April 29, 2024

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Public Commenters (19 min)
Rev. Pamela Pinkney  Basma Hamid  Faouzi Baddour  Ben Heide  Juan Collado Diaz  Ashley B 

Rev. Pamela Pinkney

Good evening, everyone. Good evening, everyone. I'm Reverend Pamela M Pinkney. I'm an apostlette, I'm doing something new. My phone number is 216- 548-0820. I came this evening to ask you all, I read, because I know the more you read the more you succeed, and I want people to see that reading is essential, not because I don't know what I'm going to say to you.

I came to ask you, Council President, City Council, and Mayor Bibb, if you all would assist me in my dream and my endeavors. I would like for you to help me fulfill my vision of hope for the people in these times. They're crucial times, but they're not defeated times. I am currently, presently being denied equal protection under the law because of my faith here in Cleveland Ohio, Cuyahoga County, and other jurisdictions, by law enforcement, the court system, social service agencies, and we need to change that to make it better for others here in the United States of America.

My rights are currently violated and my voice has been being silenced because I am a multi-racial heterosexual Christian female preacher. We need to change that. I'm not here to beat up on anybody, you know that's not what I do, that's not my style, but I would love if you all could help me fulfill the vision of hope back into our country and into our city. Today I experienced a challenge and we can go further if you so desire, I'm at 216- 548-0820. Thank you for your time and thank you for loving me when I come down here, I appreciate it.

2:01 Permalink

Basma Hamid

Good evening, everybody. As-salamu alaykum, may peace be upon you. I'm here by kindly asking all authorities to amnesty all detained persons during the student protest at all universities in the country and around the world, and release them to practice their free speech rights amendment. Also I'm adding my voice to all voices of conscience across the country and all over the world to divestment from investing in Israel bonds.

They are downgrading in rating. The funds are used to commit war crimes in Gaza and Palestine. Not in my name. These tax dollars are used to fuel the machinery death that has been killing hundreds of children and civilians every day for the past 75 years. Prioritize investment here in the community and put my tax dollars to work in Cleveland. Our children and youth are attending broken school system, no daycare is available to middle class, it is too expensive, and college education is not affordable either. Our youth on the streets [are] vulnerable to all types of dangers and crimes. They need trade programs that align with today's market demands and standards. Our communities are in need of strengthening the school system by creating tutoring programs for children. Therefore my tax dollars should and must be put to work here to improve the broken school system. Our children need to receive good education to provide before and after school care, safe passage to and from school. Free Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Thank you.

2:10 Permalink

Faouzi Baddour

Good evening. This is Faouzi Baddour. I will start where I couldn't finish two weeks ago.

In May of 1981, we moved to this house on [street address] Marietta Avenue, right in the eyesight of Cudell Park. It's about 500 feet from Cudell Park. Behind that house, there's a street called Cudell Avenue. I have an orchard and a garden on it. Three houses down and the width of West 100, Frank Cudell's first house still exists, still sitting right there.

So I mentioned this just to give you an idea what our community think of the Cudell name and the Cudell legacy and what he left to us. I raised the three kids with my with my ex wife. They ate at the house, they slept at the house, but they grew up at Cudell Park alongside thousands of kids from the community. We have people in their 60s and 70s still living in the houses where they [were] born, and they still see Cudell as their community park. They still go walk their dogs. It's an open park. Any park, I probably went to every park in this city, you go to the parks only if you go into the park, unlike Cudell. Cudell, you go to Cudell because you're going somewhere else, or you going to Cudell if you go in from south of the park to the lake, you cross Cudell Park. If you go in from the west to the RTA Station, you cross Cudell. Cudell is a community park. Okay, it's gone. I'll speak on something else.

Last week, finally he woke up and thankfully he did and made contact with us, Mayor Bibb, and two days ago we got invited to meet with the CEO and the school board. Our meeting is set for tomorrow at noon. I believe two Council persons, honorable persons from this Council, may be with us in that meeting, and thankfully that meeting is set. That's what we've been asking, before the court, before anything else, before all the money spent, we were asking to sit and talk. See, the building, the project that was supposed to take place, it goes from the south end to the north end of the park, that's what we object to. We know the school needs to be upgraded. We need the school. We know the school needs to be coming in, where students can learn. But not the way the project is set.

So hopefully tomorrow's meeting, I'll come back to update you and whatever. Thank you.

3:25 Permalink

Ben Heide

Thank you so much. I wanted to thank everyone first of all for your progress made on Cudell Park. I know that there's a lot more agreement than disagreement on that issue. I think everyone wants a nice new school and a good habitat for those kids to grow in. Let's keep moving in that direction.

And in regards to the CVS on Madison, it's kind of West Boulevard-Madison. I wanted to thank Councilman Kelly, I know you were looking for someone and I know we had a contentious meeting earlier about that. There was a question at the meeting that was, other than removing an empty land area, name one positive for the community, and I wanted to kind of help answer that.

When I went to elementary school, I went to Shaker. We were very lucky, we had Society Bank at the time, come in every month and do a Bank Day, and they would teach us how to save and all that, give you a little bag of shredded money, and you took it home. That might be a good way to kind of bridge between this school, whatever is happening with the school, and this bank, which is kind of supposed to move in. I don't know if the council can do something regarding that, but there is a positive to having financial kind of institutions in the neighborhood, so I kind of thought that might be an actual positive that we could say is coming out of this.

And also, I really think that if we added a unique architectural canopy, something that really draws people in, that might kind of make up for the fact that it is a gas station. Again, I understand that you know you're talking about budgets here, but maybe kind of demanding some better design in that canopy might make people more welcome to bringing it into the neighborhood.

Lastly for the Browns stadium. Today was beautiful. If we rebuild the stadium on the same site, nothing will happen there on a beautiful day like today. I think we should consider strongly keeping Jimmy and Dee in Cleveland, but they're investment in Cleveland, not necessarily the stadium downtown. We've been hoodwinked decade after decade when it comes to these stadiums, and for this beautiful building to be empty the majority of the time, I understand that everyone has a lot of feelings about that stadium, about the Browns, but you could easily be remembered as the administration that brought us the Super Bowl. Nobody would care if it's in Berea. If it came to Cleveland, we wouldn't care. You could also free up the wealthiest neighborhood in Cleveland, I mean, that is tax revenue waiting to happen. So I really think that, I know plan A is to keep it on the lakefront, but think about Plan B, it may not be so bad.

For Lorain, street cars. Come on, street cars please. Thank you.

3:09 Permalink

Juan Collado Diaz

Thank you, President. Good evening, everybody. As many of you know, I'm Juan. I stand before you today with a heavy heart primarily, but with gratitude for those that have spoken against the Mayor Bibb decision of hiring his college roommate to be in our city employed. Perfectly and particularly I want to stand with a council member, Richard Starr, who has spoken about this issue and how it affects our city, and how the failure of a mayor of hiring someone who has an open investigation and has cost another city so much money.

As an advocate for police reform, I am deeply troubled that this decision was made to hire Philip McHugh, I think is his name, I apologize if I didn't pronounce it right.

Despite being aware of his troubling history that result in a lawsuit and a settlement in the District of Columbia, the lack of effectiveness in policing black and brown communities is not only concerning but also unacceptable, and it comes really bad, seeing that our city is one of the most diverse in this country.

This is not an isolated incident as Mayor Bibb repeatedly demonstrated disregard for transparency in our city and accountability. When Bibb was elected, in his mayor website, he published several city jobs that he was newly seeking to fill. Three of the jobs were newly created in his mind and not salary ordinance by this Council body, which is required by Ohio laws. Despite pretending to make progress and making this process open to the public, two of the three candidates for these jobs were people who were part of his campaign directly. These people are Bradford Davy, who's a Bay Village resident, and Elise Hara Auvil, who is currently in the position too. These government jobs are created for Clevelanders and the people of Cleveland, not to put your friends in public positions, or people that are funding or helping your campaigns. Now Bibb has done it again, this time worse, which is coming from a corrupt officer who has pulled a gun on people due to their skin color and treated them like less. This result can happen in Cleveland, and we have really seen it in the past years with police brutality. In late February, you guys made the amazing hiring of Dorothy Todd as the new Chief of Police, who is an amazing person and I love deeply, and so I'll give you kudos for that. Also, she is the second female chief of the CPD, which also is an amazing accomplishment for this city. But it is imperative that we hold our public officials accountable, including the Mayor of Cleveland. And we know that corruption will not [be] tolerated or accepted in our city. I urge this Council body and I urge every single one of you to stand up and address this issue. I know some of you have and I thank you for that. We need to show accountability and transparency in our city and our local government. So please, Mayor Bibb, listen to the people for once and make a change. Thank you.

3:05 Permalink

Ashley B

Okay, so I'm definitely not getting paid by nobody. [pulls up mic] Can I pull this up, can this go, I don't want to waste my three minutes but-

Like you mentioned, my name is Ashley B, please don't forget the "B", I said please, and I'm the spiritual godmother in the hood. I'm also the founder of nonprofit organization Ashley B, Childhood Advocate, where I advocate for the inner child of the youth in the hood. I'm also a behavioral health specialist.

And I bring all that up because, let me get to my notes, on Thursday, I went to a council meeting in Ward 4 with Ms. Deborah Gray, and before we went to the council meeting, my client was telling me how he wanted to treat the council person, and as a behavioral health specialist, it's my job to teach him to understand why he behaves the way that he behaves. So we went back and forth and I, you know, I gave him solutions to go about the situation a different way. So we get to the council meeting and luckily he proved me wrong. I went there and just, long story short, there was somebody speaking and just like how y'all paying attention quiet, that's how I feel like people should respect others when they're at meeting speaking. So this particular lady, she was speaking, she didn't speak up for herself, and I was waiting for her to do that and she didn't, and I just kindly went up there to talk to the councilwoman to ask cuz she announced for everybody to at least be quiet while the lady is speaking. Her first action was, I'm the Council person, so that made me feel some type of way, because I feel like the council people are there for the people. I wanted to cry. I felt sad and I feel like there was issues with her and another organization, and I feel like she felt like I was with them. Now my client was getting dropped off because he has a program for youth and I was sitting on the side with them, but I'm not in no type of connection with that organization, and I feel like she took that- I don't know, I just assumed that she felt like I was with them and her attitude, her behavior, was very unprofessional.

So I just have questions. One, I have a question. Do you have to live in a ward to be at a ward meeting? Two is, are you not allowed to record? Because that was one of the questions that she had asked the gentleman when they was recording. And another thing, that was an issue to me was, there was children in there, and we talk about how the children do not behave, but we were conducting ourselves very unprofessional. And she told him he could leave and take the children with her, and that broke my heart. So I need some solutions. I will suggest that maybe you guys do like a mental health assessment on all the council people. Two, I would suggest that y'all take a leadership class because you guys are in position to lead the community and- I want to finish my, I want to finish- and the people, we vote for them, the people. I wanted to cry because the people told me to shut up and be quiet because I went up there and talked to this lady and asked cuz she tell them to be quiet, so that was kind of disturbing that the older people, it's a disconnect between the young and the older people, and I need us to bridge that gap. So that's my piece. I hope y'all figure this out and y'all have a great day, and enjoy this beautiful day. Peace.

3:19 Permalink