At the final public comment session of the year, residents continued to push for “a people’s budget.” Participatory Budgeting Cleveland says it has more than 750 people supporting the campaign asking the city to allow residents to choose how some taxpayer dollars are spent. The group plans to return to the first City Council meeting of the year on Jan. 9 and will hold a rally on the steps of City Hall before the meeting.
Shirley Bell, a Ward 4 resident, asked council to support participatory budgeting and also to examine land bank policies leasing land to residents and toward the use of land trusts and green spaces that are owned by and reflect the community where they are located.
Paht Juangphanich, of Clark-Fulton, urged council members to support a participatory budgeting process and to use remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds to help residents pay water bills and make high-speed internet accessible across the city.
Sabrina Otis, a Ward 15 resident, thanked council members who supported and were voting on an ordinance that would allow many city employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse to have paid leave from work.