A year ago, Cleveland City Council started allowing residents to make public comments during regular council meetings. It was the first time in 90 years.
The change, championed by the resident-led Clevelanders for Public Comment, resulted in council members hearing 183 public comments. Well over two-thirds of the comments were made by city residents, with every ward represented. Comments ranged from a pastor’s plea to replace a guardrail in front of a church to a broad push to decriminalize fare evasion on public transit. Some folks even made a return trip to the microphone to thank council members and the mayor for responding to their concerns.
Cleveland Documenters spent a year tracking each comment, using the Public Comment CLE site created by our civic tool partner Angelo Trivisonno. Documenter Lauren Hakim recorded where each commenter lived, if they represented a group or organization and the topic of the comment.
Public comment by the numbers
- 183 public comments made at Cleveland City Council meetings from October 4, 2021 through Sept. 26, 2022
- 48 written comments submitted through Cleveland City Council’s website
- 80.8% of public comments were made by folks who identified Cleveland residents
- 22 other (non-Cleveland) cities represented
- 55+ organizations, associations, groups, clubs, businesses or businesses owners represented
- 90+ unique comment topics
Cleveland City Council Public Comment Resources
- A Guide to Public Comment at Cleveland City Council, by Doug Breehl-Pitorak, Documenters Assignment Editor.
- Watch and read the latest City Council public comments at Public Comment CLE, our online tool created by our civic tool partner Angelo Trivisonno.
- Sign up to make a public comment at Cleveland City Council here.