Sept. 12 – Cleveland City Council
Documenters Kellie Morris and Jenna Thomas

Cleveland City Council
Yvette Hunt speaks to City Council about environmental concerns tied to construction in Ward 4. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

What happened: In the first public-comment session addressing full council since June 6, community members spoke about wage theft and payroll fraud, environmental concerns about the construction of the Woodhill Station West housing development in Ward 4, citing property owners for lead-poisoning violations, animal trapping, the culture of policing, and legislation passed Aug. 10 that aims to strengthen tenants’ rights to defend against eviction for late rent.

A “City of Hope”: Antoine Tolbert spoke about the conditions residents are dealing with. He said people call his organization, New Era Cleveland, when they have run out of options, adding that food distribution and safety through community policing — with an emphasis on mental health — are a focus. “Cleveland used to be known as the City of Hope on the Underground Railroad,” Tolbert said. “This is no longer the City of Hope.”  

And also: Council introduced more than 40 pieces of legislation, including one regarding a potential gift-card program for the purchase of electric lawn mowers. Council also introduced legislation for proposed allocations of ARPA funds; uses include cash incentives to get COVID-19 vaccines and expanding the use of ShotSpotter to detect gunfire in the city.

Where does Cleveland stand on ARPA allocation and spending? This council record, obtained by Documenter Jenna Thomas, summarizes where things stood heading into this meeting. You can also search more than 1,100 ARPA spending suggestions from community members using this database from Cleveland Documenters.

Watch the full public comments or read transcripts edited by Documenter Lauren Hakim on Public Comment CLE (website created by Ohio City resident Angelo Trivisonno).

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