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Issue Date: January 2008

Phillip Morris

Plain Dealer Metro columnist

Age • 43

Why he’s interesting • Morris goes beyond talking about the problems of this city. His Metro column routinely finds examples of everyday people doing amazing things. His opinions, driven by common sense more than politics, hold politicians and citizens equally accountable.

Political leanings • “I’m probably more libertarian than anything, but the libertarians don’t really accept me because I believe the government has more of a role than protecting our borders.”

The opinion page vs. B1 • Morris is still getting calls from folks welcoming him to Cleveland. He’s been here 18 years, spending most of his career back on the editorial page.

Something most PD readers wouldn’t know • Morris has an offbeat sense of humor.

Proof • His favorite comedian is George Carlin.

How do we fix Cleveland? • “Even though we’ve lost half our population, even though we’ve lost more than half of our Fortune 500 companies that were headquartered here, we still have a city that has a broad-shoulder infrastructure. We inherited this city from visionaries who left us something. They left us a birthright. We need to embrace the treasures left for us, or we’ll drown in the sense of despair and hopelessness we’re facing.”

His favorite treasure is ... • Lake Erie — to watch the sunset with his 8-year-old daughter.

His other passions • Cleveland restaurants (which motivates him to run 30 miles a week ... in a good week) and dive bars to listen to the blues

We love the blues. Where should we go? • “There are a couple hidden gems in Cleveland, but I won’t say because I want them to stay hidden gems.”

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