Eight residents of Cleveland and nearby suburbs called upon Mayor Justin Bibb, Council President Blaine Griffin and other members of City Council to retract their pro-Israel statements – the second week in a row that residents criticized officials’ “one-sided” public support.
“As a Palestinian and as a Clevelander, I find it abhorrent that members of City Council such as yourself, Blaine Griffin, even though you’re not here, and Mayor Justin Bibb, who is also not here, would publish one-sided statements such as ‘Cleveland stands in solidarity with Israel’,” said Chance Zurub, who is a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement.
Two other speakers, Adam Rosen from Ward 15 and Marc Ashed from Solon, spoke in support of Israel and Jewish people. They both condemned Hamas and said that the acts of Hamas should not represent all Palestinians. Hamas is the Palestinian group that attacked Israel Oct. 7. Israel has responded by bombing Palestinians.
After public comment, Ward 8 Council Member Michael Polensek asked council’s Rules Committee to look into “the issue of non-Cleveland residents speaking at this event.”
City electrical workers won raises in their newly approved union contract. Under the new agreement, employees will receive a 2% “equity increase” to salaries going as far back as April 2022. The contract also includes retroactive raises for union employees who retired since then through the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS).
More perks for city employees
City Council passed an emergency ordinance on Monday to provide city employees with two weeks of paid vacation upon completing 30 days of employment.
The ordinance also laid out vacation benefits for employees who remain with the City of Cleveland for at least five years. For example, employees entering their fifth year can count on three weeks of vacation per year instead of two weeks.