March 28, 2022

prev: March 21, 2022 next: April 04, 2022

Public Commenters (26 min)
Bellamy Printz  Vince Robinson   Molly Martin   Adam Bresnahan   Jeremy Johnson   Liz Maugans   Marlon Naylor   Cindy Barber  Alicia Moreland  

Councilmember comments during Miscellaneous (22 min)
Michael D. Polensek (Ward 8)  Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)  Kevin Conwell (Ward 9) 

Bellamy Printz

Council President Griffin: Is Bellamy Printz available? Please acknowledge the time. You can acknowledge this clock right in front of you, thank you. Please proceed.

Printz: Good evening. My name is Bellamy Printz. I moved to Cleveland from Seattle 26 years ago to help establish Zygote Press, a non-profit arts organization in the Saint Clair Superior neighborhood. That organization has successfully survived many challenges and has impacted thousands of artists, students and members of the Cleveland community.

I am a practicing artist and have lived in several cities including New York City, Minneapolis, Chicago and Seattle. In all of these places the civic support for the arts and artists in the community is palpable and part of the excuse me part of the fabric of the city. In Cleveland I found a vibrant but struggling artist community, always looking to the future to make Cleveland a center for creative thinkers and makers. I purchased a home in Ward 8 where I brought up my children and am dedicated to the neighborhood and its growth, sustainability and health.

In 2020, I started my own creative business, Deep Dive Art Projects in the Waterloo arts district in Ward 8. I purchased a property on 156th Street committing myself to the community by building on the foundation that had already been solidified by others like the for-profit and the non-for-profit artists and cultural anchors.

Issues revolving around financial support, capital neighborhood improvements and other issues are of concern to all of the creative businesses in the area. As a commercial entity that opened in the early part of 2020, I've been unable to apply for COVID small business grants and I'm ineligible for non-profit grants. The home equity loan that paid for the necessary capital improvements and start-up resources has dwindled. The pandemic significantly affected my ability to start the income generating activities of the business until spring 2021.

Because of this, I urge city council to commit two percent or $10 million dollars for arts and cultural for arts and culture from the American Rescue Plan. ARPA dupport will benefit three sectors that are essential to Cleveland's vibrancy, creative businesses, cultural nonprofits and individual artists and creative workers. Creative workers in Cleveland make up a huge part of the economy. Investing in our communities, developing programs and opportunities for city-wide access and use. Groups like the Artist Bridge Coalition have attracted the input of artists that live in all 17 wards representing diverse populations neighborhoods and ideas all will benefit from ARPA. Thanks to Assembly for the Arts, there is an organized voice for this population. A strong creative community attracts innovation, tourism, and is a proven factor for the health and vitality of a city. The ARPA funding is an incredible opportunity to make that a strong and central element of Cleveland's identity. Thank you.

Council President Griffin: Thank you.

3:08 Permalink

Vince Robinson

Council President Griffin: Next we have Vince Robinson from Cleveland to talk about the allocation of ARPA funds for the arts he's with the Artist Bridge Coalition. Mr. Robinson.

Robinson: Thank you to the distinguished members of this body and to the Council President. i am also a member of Black Umba it is an organization that is devoted to lifting black artists in the city. I've been an advocate for the arts for over 20 years.

Funding for the arts has traditionally been heavily weighted towards what are considered the major cultural institutions. Now is the time to consider a seismic shift in that paradigm and we have to trust that the proverbial scales of justice can be tipped. Artists are an essential part of the city. We've been undervalued and to a great extent underutilized. In this moment, I want to challenge you to imagine a city without artists and expand that view to a world without them. Without artists there would be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, no Cleveland Museum of Art, no Playhouse Square, no Cleveland Public Theater.

Artists in our community provide the fuel that powers non-profit organizations. Not only do they document history, they make history. They provide the antidote to the things that cause this city to spend voraciously and heavily on public safety at the expense of investing and heavily in the healing, creativity ,the therapy and importantly and equally the economics we generate. Yes, people pay for art. They pay to hear music, they pay to watch plays and concerts, artists purchase supplies that support businesses and the economy of the city, and artists start businesses. They help shape young minds to imagine greater futures and focus on life. They provide a respite from the challenging times we continue to face. The stresses and the tragedies that bring us together to have this conversation in this moment.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to find a way to do what needs to be done. We're standing on the precipice of a new day in Cleveland and an opportunity to do what has never been done for individual artists by the city of Cleveland. We implore you to consider the impact of giving a gift that keeps on giving. This two percent is a very small investment in not only the future of Cleveland but the present. It is a bold step, but step we must, on behalf of the artists that have shown up to these hallowed halls. To those who are in their respective places engaged in their artistic practice, I encourage you to improve the allocation of the requested amount. Not only for the artists, but for the people of the city and the surrounding communities who will receive the benefit of this measure for years to come.

I want to say one more thing. The arts saved one of your colleagues Kevin Conwell. Councilman Conwell was in a hospital bed suffering from cancer. His connection to the art is the reason that he is still with us and doing great things in his community and I encourage you, I implore you to consider this. It's a small investment. Thank you for making the people of the city. Thank you.

Council President Griffin:Thank you

3:26 Permalink

Molly Martin

Council President Griffin: Next up we have Molly Martin Ward 3 bringing participatory budgeting to Cleveland using ARPA funding and she's representing Participatory Budgeting Cleveland or PBCLE.

Martin: Good evening members of city council, Mayor Bibb and members of the administration. My name is Molly Martin and I am a member of the Participatory Budgeting Cleveland coalition. We have residents who represent all 17 wards present with us today, calling on the city of Cleveland to be extremely deliberate in the ways that you approach allocations of ARPA funding.

I want to be clear that Participatory Budgeting Cleveland is not asking for an allocation towards a non-profit or towards one issue area. We're asking about a deliberate process that involves residents and decisions that impact their lives. I know I'm not the only one in this chamber but it is downright painful to witness so much cynicism around civic engagement in Cleveland and in the city. We hyper focus on voter turnout. Fifteen percent of Cleveland residents voted for mayor in the last election and across all 17 wards about one in four residents voted for their council member. But the thing is is that at the root cause of this apathy, is it really just about apathy for low voter turnout or is it about being connected to decisions that affect your life? The reality is is that people feel disconnected from how decisions that affect their lives that get made in the city. People feel disempowered and they don't believe that their voices actually matter.

Participatory budgeting embodies the most fundamental and important lesson of community engagement which is that those who are closest to a problem should be involved in solving it. Participatory budgeting is a cycle with many steps throughout the year. We need to be deliberate about outreach and being intentional around who we engage to make sure that those who have been most marginalized in our community are welcome into a space where decisions are being made about their lives. From non-English speakers, to young people who are at the cusp of voting age, to people experiencing homelessness in a local shelter, they need to be at the center of a just recovery in our city.

In our budget, whether it's our municipal budget or if it's about the budget from ARPA is a moral document for this city and that giving residents some agency and spending public dollars creates on-ramps to deeper residential involvement.

ARPA is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen our community by looking upstream and investing in solutions that will bloom in years to come. I deeply believe that participatory budgeting is not just an investment into our community engagement infrastructure, but it's an experiment to imbue a new culture of democracy that will last beyond ARPA too.

Here is a 50-page document that answers the question how does participatory budgeting work in Cleveland and what it does is it centers strategies on how we do that in an equitable way and I invite members of city council to read this document and participatory budget in Cleveland stands ready to partner with the city and the Bibb administration to make it a reality in our city. Thank you.

3:07 Permalink

Adam Bresnahan

Council President Griffin: Next we have Adam Bresnahan from Ward 11 to talk about decriminalization of non-payment of fare on GCRTA, and he's with Clevelanders for Public Transit. [Applause]

Bresnahan: Members of city council my name is Adam Bresnahan I'm with Clevelanders for Public Transit. Members of city council I'm here to urge you to decriminalize non-payment fare on RTA buses and trains. I know this is normally referred to as fare evasion but I feel the word evasion is prejudicial in implying that this is an act with a specific intention behind it. That's why I call it non-payment.

Council members, last summer I moved to Cleveland from Berlin. In Berlin non-payment affair is not a criminal offence. In fact it's not even a civic offense. Rather it results in a fine that is levied and paid to Berlin's public transit corporation the BVG their equivalent of our RTA. Berlin is a city with a world-class public transit system. How can it be that the RTA needs to criminalize non-payment of fare while the system like the BVG doesn't need it? What purpose does criminalization of non-payment have because it clearly doesn't have any impact on the quality of service?

Council members, criminalizing non-payment only hurts the most vulnerable Clevelanders. As you know an arrest goes beyond the moment of arrest of the time served in jail. Or in the case of a fine being levied the simple fine. It can cause people to lose their jobs which can cascade into a series of other problems. And what about our newest Clevelanders, refugees from Afghanistan? Will you be putting a demerit on their immigration file because they might forget to pay the fare on a train in a new country whose institutions and language they might only have a limited grasp of?

Council members since criminalizing nonpayment affair serves no purpose for the running of RTA, and since it only serves to hurt the most vulnerable Clevelanders, why have you not yet decriminalized it? Council members ,I urge you to decriminalize non-payment affair immediately. Thanks

2:10 Permalink

Jeremy Johnson

Council President Griffin: Next we have Jeremy Johnson from Ward 3 to talk about arts and culture in Cleveland. He's with the Assembly for the Arts.

Johnson: To my distinguished council members, Council President, to the Mayor. The last time I stood in this position it was to say thank you and I'm going to say thank you again. Cleveland is at a pivotal turning point with our new leadership. In this room and in our community for the first time and we've heard here today, arts and culture is taking a center place as a point of discussion in city hall, in one of the greatest art cities in this country.

This is terrific for us. I've spoken with many of the council individually and I just want to echo what you've already heard. The arts count. The arts delivered to our economy. There are more than fifteen thousand jobs right here in Cleveland generated by the arts economy. So we're talking about individual artists, we're talking about non-profit arts groups, and even the small for-profit businesses and they are all across our city. You all have been receiving postcards and you're going to get about a thousand more. I've got them with me of all members of the arts and creative community. I know you will be deliberating on ARPA later in the season but we the voices here today are here to say the arts count and it's worth the investment for the city to bring back back jobs and to keep our economy strong.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and let's do this together. The arts impact our safety, our neighborhoods, our children, our educators. There is so much overlap. If we want to do something about the worst problems of the city, let's incorporate arts and culture. I thank all of you for your attention. Let's keep moving the city higher and higher. Thank you.

1:59 Permalink

Liz Maugans

Council President Griffin: Next up we have Liz Maugans from Bay Village. She's here to talk about ARPA support for the arts and she's with the Artist Bridge Collaboration.

Maugans: Thank you everybody. Council thank you and Mayor Bibb. I'm Liz Maugans. I'm an activist, a mother, a social activist, a creative community organizer, a gallery director, an arts activator and art faculty at Cleveland State University. I moved back after living in Detroit and co-founded Zygote Press in the Saint Clair Superior neighborhood. Later we annexed out and another wing of that in Collinwood. We ran this artist run printmaking studio a non-profit for over 25 years and it's still going strong today. It really suffered during the pandemic but after shifting to running a gallery in the Warehouse District, I have supported over 675 local Cleveland artists who I love artists and really love supporting them

We opened Zygote because we could afford the rent and we fell in love with the neighborhood. Artists are the renovators of these neighborhoods many built by artists and what we have done for many neighborhoods we can do for the city. We need your help. I was in a meeting this morning at city hall where one of the folks called the arts the sleeping giant. We need your help to wake up. Artists lost their studios, galleries, gigs, venues closed, opportunities dried up. Now we need your support so we can help you and your work ahead to heal and revitalize the city. Thank you so much.

1:52 Permalink

Marlon Naylor

Council President Griffin: Marlon Naylor from Ward 4 commending the new mayor and Mr. Naylor you have the floor.

Naylor: Hi my name is Marlon Naylor and I was here several weeks ago back and you know my father passed and so forth but I want to first address our city Council President Blaine Griffin. I'm up here because I'm not just coming for an ask you know I see a lot of issues on the table and they come and go every year after year with council needing this needing that. I come today to say thank you. I need a little applause because you're behind the scene that have been voted in and this is a new year. This is a new council. Young and old and mixed okay. So it's mixed in and they're new. The mayor you're new. Thank you.

I stand alone. I got three minutes. But I didn't come to ask to see about. I've been around 62 years old with 16 grand kids. I've been back in the day all the way to now. But the kids sometimes you need to hear thank you. We can't go inside to know your jobs. We got a new mayor. New black mayor. Look at it. That's me. I know I'm standing here but that's me. Young, strong, African-American. I talked about like I had the wrong information about you being one of the youngest. But today you need to hear if you have to stand alone sometimes that you are a new mayor. And we have to pay respect to that. Rome wasn't built in 90 days. Hello? I think it's 90 days somebody tell me is it 90 days now. 90. Nothing happens fast in 90 days right. New mayor. I don't expect nothing in 90 days with you.

New counsel. Blaine Griffin. You spoke last week, he touched my heart. I'm that type of guy I went and shook his hand...I say Blaine you've done a wonderful job. He spoke after everything was talked about he said I'm here for the people. I'm looking straight at you. Not because I know you personally. Not because I've seen you at council for the last, you know being a new in here and under the administration of the mayor. But as a human being and as a man first both of you that's addressed it. You got a lot on the table and I know you do.

Mayor, everyone in here this is our mayor. Plain and simple. Accept it or not. I'm standing alone. If I got to stand alone he said come down and my wife said go down and tell them stand alone if it takes that. You're the new mayor plain and simple. Rome was not built. ...he knows everything that's at the table it takes time.

The gentleman up there I've been knowing for years. But he spoke and hit my heart. He said i'm here for the people y'all remember that. He said I'm here for the people. He said you all voted me in and I paid attention after I heard everything. That's most important to me.

Council President Griffin: Time.

Naylor: And I want to say to you that's standing here this is our new mayor. Blaine Griffin and the both of you, you got a lot at the table understand that. But I come today to say to all of you all and the new council thank each and every one of you all.

Council President Griffin: Thank you sir.

3:39 Permalink

Cindy Barber

Council President Griffin: Next up we have Cindy Barber from Ward 8 to talk about ARPA funds for arts and culture and she's with the Waterloo Arts and entertainment district. Ms.Barber.

Barber: Okay first I have to commend you guys for doing public comment. This is awesome that you've started doing it thank you so much for that. I want to advocate for ARPA funds for the arts. I'm old enough to have been around to watch Tremont, the Warehouse District be saved by artists moving into those warehouses and stopped them from being turned into parking lots. I started the Beachland Ballroom in Ward 8 to follow in the footsteps of my dear friend James Levin who started Cleveland Public Theater in a rundown neighborhood at West 65th and Detroit, and it was dangerous to go there but people who believed in theater went there.

I have fought for 22 years to get people to come to Collinwood even though they're fearful of doing that because we have a bad reputation. Now i'm faced with the fact that our Dave's is closing that just came out today. I'm still fighting. I'm still trying to remake this neighborhood and every person in this room is helping in their own little neighborhoods. We have the opportunity to give artists the space and the support to go into a strip. I'm sure each one of you has some space in your neighborhood that's empty that's a vacant storefront. Give that to an artist and they will make something happen. Please. Thank you.

1:54 Permalink

Alicia Moreland

Council President Griffin: Next up we have Alicia Moreland from Bellaire Puritas to talk about the Browns.

Moreland: Okay I'm super nervous so just bear with me here. Okay so I'm here as a private citizen but I'm also a Cleveland Documenter and I'm often watching you via live stream negotiate the difficulties of running our city. From afar local government is really really confusing and endlessly frustrating, but even when I disagree with you I deeply admire your love for the city and its people.

I'm here about the recent decision of the Browns to hire Deshaun Watson and with respect to convince you that this matter does concern you as legislators. For the listening public unaware of this controversy, Deshaun Watson Cleveland's new quarterback, currently has 22 civil suits pending alleging sexual misconduct and assault. He reached out to dozens of professional massage therapists on Instagram demanding to be alone with them during their sessions. He was accused of exposing himself to them, ejaculating on some, and forcing at least two to engage in oral sex.

I know the city has no control over the hiring or firing of Browns players, but the city of Cleveland does own the stadium they play in and millions of tax dollars are spent on capital repairs and upkeep every year. But more fundamentally the Browns carry our city's name. The players and especially the quarterback they're important ambassadors. They represent us on a national stage.

In response to the public outcry, the Browns have made lame, vague acknowledgments of the sensitive nature of their decision. They also claim to have done a thorough investigation of the matter which is laughable considering that they didn't actually speak to any of the women. But I think it's the contract itself that speaks the loudest. Watson has a five-year $230 million dollar contract, fully guaranteed. It was cleverly designed to have a base salary of only one million dollars for 2022, which means if he suspended for misconduct, he will be financially shielded from the NFL censure. The NFL has a clear history of shielding multi-billionaire owners and their millionaire players from sexual assault allegations. As long as the money is rolling in nothing seems to matter.

Cleveland Rape Crisis center had to send out an email in response to this decision. Real people are mentally affected and triggered by this decision. Real victims will see this as confirmation that they should stay silent in their suffering.

I know that contracts have already been signed and leases are already in place. I know that Clevelanders are never going to turn their backs on football no matter how low the NFL sinks. But I refuse to believe that as legislators that there is nothing that you can do to censure the Brown's recent decisions. There must be something. Please don't ignore this. Please do what you can. Thank you.

Council President Griffin: Thank you.

3:18 Permalink

Councilmember Michael D. Polensek (Ward 8)

madam clerk councilman mike polisik has asked for additional time we want to make sure that we grant them additional time councilman pelesic thank you mr chairman my honorable colleagues madam clerk honorable mayor mr chairman I rise tonight to speak uh to the announcement um that dave's supermarket called euclid beach dave's is closing sometime very soon in fact in by may 1st mr chairman on last monday the 21st we had a meeting in the mayor's office and I want to thank the mayor and his team for coming together and we heard officially from dave's their announcement at 4 15 in the afternoon that day that they were officially closing the store on lakeshore boulevard i don't have to tell you what a blow this is to our community on the northeast side of the city the dave's has been there for approximately 34 years and I know because I worked to bring them in there 34 years ago because I felt so strongly about their operation and passionate about their operation in the city of cleveland and mr chairman what was presented to the mayor and his team and myself was that they have struggled economically with regard to volume with sales their customer base has dwindled over the years and that the pandemic it only um highlighted that and magnified the problems that they were having and that people's shopping habits have changed during the pandemic and beyond and I know that myself because my own shopping habits have changed because i'm a shopper what was so critical about this dave's on lakeshore boulevard is the fact that there are over 1200 seniors and folks that are on disability that live across the street next door plus nine low-rise apartments across the street and mr chairman you know firsthand because your mom is one of those a constant long-time constituent and friend of mine who lives right next door so the bigger question is for all of us and then again to learn as well some of the challenges they have especially with their landlord and a fact this is an incredible figure because I pinned it down again because i can remember the mayor even saying to them i tell get tell that that number again paying 252 000 a year for rent think about that 252 000 a year for rent on a 42 000 square foot store in the city of cleveland and I want to thank again the mayor for his offer of assistance to them which they declined he offered it repeatedly they declined indicated their decision has been made and also saying to not to them that if any of the other stores in the city you're having a problem with let us know don't tell us at the 11th hour the last minute they're going to be closing but the bigger challenge mr chairman for all of us in this room and with the administration is the the fact that when this store closes and it will close soon from payne avenue about 30th in payne all the way to the corporate line with the city of euclid at 200th street there'll be no full-service grocery stores left in the city think about that for a moment those are the challenges that we have no full-service grocery stores i like all of you I don't want my citizens to be at the mercy of the dollar stores which we know what they're like that's why this council put a moratorium on them our residents as I heard firsthand are dealing with more economic factors inflation they're coming into stores and they're spending less i can understand that anyone who doesn't look at what they're paying for food items would be making mistake so like and they and they've told us and have told me again today that people who are coming into their stores are just not buying what they used to buy because of the economic world that we're dealing with and over the weekend I called my daughter who has three boys my youngest daughter and I said lauren for the heck of it what do you spend a week for food for those three monsters and she said dad about 150 to 200 a week I said what i said what she said dad when was the last time you raised three kids at home right a long time ago long time ago she says and we're shopping at different stores we're shy and she lives in one of the suburbs she said we're shopping at different store we're clipping coupons her husband both have a good job jobs so as we heard from dave's i don't have seniors walking in the door are people on public assistance spending a hundred and fifty two hundred dollars it ain't happening it's just not happening so the picture and the reality for all of us mr chairman and I appreciate the time you spent talking to me about this is what do we do to create an environment in this city where we can attract full-service grocery stores so we can attract retail that means something rather than these fly by night in these crappy stores that we see proliferating the east side of the city if we can subsidize the cleveland browns if we can subsidize the cavaliers and the cleveland guardians with tens of millions of dollars each year then we should be able to support and subsidize grocery stores in our neighborhoods we're going to have to do just that because if not we're not going to have anything in our neighborhoods our residents deserve fresh meats and vegetables and bakery and all the other items just like they have in the suburbs and unless we collectively and that's why i'm looking forward to working with you my honorable colleagues the chairman the mayor his team we got to come up with a better game plan a game plan because what we've seen in the past is concentrations in this city around certain things around uh around the clinic around the circle around metro but those of us that are in these so-called middle neighborhoods or edge neighborhoods or ever what do you want to call them we have to compete we have to struggle i'm competing on the northeast side myself and councilman hairston we're competing against euclid and south euclid and then from my very home mr chairman east it's only four miles to the lake county line so now i'm competing against lake county as well with all the retail that they have out there so at the end of the day we have to step back and figure out what's going to be the strategy because if not there won't be anything left in these neighborhoods and I just tell you my brothers and sisters i've been here a long time drive these east side neighborhoods look at the abandoned factories and the abandoned plants those were once meaningful jobs where people were employed and they could support the local stores and businesses I think of up saint clair avenue the longest commercial street in the city cleveland all the groceries there were three pick and pays on saint claire in the day plus god knows what else all gone all gone so is as tough as this is for my neighborhood and me personally because i'm a dave shopper customer and what it's going to mean to those seniors and those folks on disability and I appreciate again the mayor strongly recommending the daves and i join with them in coming up with the shuttle service for those seniors and those folks on disability but this raises serious questions for us collectively what do we do to provide retail opportunities for our citizens jobs meaningful jobs in our neighborhoods because this crap that we've been fed over the years here about supporting sports venues and supporting this and supporting that and this so-called trickle-down theory is a bunch of bull crap and we all know it because in cleveland we defy gravity it trickles up it don't trickle down and unless it trickles down especially on the east side of the city we're going to continue to see the poverty despair and lack of opportunity and disinvestment and i'm sick of seeing it i'm sick of seeing closed school buildings and empty factories and buildings and keep being told well somehow some ways things are going to happen here it ain't never going to happen unless we make it happen unless we collectively make it happen so again I look forward to working with you mr chairman honorable mayor and his team and you know I um i sympathize with you mayor because you walked into a mess in so many areas you walked into a mess but I can tell you this i'm here to work with you and your team to try to figure out how we get above and beyond the mess and make some meaningful take some meaningful actions to make some decisions that we can see some light at the end of the tunnel because if not it's people will talk with their feet and continue to talk with teeth but those old folks on lakeshore boulevard knows horizons mr chairman they can't talk with their feet they talk with their feet they walk across the street lakeshore boulevard go to days which is going to be empty and i'm not going to forget that and again and I hope we've got to deal with some of these property owners in our neighborhoods and our city and mayor you've talked about this in the course of your campaign to just suck the rent out of our city don't maintain nothing and just suck the rent out the sucking sounds got to stop you want to own property in the city of cleveland maintain it maintain it and charge reasonable rents or we are coming after you to force you to maintain your building so mr chairman i spoke too long but this has really got me worked up to lose this store that is so critical to the northeast side just not my ward the four wards on the northeast side and again I look forward to working with all of you to try to figure out how we can overcome the challenges that are before us thank you mr mayor thank you councilman polinsk and you are right my mother lives right there and i know that it is really devastating and i had a chance to talk with some of those seniors today so sir will continue to work with you on that thank you I have

11:06 Permalink

Councilmember Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)

councilman joe jones and councilman joe jones has asked for extra time councilman joe jones thank you mr president to my colleagues to the mayor of the city of cleveland when I heard about the news of the closing of dave's i had stepped out of town for a quick moment and I got on the phone immediately because I was concerned about the possibility of a number of stores closing because normally when one domino falls there may be several more to come behind it and i remember when they closed the burger king in my neighborhood when i was first elected and I didn't realize why they had closed it so I made a stew about it i'll never forget having the conversation and was told that several several burger kings in the city of cleveland had closed and we can't do anything about it and so I raised some sand and I remember getting the corporate guy on the phone at the time and mike white was the mayor of the city of cleveland I asked him i said do you know mike white and he says yes I says do you remember the brown situation this was all fresh in the minds of clevelanders at the time and I told him that we're going to take control of the land that burger king sit on charge you for whatever damage that has been done and we're going to redevelop the site you know of course part of that was bluffing but we were able to get him to come to the table and in doing so even though it was a private site corporate burger king rebuilt a new burger king at leon harvard but when you have situations like that it's always good to have good strong partnership and at the time there is an old saying when I grew up when we hung out as kids one for all and all for one so what happens on one side of the town will negatively impact the other side of the city of cleveland and as clevelanders it should be our responsibility and i've said this on a number of occasions that we should work together we can no longer afford to be in our own little phytons and silos we have to come together as a council and as a city and as a administration and work hand in glove because the problems and the issues that we are faced with right now are some very stark problems and issues and some of them are out of our control some of them are global issues that will have an impact on us here so what we do and how we do matters and I say that mr president because there was an article that showed up on thursday's newspaper and this council have heard me over the last four years talk about the financial institutions and the redlining that's going on in the city of cleveland there's a reason citizens are moving out of the city of cleveland in part is all about the money who controls the money if your financial institutions are redlining they're squeezing the lifeblood out of a neighborhood in the community and that community over time begins to deteriorate to such a degree that you can't even recognize it and in some parts of the communities right now I can't even recognize that's even being a part of my neighborhood because it has unfortunately over time have went down and I talked about and the article talked about being able to get a loan for something as simple as fixing your bathroom a petty 25 30 000 loan or getting a loan for a property that may cost 45 or 50 000 or 60 000 residents in the city of cleveland can't get those loans from financial institutions because it doesn't follow up under certain criteria and so with that if you try to get those loans they'll tell you quickly that you're over improving in that area and we don't have the funds to invest in that area they'll tell you that on the phone and we sit here as clevelanders and we haven't held those financial institutions accountable and they are now right in our face and i know all of us are very busy with all the problems and issues that we don't want to put sometimes a little bit more onto our plates and deal with it but this is the issue if cleveland is going to be able to move to be a great city then all hands on deck all financial institutions should be engaged in the prospect of making this city great that is the only way people will be able to have a strong city as we must say to those financial institutions that you are housed in our communities you have a investment here and we want you to double up we're not saying give us any money but we're saying like that mayor said and his words whispers in the winds of time that you have to invest 1.5 billion dollars in this city and we need to say to our financial institutions you should be investing right now 10 billion dollars into the city of cleveland and they have the funds i'm say this again and they have the funds so with that being said mr president and to my colleagues if I hurt and ward one and there's no remedy and no one comes to help then eventually that disease that's hurting me in ward 1 will spread as it has spread throughout the city of cleveland and now we have a cyclical situation right now so with that being said I support you my friend and colleague mike polinsk in your community and I support all of my colleagues who sit here that we must have are just and part of that just is being able to have financial institutions that lend money to homeowners who want to improve their homes that lend money to small businesses that want to establish and start their businesses that lend money to young entrepreneurs and put resources back into the very cities in which they take out so much of our resources and mr president to my colleagues have a great evening thank you for the time thank

7:13 Permalink

Councilmember Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)

kevin conwell thank you very much mr president you know I heard that um councilmember mike polisik off to saint clair side of the ward a lot of the residents in glenville go to the that days um it's not right that dave did not reach out bert didn't reach out to us and his sons didn't reach out to us to talk with us mr mayor we have subsidized dave's supermarket a lot the one over there off of chester when they came to city council you guys well you remember council member mike polisik we helped to subsidize that how can you not come to us and give us the respect even when it was over there in ward 5 ward 5. we subsidized that that grocery store over there okay and every year around november on the holidays times guess what we spend money purchasing gift certificates for dave isn't that right we do that so how can you turn around and not respect us and at least mr mayor come back they owe that to us they owe that to us manny we've always been there for dave's supermarket now i'll follow your league um councilmember your lead councilmember mike pelesic and i work with councilmember anthony harrison but we also must look at the central neighborhood also they don't have a grocery store not one they pulled out and they did them the same way and when you look at trends and you look at how they do things as you said earlier councilmember joe jones they'll do that again and again and again because that's the way their energy compels them to be so we sit back and let's not just say this is over with let's write them a letter let's talk with them and negotiate because it's not just for your award council member mike polisik it's for the northeast side ward 8 9 and 10 and then we include that this council member over here his ward as well now I think that uh meyer that's coming in ward 6 is going to benefit ward 9 a lot too we talk about that because we look at the neighborhood this ward stuff is really crazy you got to look at the neighborhood what's good for the whole and you have to think macro really um if we could talk with meyer as well to try to bring them in because they really don't want meyer to come in also because then you get competition more and they don't want that I think we reach out and we talk with them as well and because the way they did is that's a slap in the face senior citizens have nowhere to go that's terrible and this man just mentioned meaningful jobs with meaningful benefits going down the drain and we subsidized them we subsidized them heavily in your ward uh um councilmember star and they left the people high and dry you don't do things like that I think we continue to keep going at them and i'm going to close i'm with you councilman mike pulisic but we need to add in councilmember star also we sit down and we try to figure this out so thank you very much thank you councilman conwell [Applause]

3:17 Permalink