Public commenters asked Cleveland City Council to invest in coordinating efforts and strategies to reduce violence. Medical students also urged the city to ban retailers from putting tobacco sale signs in their windows–they said a ban would help prevent teens from picking up the habit and create a better environment for Clevelanders who want to quit.
The Public Comment CLE website has all of the week’s comments and transcripts, edited by Cleveland Documenter Carolyn Cooper. Read more about the meeting, which was covered by Documenters Chau Tang and Yorel Warr.
Mental health crisis response
Elaine Schleiffer from Ward 16 represented Responding with Empathy, Access and Community Healing (REACH). The grassroots coalition is advocating for the expansion of crisis services and a new non-police crisis response for people experiencing behavioral health crises.
Community violence prevention
Kasey Morgan, representing MyCom and a consortium of anti-violence groups, urged council to support legislation that would spend nearly $1 million to involve residents, nonprofits, grassroots groups and volunteers in creating a violence reduction strategy.
Tobacco sale sign ban
Shannon Fang, of Fairfax, was one of two medical students (the other was Zoe Rodes) who spoke about the economic, health and equity impacts of smoking tobacco in Cleveland, which ties Detroit for the highest rate of smokers in the United States. She asked council to pass legislation that would require retailers not to sell to customers under 21 and to ID anyone under 30–both already requirements–and to ban advertisements for the sale of tobacco in storefront windows. Fang cited a 2015 study that said more sale signs were in urban areas with higher populations of Black residents.