Putting the cop in helicopter
Cleveland City Council approved $3.5 million to make repairs and upgrades to two Cleveland police helicopters.
Council President Blaine Griffin and Council Member Michael Polensek sponsored the legislation. Ward 17 Council Member Charles Slife was the only council member to vote against the legislation.
Free speech vs. hate speech during public comment
City Council is considering changes to its public comment rules after antisemetic and anti-LGBTQ statements at a recent meeting. Ward 15 Council Member Jenny Spencer suggested taking a look at the rules to prevent future incidents. Spencer also said she hoped for clarification on the exact circumstances when the council president could “gavel down” a speaker.
Community members weigh in
Several people spoke up about the antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ comments during the meeting.
“Our collective strength, including our allies– our Jewish brothers and sisters and siblings– should not be underestimated,” said Phyllis Harris, director of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.
Public comment is here to stay
Council members said that they do not want to end public comment. Public comment has been a practice in city council since October 2021, following a 90-year absence. Council President Griffin said he met with attorneys to find the best path forward to protect free speech rights while also protecting communities from identity-based attacks.
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Cleveland Board of Control approved multiple contracts including trauma-informed professional development and a new police boat.
Public commenters urged council to pass a resolution in support of a ceasefire, talking about the local impact of Israel’s war on Gaza.