Cleveland City Council’s weekly public comment session included continued calls for a participatory budgeting process along with calls for Medicare for All. City workers showed up in force to warn that city services, including snow removal, would come to a “screeching halt” if acceptable raises aren’t offered in contracts that are being negotiated.
Teralawanda Aaron, a Ward 8 resident, told council members that having participatory budgeting would allow young people to get involved in the process. She brought to the meeting three students who had completed voter-education lessons.
Daniel Chavez, a Cleveland resident and member of Teamsters Local 507, spoke on behalf of about 400 city workers who collect trash, plow snow and work in traffic or animal control. Chavez warned city services would come to a “screeching halt” if negotiations broke down. The workers, he said, are asking for raises similar to those that safety forces and city machinists got.
For the second week in a row, multiple commenters urged council members to push forward the process of seating Cleveland’s Community Police Commission. Issue 24, a ballot initiative passed by Cleveland voters, included the creation of a new 13-member commission that has oversight over police discipline, department policies and officer training. The commission replaces a similar body created in 2015 as part of Cleveland’s consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. At the end of the meeting, council announced that the Mayor’s Appointments Committee would meet to vet the remaining candidates. The meeting is on Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. and will be streamed on TV20 and on council’s YouTube Channel.
Gregory Reaves, one of Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb’s nominees to the commission, told council members he didn’t think it was fair for the city, the police department or the community to continue to wait for the commission to be seated.