Public commenters raised concerns about a potential Cleveland police consent decree monitor, thanked city officials for supporting community development corporations and supported a proposed ban on flavored tobacco.
The Public Comment CLE website has all of the week’s comments and transcripts, edited by Cleveland Documenter Carolyn Cooper.
New police monitor
Kareem Henton, representing Citizens for a Safer Cleveland, shared his concerns about a potential choice for a new Cleveland police consent decree monitor. Henton questioned the background of Renee Hall, one of the finalists for lead monitor. Hall is a former Dallas police chief, and Henton questioned her actions surrounding protests over racism and police violence. Hall resigned from the post in 2020.
Jeremy Taylor, Ward 7, representing St. Clair-Superior Development Corp., thanked council members and other city officials for their recognition of the importance of community development corporations (CDCs), which have been doing work in Cleveland’s neighborhoods since the 1970s. He also thanked officials for recent tweaks that make funding housing repairs less burdensome.
Flavored tobacco ban
Dr. Kristin Englund, representing more than 6,000 members of Northern Ohio’s medical community, urged council to support legislation introduced in February to end the sale of flavored tobacco in Cleveland and to license tobacco retailers. Englund outlined the known risks and outcomes of menthol flavoring, particularly in the Black community, where smoking claims at least 45,000 lives each year. The legislation has since stalled.