February 07, 2022prev: January 31, 2022 next: February 14, 2022
Public Commenters (6 min)
Christopher Stocking Lady Palmer
Councilmember comments during Miscellaneous (9 min)
Rebecca Maurer (Ward 12) Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)
Palmer: I am.
Council President Griffin: Hey Lady Palmer.
Palmer: Hey thank you. Good evening everyone and addressing everyone. Actually I came back to say a hearty appreciative thank you. Because I was here on Monday and I mean things started moving like I had never seen before. So I did not want to neglect. I've sent you thank yous and I've hadn't got responses so I just wanted to make sure that the proper thank yous got through. So you know and for the safety issues at Bohn Tower I've seen some movement. I've seen security have been beefed up quite a bit and the presence is there. The crime seems to be going down a little bit and even on my floor I'm very appreciative.
The parking issue, I was going to come and rave about it but came out to the meeting tonight and here's a parking ticket so that's still on the table you know but anyway. I wanted to say CMHA staff they're still moving a little bit slow. I'm still getting promises that we're going to do something but the police staff were on it within hours of this meeting so I came to say thank you. I appreciate movement because it is lives matter, its my life appreciate you guys.
Council President Griffin: Thank you so much Lady Palmer appreciate you.
Councilmember Rebecca Maurer (Ward 12)
Councilwoman Maurer: Yeah this is our moment for our four minutes right Council President?
Councilman Griffin: Yes it is.
Councilwoman Maurer: You're hustling through us so quick and it was a big day here at City Hall.
It was it was a big day it was because this morning we had the pleasure of hearing from the chief, Mayor your Chief of Operations and Director Cox for about three hours talking about snow plowing. And then later the same day we had we received the fantastic transition report from the mayoral administration which I want to congratulate you on.
But I can't imagine a stronger contrast to have in one day on opposite sides of a hallway right outside this room. We have on the one hand the frustrations of residents at a moment when city services didn't feel like they delivered. And on the other we have the promise and excitement of a new administration. And when I think about that gap, I think about that contrast.
I spend time thinking about how are we going to build the bridge to get from one side to the other How are we going to get to a world where we see the excitement and energy of this transition report fulfilled. And of course making this transition report work is going to take leadership. Many the leaders here in this room especially with the full cabinet here from the mayoral administration and those of us here on council. It's going to take civic leaders so many of whom some of the brightest minds in Cleveland who contributed to this transition report.
And I just want to take a moment and say it's also going to take Clevelanders. And that is what I felt like was missing this weekend in this conversation around snow plowing. Clevelanders folks fighting to get out of their driveway to make it to a job. Trying to get a hot meal to their mom. Veterans trying to make it to a dialysis appointment. and we lost that somewhere along the way when we issued a statement saying 94 percent of the streets had been plowed. And I get it that was a metric that you guys had on paper. And the reason why we spent time at council today talking about it so much was because it came out at a time when that is not what Clevelanders felt. They did not feel that 94 percent of the streets had been done.
I don't think that that's a bad omen for the implementation of this report. I don't think it's a harbinger of bad things to come. But I think it is a moment in one singular day where we get to tell ourselves never forget that this transition report needs to be felt by Clevelanders on the ground. They need to feel it on their streets, they need to feel it in their pocketbooks, and that is what we need in the next four years.
Snow plowing, getting lawns mowed, getting potholes filled ,it's not glamorous work but it's work that we get to do to help build the Cleveland that I know that everyone in the mayoral administration wants and that we all here believe that Clevelanders deserve. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the time and energy it took to put together this report. It is fantastic and it does absolutely show the best that Cleveland has to offer. And I look forward to working with you all and with the rest of Cleveland to make it a reality. Thank you
Councilman Griffin: Thank you Councilwoman Maurer appreciate it.
Councilmember Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)
Councilman Jones: Mr. President I rise because you have to put things in balance. And sometimes the people who are giving the message about balance always they say kill the messenger.
But I want to say that I thank the Mayor Bibb and his administration. This is the first time, the first time I've seen the entire administration sitting in council chambers in four years. Four years.
That I've seen an administration here sitting in this council chamber. This is the first time that I've seen a mayor step out and say yeah we have problems, but we're going to have to work to resolve those issues. The first time I've sat at a meeting with his administration here at the table talking about yeah we have some problems but how do we address it? How do we make it better? I've said at this council table and I've asked what can we do? How many trucks can we add? How many employees do we need to get engaged or hired to deal with public service in our communities?
The last time I seen this city operate at a level it should be operating in terms of public service was over 20 years ago when I served in this council and Mayor Mike White was the mayor of the city of Cleveland. He was the only person that I saw that didn't mix politics if he didn't like you he ran someone against you.
But he did not pick and choose winners and losers in the city of Cleveland. He served all of his citizens. And because he didn't like you, then he got out politically and campaigned against you. I know that because he campaigned against me did you hear me. But when it came to serving his citizens he looked at from ward 21 at that time to ward 1 how do I make it good? He didn't just build houses in one part of the neighborhood and then leave the other part of the neighborhood desolate with no investments. He built housing in every single part of the city of Cleveland.
The problem that we have right now is that we have picked and chose which neighborhoods we're going to invest in and what communities we're not going to invest in and that's the reason why you have two Clevelands right now.
So those who are sitting here in this chamber may not stand up and tell you that but I have nothing to lose. And the reason why I don't have anything to lose is because I serve a great God. And I realize that this thing called life has an expiration date. So I may be gone tomorrow but I'll let you know today how I feel. So you might get upset about it, I just don't care. You might not like the words I say but I don't care because I serve a great God And what we need to bring back in this city and on this council is a praise to Him. When we got a minister sitting up there opening up our counsel session praying to God. Go ahead and clap because we've forgotten God in this chamber. And because we have forgotten Him, we're just out here floating along.
So we need to have prayer brought back to this chamber the way it used to be. And we need to bring the Protestants, the Catholics, the Muslims and whoever else need to come up here and pray but they need to come up here and pray for our city.
Councilman Griffin: Councilman.
Councilman Jones: And Mr. President they need to pray and we need to bring that back. So with that being said I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of ward one and I will keep telling like it is no matter if you like it or not.
Councilman Griffin: Thanks Councilman.
Councilman Jones: I give kudos to the Bibb administration for having his entire staff here. Thank you.
Councilman Griffin: Appreciate it thank you.
Stocking: Good evening everyone. I'm here tonight to talk about the importance of decriminalizing transit fare evasion in Cleveland.
How many city council members have heard of broken windows policing raise your hand? A few, okay. We need to work on this.
Broken windows is a theory of policing that has exploded nationwide. It has been shown to be inequitable and ineffective. It was based on the following scenario: A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed. Adults stop scalding rowdy children, the children emboldened become more rowdy, families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers gather in front of the corner store. The merchants ask them to move, they refuse. Fights occur, litter accumulates, etc you get the picture. Things get worse from there.
But what's curious is the first two steps of the cycle, the first one a piece of property is abandoned, the second one weeds grow up, have disappeared in the public imagination.
The third step a window is smashed inspired the broken windows policing title and took center stage. Debates about broken windows policing ignored the two problems at the root. We got broken windows instead of dealing with abandoned property. Clevelanders who have themselves been abandoned by the housing crisis leading to unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness. Broken windows policing neglects these root causes.
How many of you know the origin of broken windows policing or where it came from in America? Raise your hand. I see a couple. The origin of broken windows policing goes back to the metropolitan transit authority police chief William Bratton who comes out of New York City MTA. He then became New York City's police chief under Mayor Giuliani and then the broken windows police spread nationwide. Police Chief Bratton claimed if you take care of the little things then you can prevent the big things. In practice this meant stopping frisking and unfairly targeting minorities, particularly black men over little things like transit fare evasion. broken windows policing such as ordinance 605:11, misconduct involving a public transportation system, disproportionately targets black and low-income transit riders with misdemeanor criminal charges over a two dollar fifty cent petty fare.
Council President Griffin: Time.
Stocking: All this while people can afford to drive cars and get only civil fines for parking tickets. I have one more sentence. No jail time, no criminal record for parking tickets. This is not right. This is not equitable. Stop criminalizing poverty and broken windows policing. I asked city council to take action and repeal ordinance 605:11 immediately. Thank you for your time.
Council President Griffin: Thank you good night appreciate it.