A photo of resident Ellen Kubit giving public comment in support of reproductive rights at the Monday, April 17th Cleveland City Council meeting.
Resident Ellen Kubit gives public comment in support of reproductive rights. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Marvetta Rutherford and Chau Tang

What happened: Public commenters commended Cleveland City Council for supporting abortion access in Ohio. Residents Ellen Kubit and Mary Ellen Arendas Szamborski voiced support for council Resolutions 446 and 447. One resolution condemns Ohio officials’ efforts to limit access to abortion medication. The other supports a ballot initiative to codify the right to an abortion in Ohio’s constitution. Council adopted both resolutions that evening.

Public safety: Charles See from Stop the Pain and Dale Anglin from the Cleveland Foundation encouraged council members to pass Emergency Ordinance 486-2023. It would create the Neighborhood Safety Fund. Both commenters talked about using this fund to address the root causes of violence. The Cleveland Foundation would administer the fund. Council committees are set to discuss the proposal in future meetings.

West Side Market: Council members debated investing $15 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds in the West Side Market. Council Members Richard Starr and Kevin Conwell said they should use the funds to tackle food deserts on the East Side instead. Council Member Kerry McCormack, whose ward includes the West Side Market, said investing in it would benefit the whole city, not just one ward.

Read the live tweet thread by Documenter Chau Tang:

Watch the full public comments or read transcripts edited by Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell on the Public Comment CLE website created by Ohio City resident Angelo Trivisonno.

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