A screenshot of Cleveland Council Member Richard Starr arguing for council's approval of Neighborhood Safety Fund grantees at the May 10, 2023 Cleveland City Council Safety Committee meeting.
Council Member Richard Starr argues for council approval of Neighborhood Safety Fund grantees. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Monica Doyle and Gennifer Harding-Gosnell

A drop in the bucket: For more than two hours, violence interrupters told City Council members about their work to stop gun violence. They urged the committee to pass a proposal that would create the Neighborhood Safety Fund. The city would use $10 million of federal stimulus money to create the fund. The Cleveland Foundation would manage it and distribute an estimated $500,000 each year to initiatives addressing the root causes of violence. Violence interrupters told council members that this funding is necessary, but $10 million is not enough. (The Cleveland Foundation provides support for Signal Cleveland.)

Fighting for the last word: The legislation would give the Cleveland Foundation final say on who receives grants. Council Member Richard Starr argued that City Council should be doing that. An advisory committee including council members would recommend grantees to the foundation, but the foundation would not have to fund them. Council members voted to increase the number of council reps on the advisory committee. They also voted to require that those council appointees report back quarterly. Starr was the only committee member to vote against the changes, saying, “It doesn’t solve anything.” City Council’s Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee was set to review the proposal at its May 15 meeting.

Read the Twitter thread by Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell:

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

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Through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections, Anastazia works with Signal Cleveland to support Cleveland Documenters and our community building.