A photo of Ward 8 resdient Dorothy Walwyn diuscussing Cleveland gun violence during the public comment portion of the Cleveland City Council meeting on Monday, May 22, 2023.
Ward 8 resdient Dorothy Walwyn discusses Cleveland gun violence. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Janelle James and Christina Easter

‘Get rid of the sore’: Ward 8 resident Dorothy Walwyn spoke to Cleveland City Council about gun violence in Ward 9. She referenced a Mother’s Day shooting in St. Clair-Superior that killed her cousin. She urged city officials to address a building near E. 76th and St. Clair that she said is a hub for violence. “I talked with a few commanders yesterday, and they say everybody in the City of Cleveland knows about that building and what’s going on, but they don’t have substantial enough evidence to get rid of the sore that’s in the community,” Walwyn said. The community is ready to end gun violence, she added.

Balloon releases: 
Juan Collado, a Ward 11 resident who works for West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development, spoke about balloon releases in Cleveland. Last year, council banned the outdoor release of 10 or more balloons within 24 hours (except for government-approved releases for science and weather, and recoverable hot air balloons). Collado questioned how the city is enforcing the law. He said he has seen more than 37 balloon releases this year, which he said threaten the environment. Police say they cannot do anything unless they see the release when it happens, according to Collado. Families often release balloons to honor deceased loved ones. When council originally considered the legislation, Council Members Stephanie Howse and Joe Jones called for community education before enforcement.

A boost for birth outcomes: Council approved up to $1 million of federal stimulus money for Birthing Beautiful Communities. The nonprofit aims to improve birth outcomes with a focus on Black babies, which have higher infant mortality rates. The money is set to support a new birthing center in Hough.

Read the Twitter thread by Documenter Christina Easter:

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Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.