us know! We plan to post new content at least once a month. Your thoughts and comments on the posts will help us adjust our efforts to ensure meaningful and valuable postings for you