September 26, 2022prev: September 19, 2022 next: October 03, 2022
Public Commenters (21 min)
Reverend Pamela Pinkney Butts Kareem Henton Angela Hines Beverly Owens Christine Robinson Erick Walker Juan Colato
Henton: Thank you, let me begin by saying to city council, you're welcome. You're welcome because residents have made it incredibly clear for you to be able to say no to the proposed County Jail that's supposed to be built on toxic land.
That toxic land will endanger not only the detainees, but it will endanger the people who work there. The people who work there that are attempting to elevate themselves into the middle class arena, and so they may actually take such a dangerous job even though they go into this with perhaps eyes wide open, the fact that they are feeling that they must do take this unnecessary dangerous step is unconscionable.
In a local government where things get passed with lightning speed we gave strength and reason and backup to judge Brendan Shin, prosecutor O'Malley and public defender Sweeney to say no to this proposed jail, they listen will you. Detention officers currently are beginning to say no because they are concerned about their safety. Will you listen?
The jail is scheduled to cost 200 well originally scheduled to cost 550 million dollars. It's gone up to now 750 million dollars. We understand how this works with the jail and the county courthouse being under the same roof. That makes for convenience and things being expedited by separating the two and building the jail out on that toxic land you're going to create the need to have to build a new courthouse where that jail is in order to keep things operating in an efficient manner. That will bring the price tag along with the abatement of that toxic land, to billions of dollars. Things that my grandchildren are going to be paying on.
So I'm asking you to be not only fiscally responsible but to actually give a damn about the people who will be housed there and to actually give a damn about the people who will be working there. Forget about the side deals, forget about the cronyism, forget about the political favors and please don't facilitate the construction of a new jail on toxic land, it's going to endanger the surrounding community as they transport this soil and all of this debris, it's going to endanger not just the surrounding community but it's going to continue to endanger the people that will be housed there.
Understand this, they keep mentioning methane gas, it's benzene gas, which is carcinogenic - that's cancer everybody if you didn't know. Thank you, I yield my time.
We are disgruntled we are hurt we have did everything we have supposed to do during this pandemic. We have stuck with this facility we have worked closely with doctors and nurses and employees have became families here.
My concern tonight is that this is heartbreaking to the community to the community that this hospital has been for all of these years. The support that even though we're not a big hospital like CCF and UH and Metro, we're the little guy that takes care of that community. We take care of the little babies with the fevers we take care of the gunshot wounds and we get them prepared to go to Metro to go to the big facilities to be taken care of which we have great nurses and doctors - sometimes we don't have to move them at all.
But today it is important that Council knows that Saint Vincent is important to that neighborhood. We are, the staff is important we have developed relationships with people across the street down the street around the corner we have developed all kind of relationships so today I just want to speak that we are heartbroken not only as the employee we are heartbroken for our community because this community needs that facility.
So even if I can't come here today and stop us from closing I want everybody here to know that we have the same concerns of you we are heartbroken like you and we are trying to figure out the little ways to make still. Saint Vincent whatever their plan is going forward, that we are accountable and that we are dependable still that facility in this community so if it's outpatient inpatient whatever it has coming down the pike we want you to know that Saint Vincent whatever you do does not need to leave this Community Urgent Care outpatient services but today we just wanted to come and let you know we are heartbroken we are heartbroken we have stood through the gaps through the pandemics we never dropped the ball we came in with our mask on, without the mask, no PPE, all of it we stood there we stood in the gaps. Thank you.
Owens: Surprise, surprise. I'm here just to speak about the community again I'm always here talking about my community. As we continue to say that we're trying to build the communities up and trying to give people that live in the communities what they need I see that we continue to take away.
I've had to visit Saint Vincent Hospital I'm two minutes away from Saint Vincent it has helped me when I needed the help. These individuals that service us and provide for the community like you said. We stand here as the little people always trying to fight always trying to speak up to save what we need as human beings.
Ward five, we're already a food desert. There's no resources left in that Ward other than Cuyahoga Community College so when we continue to strip a community of the needs and the necessities and the resources, when are we going to build that community back up? We already have landmarks we have those particulars that we need to strive but we we're starting to eliminate everything.
When are we going to start taking care of that Ward? That ward is depleted so I'm here today ask myself as a community member again and as a community leader to say stop taking away the resources that we need to thrive and survive. We keep talking about what we don't have what we can't do we have those things in place and those particulars that we have in place we continue to strip them away.
We cannot keep stripping our community away. If our elected officials are saying we're here for the community, you know we hear it, we see action and we see the things that are happening so what I want what I would like to to follow up with the young lady that's from Saint Vincent, just hear us and understand and go back and things can stop things can stop things don't have to happen. we don't have to say oh her hands is up the jail is going to be built our hands is up the hospital's gonna be taken away the hands we don't have to give up stop giving up on us because we continue to get out the vote come out and vote but we can keep getting put on the back burner.
So I would like to see our community thrive, I would like to see the people that come to work in my community give a chance to work and to keep our community vibrant and that's what I want to say tonight. Stop taking away what little that we already have. Thank you.
Robinson: To council president, to the council, I am Christine Robinson an employee of the Saint Vincent Hospital for over 50 years 56 years. This hospital has been a backbone of that community. We are now taking care of The neighbors, other people there in the area, we need our hospital that's why I'm here to ask that they consider do whatever we can to try to keep this hospital open.
It's very important to that neighborhood that we do special care for different different people here and longevity is what we have there at that hospital. We have people that have worked there a long time and this is really a change for them in their lives as well as that community.
So I thank you very much.
Griffin: Thank you Miss Robinson and thank you for your many years of Public Service.
Walker: Hey city council and to you Mr. city council president.
I wanted to start off even though I'm at work for residents, I wanted to start off talking about the history and the importance of Saint Vincent. St. Vincent Charity Hospital and Health Center at the time, a 492 bed facility, opened its doors on October 10th, 1865, just after the United States Civil War as Cleveland's first Permanent General Hospital. The first surgical Pavilion in Cleveland was created at Saint Vincent in 1872 and a free medical dispensary for the poor was established in 1894. Rosary Hall, which is the only addiction and Treatment Center in this area, was dedicated to Saint Vincent in 1952. The first open door surgical procedure in the midwest was performed at Saint Vincent In 1956 in the world's first Intensive Care Unit devoted exclusively to heart surgery in conjunction with St Luke's Hospital Claude Foster research lab. Saint Vincent developed the first heart and lung machine.
When Woodruff Psychiatric Hospital which was located on 89th between Euclid and Chester closed in 1986, It transferred its programs to the wood Woodruff Pavilion at Charity and is one of the only hospitals that psychiatric patients can go to to get treatment till today.
The announcement that this facility will discontinue inpatient and emergency room services in November will once again put working people out of a job and were jeopardize the health of a community of black folks that rely on resources this Hospital provides. This trend of Health Care Facilities closing on the east side of Cleveland has become problematic, for which we should all be concerned Saint Luke's, Mount Sinai, Huron Road, Woodruff - all of these hospitals on the east side of Cleveland.
A cleveland.com article published September 13 2002 titled County Jail climbs to 700 and million 700 million dollars or more suggest to the public that the government governing bodies in the city of Cleveland are willing to spend 700 million dollars to lock people up but not fund Mental Health Services which the county provides. [The county provides] 3.8 million dollars to Saint Vincent through the alcohol drug addiction and Mental Health Services Adams board.
Cleveland City Council, it is Paramount that you work with this facility to put your heads together with other leaders in government at all levels and find a way to keep this Hospital functioning because the health and well-being of the citizens of Cleveland, especially in the central neighborhood, depends on it. Thank you.
Colato: Good evening everybody. My name is Juan I am a community activist in the city of Cleveland. Most of you know me by now, though so really quick, when comparing Armed Forces personal to cops in the city of Cleveland we can see the difference this as uh Armed Forces personnel, they're trained to engage, kill, and destroy, not to work like police officers. They're supposed to be protecting and serving our community.
Today I stand here in front of you and I'm pretty sure a lot of people behind me too will tell you that our city needs more money for the homeless for our communities in need and Parks before giving money to militarizing our police officers.
As we saw in 2020 uh during May 30th of 2020, the riots in Cleveland, a lot of the police were already militarized - so they had the materials to do so - as a lot of the people were targeted and attacked some of their community members ended in the hospital. I myself had to take five of those people that I still in contact with because they were badly hurt.
And also today I want to remind you guys also that the Cleveland Police already has a 36.27 of the Cleveland budget uh they do not need more of our budget to do their or perform their work I'm pretty sure that's enough uh as a lot of the Cleveland neighborhoods are suffering of poverty and hospitals are closing. Imagine what 50 million dollars or more can do for the community members that are losing their jobs in the ward 5 hospital that is closing.
Council member Polensek, can himself tell me since he's been in Cleveland since 1978, in Cleveland City Council, uh term limits am I right just saying.
Why do we need police officers on topic why do we need Cleveland Police uh militarizing and giving them more weapons than what they have? We don't need more black and brown men and women in ward 8 getting murdered by Cleveland Police, so taking consideration, what are the needs of Clevelanders before before the votes in your next election? Please.
Overpowered cops are not needed in our city, we need police that are here to protect and serve. Thank you.
Pinkney Butts: I'm glad to see everyone. I haven't been here for a while. As you know I read my speeches to you because I believe that literacy is a very crucial component in such a time as this. It's not just financial literacy but all literacy and the more we read the more we succeed and I have a copy of my speech to give to each of you who are interested, and the clerk.
And it's regarding heterosexual and Christian rights reform. I ask you today how many of you are aware that righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to any people. How many of you are aware of the religious freedom restoration Act of 1993. I'm here today to require that this legislative body draft and legislate laws to protect and provide for the needs and rights of we who are of the heterosexual and Christian Community which are not only violated in such a time as this but disregarded in a multitude of ways. There is no excuse this is not a request this is a requirement.
The promise of Salvation has been granted to the lineage of Isaac not Ishmael the Covenant prayer of our land given by Robert Hunt in 1607 that we would have a holy land to be blessed and prosperous has not gone away. We heterosexual people and Christians are being forced to accept practices that oppose our beliefs, we can list them for you at any time. We're also concerned about the care of Saint Vincent Charity Hospital emergency room there are no interpreters for hearing and visually impaired people at these meetings prayer has been removed from these Council meetings and in the places of empowerment of the people I want prayer put back into the academic setting.
I desire not to be forced to accept homosexuality and other beliefs that oppose us my phone number is area code 216-548-0820 for further communication with me thank you for your time and your cooperation regarding this matter I look forward to our moving forward blessings and peace to each of you for Jesus Christ which represents lamb in you which is not just me and you but it's you and me and we have to do this together and we must be fair to all people and we heterosexual people have rights too and Christians and they are being ignored thank you very much
Griffin: Thank you.