Sept. 26 – Health, Human Services and the Arts Committee, Cleveland City Council
Covered by Documenter Kathryn Johnson

opioid crisis
Director of Public Health Dr. David Margolius addresses Cleveland’s opioid crisis. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

What happened: Director of Public Health Dr. David Margolius painted a grim picture of the opioid crisis in Cleveland. Margolius presented legislation that would authorize the city to use $2.8 million of settlement money from an opioid-related lawsuit against pharmaceutical suppliers. Nearly 300 people died in Cleveland from opioids last year, he said, adding that in the last 30 days, 10 times as many people have died from opioids as from COVID-19. The money, which the city will receive in annual installments over the next 18 years, would be used to broaden access to naloxone, expand harm-reduction programs and fund recovery services. 

Mow town: The committee advanced legislation that would pay for an initiative through December 2023 aimed at increasing the use of battery-powered lawn equipment among Cuyahoga County residents and businesses. Participants would be eligible to pick up $100 rebate cards from the city after providing proof that they scrapped a gasoline-powered lawnmower and purchased a battery-powered one. Electric battery-powered lawnmowers cost $100 to $400, according to Margolius.

Are you or someone you know struggling with opioid use? Learn more about available resources through Cuyahoga County’s Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone).

Interested in the Electric Lawnmower Rebate Program? Visit the city’s 
Division of Air Quality webpage for eligibility details, a list of participating scrap yards for discarding old equipment, and a sign-up form.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.