January 03, 2022

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Public Commenters (0 min)

Councilmember comments during Miscellaneous (102 min)
Blaine A. Griffin (Ward 6)  Michael D. Polensek (Ward 8)  Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)  Brian Kazy (Ward 16)  Kevin L. Bishop (Ward 2)  Anthony T. Hairston (Ward 10)  Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)  Jasmin Santana (Ward 14)  Charles J. Slife (Ward 17)  Brian Mooney (Ward 11)  Jenny Spencer (Ward 15)  Deborah A. Gray (Ward 4)  Kris Harsh (Ward 13)  Stephanie D. Howse (Ward 7)  Rebecca Maurer (Ward 12)  Richard A. Starr (Ward 5) 

Councilmember Blaine A. Griffin (Ward 6)

Council President Griffin: First of all please accept my most sincere regrets and apologies that we could not have all of your friends and families and the community like we really wanted you here today because of this horrible pandemic that we're experiencing. I thank you all for your patience and understanding and definitely let's also keep all of our colleagues in prayer those that are here and those that are not here so that we can always really entrust in their speedy return. I also before I began would ask if we all could please rise and stand and have a moment of silence for one of our fallen heroes officer Shane Bartek. Thank you. First of all thanks everybody so much for being here today. I first want to thank all of the residents of ward 6. I must always start to thank the residents of ward 6 for having the confidence in me I always tell everybody this is not my seat this is the ward 6 seat they just allow me to sit in it I am forever grateful and I pray every day that I never let the community down we've gotten a lot of done over the last four years grocery stores created exciting new small businesses affordable and market rate housing to help grow Cleveland's population we've made investments in long neglected and abandoned areas we've repaired roads and infrastructure we've made investments in smart technology to deal with crime we developed unprecedented public private and philanthropic partnerships that have helped pave the way and facilitate home repair broadband access and a pipeline for the workforce that to be envied we always tried to take care of people in ward 6 but we still have a lot of work to do I'd like to thank my family you can't do this job without a strong supportive family unit my mother erling bentley a single parent albeit with a strong village that included my father the late Raymond Arnold Griffin the original Griff raised me in Youngstown, Ohio the concrete playground of Youngstown, Ohio in the shadows of abandoned steel mills she reflects and mirrors the overwhelming majority of this city that has been headed by single-parent heads of households. I'd also like to thank my wife Jeanette and my three sons Royce Ray John and Blaine Jr. They've never asked me or asked to be on the ballot yet they've carried the scrutiny criticism and witnessed the long frustrating days that come with being a public servant. When you are elected your family is elected so this is just as much about them as it is about me i have a message to my colleagues i want to thank you so much for having the confidence in me to be your council president I am truly humbled and honored that you have chosen me to lead this body let's take care of people you are now the man and women in the arena every decision you make will be analyzed criticized and critiqued always remember you now belong to a brotherhood and sisterhood and we will always have your back I must take a moment as we say that to acknowledge my former council president my good friend Council President Kevin Kelley if he can say hello to us together we will build a collaborative leadership model that no other institution in this region will rival we will be an independent voice on matters in this city and region you will be asked to make tough decisions and everyone will have an opinion but you sir you madam are the men and women in the arena I will never ask you to do something I wouldn't do myself nor go against any of your principles we are in this together and we are a body not a collection of individuals we have to understand this to be effective I will always be here for each and every one of you and i'm truly honored to be your colleague a message for our mayor mayor Bibb. Congratulations Sir, let's give Mayor Bibb a round of applause. We are looking forward to working together with a sense of urgency to address the complex and vexing issues plaguing our society we look forward to working with you and your administration to take care of people in the city of Cleveland I've gotten to know you over the last couple of months I believe that you and we share many of the same principles and values to move this city forward but I won't sugarcoat it you will have to deal with a rowdy bunch over here Mike Polensek and Joe Jones can't wait to get a hold of your directors and I can't wait to see what Rebecca Maurer has in store for you guys as well as the rest of council we also have five women on council let's give that a round of applause. So get ready because you know they're going to have some questions and we're gonna make sure that we're gonna get their questions answered but I'm so happy to have so many women on council there will be a healthy tension at times between council and the administration but iron sharpens iron and we all we all are in this together and Mayor please know that all we want to do is take care of people that we play as to do just like you have that's all I look forward to working with you and your administration and all of your friends and family to get stuff done in the city of Cleveland because that's what we're here to do.

I have to take a moment to acknowledge my friend, my mentor, my partner, the outgoing mayor of the city of Cleveland Frank G. Jackson and I thank him for his service. Mayor Jackson has always taught us to take care of people when I served in his administration and as we shared many long conversations so what we're going to do to the city of Cleveland I want to make sure that this is a message that is clear we're going to take care of the people of this city not the infrastructure not the bricks and mortar not the institutions but the people will be the guiding principles of what we are trying to do the gravity of this moment the gravity of this moment does not escape me we are tired of Cleveland being on the list of worst high infant mortality, high exposure to lead, low life expectancy, the worst place for women, low educational attainment, crushing poverty, a widening gap between the rich and poor that makes two Clevelands and presents us with a dickensian model of a city that reflects the best of times and the worst of times the poorest and or one of the poorest big cities in america not a good place to do business not a large talent pool an unequal criminal justice system that needs to be reformed from top to bottom not just the police but bail reform and sentencing disparities finally we are dealing with a public health crisis that rivals covid at at the same pace and that's black men that are victims of crime perpetrated by other black men and we have to speak loud and proud about what we're going to do to address that issue and let's not forget the stream that runs through all of these complex issues that I just mentioned racism which is why this body has chosen to call racism a public health crisis we have to believe in Cleveland and get over the soft bigotry of low expectations for this city we are tired of being last the worst and status quo so Cleveland and my honorable colleagues it's time for Cleveland to be the first for Cleveland to be the best and for Cleveland to be different we want to be first we want to have the opportunity to make big bets on broadband and infrastructure and other investments we have to be a more diverse and well-trained safety force we must use technology to improve city services and public safety we must create a cradle to the workforce pipeline that creates more opportunities in industry 4.0 smart manufacturing, I.T,.construction and health care we must position Cleveland, Ohio as a leader in water technology innovation that can create more jobs and economic development and protect our biggest most precious asset other than people which is our water and our lake we must be the best I'm very competitive ladies and gentlemen so I really want us to be the best. We have the best ads and man's institutions in the world. We must work with these institutions to address all of the health disparities that lead to a lower life expectancy in the city of Cleveland we need more strategies to strengthen our housing stock create more home ownership we need laser-like focus on demolition and blight removal and we need to find ways to help with home repair and we must restore the middle class in the city of Cleveland we have to be different we don't want to be status quo anymore we know that change was on the ballot this last november we will embrace new strategies and approaches to take care of people it would take partnerships and collaborative leadership model the likes this city has never seen and I am well aware that change was a mandate in this past election it is so great to hear new ideas with mixed with the institutional knowledge that we have here today but I caution everyone change is a process not an event it takes hard work commitment and true to make true lasting change in this city so in closing everyone this is our north star moment this is a time of inspiration and hope let's provide direction and leadership let's give the city the service and leadership it deserves I ask personally for God's providence over our city and I ask for God's providence over each and every one of us as we accept the next assignment that we've been given let's take care of people everybody thank you all I love ward 6 and I love cle

11:55 Permalink

Councilmember Michael D. Polensek (Ward 8)

thank you mr chairman mr president honorable mayor my distinguished colleagues madam clerk it's my distinct honor and pleasure to be here tonight i'm taken back to january 1978 when I stood here for the first time as a 27 year old freshman councilman to take the oath of office from world war 26 my colleagues that was 44 years ago in 12 consecutive terms no councilman in this city has ever received the kind of support that i've received over all these years i wish to thank the people of old ward 26 old ward 11 and now ward 8 for the tremendous support you've given me over all these 12 terms to receive 77 percent of the vote in the last election speaks for itself i've had the pleasure to serve with five mayors and six council presidents and countless members of city council and i'm looking forward to serving with this mayor the council president and my new colleagues as my residents have heard me say often i cannot do this job alone but neither should i i have always looked upon my role as being a spokesperson and an advocate for my constituents and their families every tough vote i've ever taken i've always asked myself how would my constituents vote if they were sitting in my seat in here in council i would like to believe that I have always represented their interest and the interest of all clevelanders to the best of my ability my dear late friend the honorable louis stokes told me one once afternoon while sitting with him at the old call post office on east 105th in chester don't forget who elected you and never forget where you came from i've lived by that quote every day my roots are in glenville and the collude communities and i've never forgotten that finally mr president and to you my honorable colleagues and mr mayor we have a lot on our plate in going into 2022 like the growing crime and violence problem in our city the operating condition of cleveland public power the status of the west side market the lack of a true recycling program and major issues within the building and housing department of the city cleveland just to name a few I hope you get my point [Music] council in my opinion must rise to the occasion and make quality of life issues our number one priority if we do that successfully not only will we assist mayor bib in his administration but above all we will benefit our citizens and their children who want nothing less than safe streets quality services and good schools [Music] in closing I wish to thank my family including my five children lisa dean of michael lauren and andrew and i'm reminded when I opened my desk where I normally sit I have lauren's muppets book from 1977 when she sat on my lap in this very chamber i've always kept it to remind me that we're here to look out for our kids and our grandkids as well as my campaign manager greg pollard who's been with me throughout the years in my campaign committee including crystal williams and rhonda mclean and they're here and i want greg to stand up if he's here greg you this man has been with me for so long from the time we were in collinwood high school how many people can say that to have someone with their side be with them and not only as friends but in politics all these years thank you my brother thank you and god bless you i wish I wish there I wish everyone else could be here tonight for my campaign committee mr chairman however with the covet restrictions and the concerns and members of my family understand that i also wish to thank my executive assistant mary louise justin daley who's been with me for over 23 years mary louise raised your hand okay and to everyone in attendance and and everyone is in attendance who's watching this either here or at home please stay safe and healthy god bless you and your families and god bless the city of cleveland and again mayor bib honourable council president my colleagues I look forward to working with all of you throughout this next term god bless all thank you

4:47 Permalink

Councilmember Kevin Conwell (Ward 9)

you very very much i want to thank my community like 1978 man the mayor wasn't even born there 1978 get out man get out you've seen a lot you've seen a lot and people can come to you they can sit down and talk with you you've seen history in a lot of history and history repeats itself and your door is always open to anyone everyone that wants to listen and one of the first things I want to say i've been around for quite some time and what I do people ask me they say councilman you've been around for a while and they said what do you do that is different you know what I do i pray first every single thing and every single step that I take mr mayor i put jesus christ first then there ain't bishop ward seek ye first the kingdom you've got to put him first i'm not going to do a long speech I know I can go alone mr president I saw you looking at your watch and looking at me on the slide but you got to put him first and you have to put him first in everything that you do and everything will be all right even in your health you got to put him first um mr mayor message to you i'm going to get off track for my speech this has been a rough time you said you rich you've been reaching out to me and um the crime is just out of control in my ward we're building and we're building 70 new houses and a 21 23 million dollar street east 75th street glenn village your new black wall street 15 million dollar building uh fisher house another 15 million dollar building volunteers of america 3.2 million dollar building the millions and millions of dollars is being pumped into my ward but we can't do it without safety you said put people first that's what you said an hour and a half ago on easter 118th street irish did you get the call man people blowing my phone up councilman councilman counselor calling me three youth mr mayor 17 years old children had a shootout and three of them were were sent to university hospital one of the guys is in critical condition is in critical condition I don't know what's going on over there same thing happened on council on castlewood a young man last week was walking castlewood someone pulled up and shot him i don't know if we're going through a war in my ward or not mr mr mayor I need you to come ride with me or we do not can talk just like we did when we campaign we can go out and we could do knock and talk right now to find out what people need that way we can get behind the closed doors and find out what's going on i knock and talk with the police officers and what i'm finding out mr mayor and i will work with you i will work with you from the beginning to the end I believe in working that a lot of police officers are leaving they're going to other suburbs they're going to other cities like phoenix and florida and as my colleague mike ballistic know we can't do any growing without the police safety is first thing first we need that mr mayor i i called the captain and I told the captain next week on tuesday i'm walking with him going door to door on eastern 18th street so I can get behind the doors speeches is great but getting out there and putting the work in is first thing first for me and you know one of our mutual best friends tell you that i get out there and work but I work so hard this work is hard i'ma say this to the other council members when I do knock and talk with the police you know joe this time last year someone shot over my house four bullets scott's got scout and then my little granddaughter ran to the to the window and she said poppy can bullets go through windows near that mr mayor poppy can bullets go through windows you know i'm talking about her let's see over there laughing right now and that came from me knocking on doors trying to find out what's going on see I bleed for my residents and I bleed for glenville the home of the mighty top letters and they feel it and they know it mr mayor when you believe for them they know it because you're in love with the residents in glenville as well as in the city of cleveland i've even had and you know a bomb squad on my front porch do you remember that because after working and walking you got to walk it like you talk it out you lose that beat the political approach is so much different than a government approach i will be there with you walking locked step by step the benefits to residents in the city of cleveland there's no agenda with me only to make life better for the residents in the city of cleveland every step i'll be working but we need more policemen to walk the beat we need more community policing when we had community policing when you were to put safety chair crime went down isn't that true every police officer can't be a community police officer but we need one that can feel the heartbeat of the residents in the community and then we'll talk with mrs jones and mr smith so they can hear their seed of crime before it even happens on the roads and that way we could do prevention so i'm there 100 with you I will talk with you I will work with you mr mayor because helping you will help the entire city of cleveland it will help the entire city of cleveland so i'm there 100 and I give you my support thank you very very much and god bless oh oh I got to do this i'm going to be in trouble and it's not last I got to thank my wife too county councilwoman you're fine god will right yeah I got to thank you i'm going to be in trouble i got to go to sleep at night and my daughter christina and my other uh granddaughter grand baby that I was talking about poppy can bullets go through windows see looking at me right now that was me and i already thanked my um community and i believe in families and fathers and families together thank you very very much god bless

6:43 Permalink

Councilmember Brian Kazy (Ward 16)

thank you very much mr council president and congratulations on your election to lead this 134th council and if councilman polencic thinks getting 77 percent of the vote is tough try getting 100 percent it's not easy i want to be you in that club i want to I want to rise tonight um mr president to just uh be brief and thank a couple of people my wife is here this evening so I want to thank my wife dawn for all the support that she's given me over the years my five kids patrick mckenzie nora brianna and reagan my ea linda my events coordinator tanya the staff at bel air puritus and of course most importantly the residents of ward 16. mr president this next council that's that's going to be leading the city for the next four years is very young very inexperienced but it's gonna it's gonna happen quick to my colleagues who are just being sworn in for the first time and for some of them the second time um we're going to grow up and we're going to grow up fast but we're also going to have to realize that there are a lot of tough decisions to be made and when you're in this game if you want to call it of politics and leading a city it's not an easy thing to do and there are going to be a lot of tough decisions that are going to be made and you're not going to make many friends in this game and harry s truman was quoted one time as saying if you want a friend in this city get a dog and that kind is going to ring true for those of you who are about to experience what you're going to experience over the next four years because you're not going to be able to be an effective leader in this council if you're going to lead by certain philosophies if you're not going to want to dig in and make the hard decisions as I currently sit here i have people people who sit out in front of my house writing messages on their on their cars right telling us how bad of people we are but if there's one thing that rings true and if you're a council person and you're a council person who's going to do the right thing doing the right thing means you've got to do what your gut tells you every single day we're not in a popularity contest we're not here to win anything else for the next four years except for what's right for the residents of the city of cleveland our own philosophies our own beliefs should help guide us but that's not what should lead us we need to do what's right even if the popularity of something isn't right or that certain factions believe that we're not making the right decision if you can sleep at night knowing that you've made the right decision and i'll never forget mr mr president one of my very the very first vote that i had on council was whether to take the the flats and make it its own little entity in regards to taxing themselves and I remember that the council was split and I remember being a freshman council person walking into this chambers on my very first day calling my predecessor count some former councilman sweeney and asking him what do I do and his response to me was you wanted the job now you got to do the job i'm not going to tell you how to vote you vote you're conscious and then the other advice that I got from a former councilman was count former councilman matt zone who said to me brian you're only as effective and as good of a leadership as your word will will allow you to be so remember that when it comes time to saying you're going to vote one way and then voting that way taking a stand and being strong is going to make you an effective leader in this city and our newly elected mayor bib congratulations on your recent election to lead this fine city and and I get tired of hearing how we're the poorest big city and I get tired of hearing how this is a problem and that's a problem because there's a lot of great things in the city of cleveland that people don't like to talk about but one thing that happened mr mayor on the day before you were about to be sworn in is reality kind of slapped you right in the face and that is that you're going to spend the first week figuring out how we're going to bury one of cleveland's finest who was the victim of a violent crime in the city and there should not be one person in this room especially one unelected person in this room who is not outraged and i understand that people want to criticize cleveland police department because maybe they're not the politest people in the world at times because maybe they don't say the right thing 100 percent of the time but what they do do is they make sure that each one of us can go home at night and put our heads on our pillows and assure our safety whether they're in uniform or they're out of uniform and I will be that council person who will defend our cleveland police department because they are the ones that make sure that we are able to be safe at night and heaven forbid anybody defend any individual who wants to commit a violent crime in this city from now on reality is we have crime in the city and we have criminals and it can't be the criminals that are running the streets anymore it needs to be the good citizens of the city of cleveland and our cleveland police department and we need to show that we have their back all the same time mr mayor knowing that we need reform but there's a right way to do reform and there's a wrong way to do reform and it's time that this city starts showing that we will not tolerate the criminal element or the aspect of crime in the city of cleveland no longer no matter what you may think no matter how I may get blasted by one side or the other the reality is is that we're a dangerous city and the only way we're going to be able to get out of the danger of that city is to assure that we have a police department and we have residents in the city of cleveland who are going to step up and let them know that no more it's not this time anymore the crime in the city is out of control and mr mayor we're looking to you mr council president we're looking to you and i know that the residents of the city of cleveland are looking to this council to assure that we put our police department on a path that we are no longer going to be one of the most dangerous cities in the city of cleveland mr mayor I look forward to working with you mr council president I look forward to working with you to the residents of the city of cleveland thank you for your support of this whole council in general and to the cle to the 134th council please let's do what's right for the residents of the city of cleveland thank you mr

7:24 Permalink

Councilmember Kevin L. Bishop (Ward 2)

thank you mr president mr president I rise to [Music] to give thanks i am truly humbled to be re-elected to the 134th council of the city of cleveland i was truly honored to be elected in 2017 to the 133rd city council and I want to thank the voters all of my voters of ward 2 whether they cast a vote for me or not i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart it is truly an honor to to [Music] to receive your vote of confidence and I am and I will do the right thing by the citizens of ward 2 and the city of cleveland i want to thank god for giving me the strength and the wisdom to be here today this is not an easy road to make it to city council mr president I want to thank you for your leadership i want to support you 100 and putting people first you know i'm only here because i thought that in my in my community you know what why should I complain in my community without stepping up and putting my my full force all of my energy and making this community better and that's what I would encourage my residents to do if you want to complain that's a great thing but let's let's let's get in this fight together because we can only do it together we cannot do this alone i want to thank my family i have I have the most awesome family in the world can you can you guys stand unfortunately my mom and dad couldn't be here they uh they passed on before I was elected but I got my values and my uh all the things that I believe in from my father and my mother and they have passed it on down to me and they are passing on down to each one of my brothers and sisters I want to thank my brother derek he is my mop my most outstanding player in my campaign and throughout my life he has been there with me every step of the way i would not be here today if it wasn't for my brother derek i want to take I want to thank the mvp of my life my wife kathy where's she at cat cat is what I call her we have been married for 25 years and she has been the rock uh in in my guiding light throughout my my my uh the last 25 years and I truly want to thank her i want to thank my elder sister pam i truly love her my mother is all in her every time I look at her I see my mother i want to thank my sister sandra she is sandra when everything whenever you need to get something done whenever you need to on the third down if you got a third and long and you want to go and you want a first down i go to my sister saying i want to also thank my nephew jade uh for his tremendous help and support throughout my campaign this past time I also want to thank my niece jada jay jayla i also want to thank our newly elected mayor justin bieber you are truly an inspiration to all the youth across the city of cleveland the state of ohio and hopefully america is watching what you do for the next four years and we are one behind you 100 percent you know we all want the same thing here in this council we want to make this city better we want to serve people and we want this place to be a place where you can raise your family educate your kids and live happily ever after so in closing I just want to thank this residents of ward 2 for trusting me to sit in this seat for another four years thank you mr president

4:16 Permalink

Councilmember Anthony T. Hairston (Ward 10)

thank you brother casey for offering your microphone thank you uh councilman jones for allowing me to use your space but first and foremost thank you to our lord and savior jesus christ who allowed me to have another day of breath in my body to be here before you all today so thank you thank you to my family some of my family which are here today my wife is here not quite 23 years yet or 24 years I heard we're almost two years in so honey thank you for always putting up with my uh rants and raves and throwing you know my piece of paper on the table and and and hearing me uh talk about uh the issues that um that i'm passionate about so thank you thank you to my two boys who are here you know daddy has to come home late sometime and sometimes they wait up sometime they say no we'll see you in the morning but thank you to you both my mother couldn't be here with us today neither could my grandparents it was safer for them to be at home thank you to a couple of members from our warden community members who have stood by me from my time on county council when they met in cities cleveland to appoint me to represent the 10th district and then turned around and represent supported me to represent war 10. and so i asked for them for to stand up for them to be recognized and for those who are at home unfortunately we couldn't allow everyone here today so thank you all from the great ward of the northeast side ward 10 for supporting me yet again to represent our community thank you to our honorable congresswoman chantel brown for administering our oath of office this evening congratulations my brother president griffin i look forward to working with you these next four years along with our colleagues who have been here those who are new to this body we have a long road ahead a lot of issues to deal with I stood here four years ago in this room and talked about the issues that we know are in front of us crime poverty abandoned houses vacant lines but also talked about the issues that we may not know exist 2020 came and we were hit with something that we didn't know existed but together this community war 10 this body the outgoing administration we stood together and focused on the people of this great city that's why thank each and every one of you those who have had the time to serve with and those who are coming in that i look forward to working with this new group the 134th council as we continue to do what president griffith take care of the people because those are the individuals who sent us here tonight the individuals who are listening far and those who are listening in this room we are here to represent you we are here to take care of you there's many people that i can name when I get those phone calls who are simply just sick and tired of being sick and tired y'all know what they're saying right y'all know that saying right so mr president I am sick and tired of being sick and tired so again I look forward to working with you our new mayor mayor bev congratulations to you and your team as we put the people first that we focus on the issues that we hear about every single day so in closing to the new members strap up your boots get ready it's going to be a long bumpy ride and i look forward to serving with you and serving the people of cleveland in ward 10. thank you

3:57 Permalink

Councilmember Joseph T. Jones (Ward 1)

i thank god for having the opportunity for being here i give him all the praise all the honor and all the glory i realize each day that I get up could be my last day and so each day I live my life as if it is my last day because you never know if it will be but i'm very appreciative of all that he has given me all the challenges that i've had to face in my life and all the times when the darkness was there god always channeled the light in but I rise to give thanks for having a family and being in good health and being able to make it in a new year to all the clergy to congresswoman chantal brown to mayor bill to the president of cleveland city council and to my family I just want to take this opportunity to say to my wife thank you for being a good wife thank you for being with me on those tough roads and hard times thank you for allowing me to have the opportunity to spend my time in the public and countless hours meetings upon meetings when I have meetings down here I have music meetings in the neighborhood i just want to thank you for being a great mother to our children joseph jones and margaret jones i want to thank my little sister renee jones for being my best sister for always being there for me always being committed and dedicated and always being on time whenever i needed you i want my family to stand up and before i ask you to stand up I want to also thank another gentleman who's here sivir b richards when I was a young man he introduced me into the 21st congressional district caucus congressman louis stokes and from there I honed in my leadership skills and began to be engaged and involved with the politics of the city of cleveland would you all stand up please thank you to the citizens and to my community of the city of cleveland I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to have another chance to serve you as a council person i am committed and dedicated to digging deep in and working hard on the various issues the city of cleveland is at a epic moment in time and that epic moment is for the first time in the history of the city of cleveland to have the first african-american mayor of the city of cleveland and an african-american president served at the same time if we're going to be serious about changing the conditions of our city then we must be serious about improving the conditions of education education is the most significant thing that we have and if we are able to bring our grades from the f state and status has been for so long to a b then we'll be able to track more people to move into the city of cleveland and retain our existing populations it should be about this council this mayor to be able to bring more population back into the city of cleveland and in order to do that we must as my colleague casey talked about improve our safety and security in our communities if our communities are not safe and secure we won't have people wanting to move into the city of cleveland so we must make safety and education a major priority economic equity is significant and important we can't just build up one side of the city of cleveland and for years leave another side of the city of cleveland desolate and bad new opportunities vacant structures abandoned sites and conditions that are deplorable and in third world conditions in our city if we're going to be serious about improving those conditions the challenge is is all of us all of the counselor who is assembled here our mayor and our council president to work together as one any politics should be put to the side our people don't have the luxury to wait for political fights over this of that or the other but we must work like a hand and a glove in order to make this city a great city a city where our citizens and all of the nations and communities and cities around will say that this is the greatest location in the nation it used to bear that name with our city ranked number six in the nation we can do that again but we won't be able to do it if we've already started to draw the political lines of indifference the political lines of the young and the old but it's going to take all of us working together every facet of it i'm committed mayor to working with you in partnership to make that happen in this city i'm committed to you congresswoman to make that happen in our district and i'm committed to you mr president to make that happen in our city i'm honored to have the opportunity thank you and i'm humbled

5:55 Permalink

Councilmember Jasmin Santana (Ward 14)

good evening I promise you I always have problems with my mic for the four years that i've been here um anyhow good evening uh president congratulations president griffin you look very good up there that chair fits you well so um to everyone happy new year i'm not sure what's the standard or when you stop saying happy new years but we are on january 3rd so happy new years to everyone here it is a great honor and appreciation that I stand here at the 134th cleveland city council swearing ceremony I would like to first say thank you to the ward 14 constituents for reelecting me as your councilwoman it seems like it was only yesterday where I was being sworn in so I could just i'd feel new members take it all in congratulations there is a lot of work to do and i'm looking forward to working with the newer members so I also remember just being you know the first latina ever elect in the city council the fastest growing population and so it is really an a commitment that i don't take lightly and i'm fully committed today as I was four years ago as I look back at everything that we've accomplished together because I couldn't do this without my council colleagues i realized that ward 14 is in such a better place than it was before and you know just in four years the you know the neighborhood has shown significant signs of new life ranging from development development of over 50 affordable housing so that families could stay in the ward ward 14 is experiencing a lot of gentrification and displacement and having these affordable houses available keeps residents and family in the ward we also have you know together council office also with nonprofits we work to tackle illegal dumping illegal dumping is a huge issue that is affecting our youth mental health so we've done numerous beautification projects and cleanup projects and I look forward to working with you by the way congratulations mayor bev just on tackling the issue of the legal dumping that is affecting our children um I also am proud that i establish a woman's empowerment program you know I believe in investing in people right you invest in people you develop people and they in turn will develop their own communities so we developed a woman's empowerment program called seeds which stands for support empower engaged development and sustain it's a nine-month curriculum that helps women become a better version of themselves you know I always say a healthy woman equals a healthier community so throughout the last four years there was a lot of conversations about the ward I represent lacking green spaces our community was named as one of the most in need of green space this led me to support multi-million dollar public investment in the ward and um right now myers pool and mercedes-cottner which I share with councilman mooney is being renovated now we need these green spaces is important for people's well-being community engagement this is something i pride myself on it is important that our residents understand how government function and that they have the resources available to them most recently i'm very proud and i couldn't do this without my colleague support we just passed the legislation providing free feminine hygiene products in public spaces this is critical for women and young girls because they should not have to stress about not having money for medically necessary products and so it is my hope that other organizations adopt this and they also model this and have these products available in their restrooms and once again thanks to my colleagues for supporting that the pandemic I don't think any of my colleagues were ready to lead through a pandemic but we all rose to the occasion and you know we put all of our challenges that we grew up in and and to play and so we were able to deliver food to families to seniors low income the digital divide 48 percent of my family's work did not have internet nor did they have a computer and so we knocked on doors made sure that they um applied for internet so that their kids could um get online and and attend school and so and and lastly you know one of the things that we experience through the pandemic is lack of spanish covid tracers and with the fastest growing population that is something that we really need to address in the city of cleveland I am committed to improving language access i want to see arabs and asian and latinos access city services in the city and i want them to benefit from public comments and so i am committed for the next four years to improve that process within the city and we always talk about equity but you know equity is through being able to put bids into the city's you know projects and pull out permits and even apply for jobs but I will tell you that our city does not our city hall does not represent the diversity within the city of cleveland so I am looking forward to working on this um so now i would like to thank all those who helped me with this journey I want to thank my family for their continued support who are watching online you are my rock and I just i'm so grateful for you for your love and your encouragement war 14 residents thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in the ward and serving you I want to thank god you know everyone mentioned god here and you know I never thought that I would be in this position and it's a calling that we all have and i would just say for my newer members if you struggle with what I struggled with when I was elected I didn't know where to start after I was elected and i remember um I don't know if you remember this president but I went into your office and you probably saw it in my face that I was like what do I do now and you're like jasmine find your niche and I went home that day and as I was in my room just kind of pondering on that you know what is your journey and it's my journey and my challenges that I grew up with and that i faced the domestic violence the displacement the crime in the area everything that families are facing now that equip me to be a better public servant today and serve others so I am so thankful for god for allowing me to go through the fire first so that i could and then turn and use it to help others so I also want to thank my colleagues who at some point you may not know this but in four years you have shared some knowledge that has helped me grow and become a better leader my son here he's here he surprised me i had no idea he was going to be here but my two kids jeremy and josslyn thank you for your patience I know um i'm not always present to their activities and I work a lot but I want them to know that I work hard because I want their generation to have better opportunities than we were able to have so thank you for your patience I love you jeremy I see you one day in the future part of this chamber got to prepare you so um and then once again you know um so i'm gonna take also you know the opportunity that president um griffin you have gave me to be part of leadership and councilman mccormick I look forward to working with you to elevate the city of cleveland and really address quality of life for all residents lastly once again congratulations mayor bib um and president and congresswoman chantal is she okay she's gone okay that's fine I look forward to working with you for the next four years thank you

8:05 Permalink

Councilmember Charles J. Slife (Ward 17)

thank you mr president and uh congratulations to my 16 colleagues and also to mayor bib and his administration um I i am eager to work together over the next four years to to move our city forward i want to of course say thank you to the residents of ward 17. it is a honor and privilege to represent all 25 000 plus of you in this body uh we are very fortunate to live in a strong community with a strong sense of itself that is diversif diverse in every possible way racially income diversity of thought and and really i believe that the neighborhood we live in is is a shining point in our city and really a demonstration that all the work we do across the entirety of cleveland that cleveland can attract residents and have high quality neighborhoods but we have to do that in partnership with each other we can't have neighborhoods that are strong in neighborhoods that are weak we can't have neighborhoods that are strong at the expense of other places we are we have a shared destiny and I take that shared destiny very seriously um over the past number of years we've opened small businesses planned for parks done all of the strong quality of life work that we talk about but as so many of my colleagues have eloquently stated there's so much more important work to do i want to thank my family my brother frank is here he is in town from new mexico i want to thank my brother andy who is not here it's a point to frank and um also to my parents uh my dad joe uh his father actually worked for the city of cleveland up until 1958 when he passed away and I guess what would have been the predecessor to traffic engineering so just I like to think there's a sense of him as I stand here and while he unfortunately died when my father was an infant you know I have had the opportunity to grow up with my father and he is really a model for how to act how to be and and how to serve your your community and and how to uh be a loving husband and father my mother's not here tonight she is doing really the most important work which is trying to get my kids to bed uh i'm so tired um just i'm blessed to have two children a three-year-old henry and a five-month-old alice to my colleagues if anyone's thinking of having a child like three years from now and what's going to be an election year uh come talk to me I can caution you against it it's been a very a very stressful year in this life household and and to that end really all the credit goes to my wife holly uh who really is the rock of our family uh just none of this could have happened without her love and support so thank you so much and really just a quick round of applause for all the council spouses I don't think I don't know if anybody i don't think if anybody I don't think people maybe they don't appreciate what we put them through and just they are they are heroes unsung heroes in our city um you know it mr president it's I as I was thinking about what to talk about all the things i talked about on the campaign trail all the goals whether policy or services or what have you I just it's it's been a tough 72 hours for me i've spoken with you a number of times i've spoken with the mayor a number of times and and members of the mayor's administration about what you referred to in councilman casey as well about the homicide of officer shane bartek on rocky river drive on friday night which would should have been a celebratory evening for him new year's eve what should have been a moment of safety and security being off duty you know any homicide any violent killing is is tragic and and unfortunately we live in a country right now where it's on the rise and uh i worry that we become numb to it and just as i've reflected over the past 72 hours just how frightening it is for a resident this this was such a senseless crime a such a random crime this is someone just going about their life and finding themselves in the situation it really is the the scenario that we worry about that residents call us about and just over the past 72 hours it's just you know been so poignant for me and then for for the victim to be an off-duty police officer as councilman casey said our police officers are put through so much i've advocated for resources for more competitive pay to make sure that we recognize what they go through to protect our neighborhood and what should have been a moment where an off an officer doesn't have to think about what the day-to-day burden is when he or she you know reports to duty and takes on that task uh you know circumstances changed and and this man was you know forced to encounter this situation it's a tragedy that it happened and i today went back on youtube and found a swearing-in of a previous cleveland police cadet class and the oath that they take colleagues is shockingly some 95 percent similar to the oath that we just took administered by the congresswoman we are all public servants we do it in different ways but i think that it's important uh that we we recognize uh the life of officer bartek and that we you know what I am doing and what I ask that we all do is is that we continue that fight we recognize that for things like this to not happen to improve the quality of life to do all of the things that so many of you have stated it's hard work and the time is now to come together and to continue to fight for that alongside new members with the knowledge of the older members in partnership with the new administration and and council president you so you so rightfully pointed out all the different things that we have to do i guess the two that I would add to it are asking some questions of our judicial system it seems that people the the hard work of our officers is wasted if we are not prosecuting people and ensuring community safety and it seems that there's a recurring issue where people who have strings of violent crimes end up back on the streets and it's hard to explain to residents it's hard to explain back to the police officers that call me why that's the case and then I would also add advocating to other levels of government other institutions I spoke at the ohio kiwanis convention uh ohio convention a couple of months ago i was involved with the high school affiliate and we had to do a pledge much like we do the pledge of allegiance and part of it said to you know serve your community to serve god but also to combat forces that undermine all those institutions and there is so much that we can do as a body as a municipal government but there are so many barriers that we face above us and especially looking at you state of ohio as we try to work to make our community stronger safer we are undercut by leaders elsewhere and in order for us to prevent that from happening it's key that we partner with people like congresswoman brown with our other representatives to make sure that we're advocating in unity to make sure that our hard work is not cut off at the knees so I take all of this work seriously i know that this is a celebratory evening but as I said it's been a somber couple days for me but i'm eager to do the work i want to do the work I want to work with all 16 of my colleagues in partnership with all of our residents alongside the mayor and his new administration and I just want to close by once again offering my condolences to the family of officer shane bartick and also to the men and women of the division of police thank you

7:53 Permalink

Councilmember Brian Mooney (Ward 11)

okay thank you everybody at first i want to thank most of all the residents of ward 11 who gave me a chance as their public servant to serve them for the next four years and I am grateful for that um i'm sorry i'm going to miss some of our colleagues that left but yet i'm excited with some of the new blood that's coming in i'm both on council and the mayor uh it's an opportunity um i'm excited to have our council president but I got to tell you blaine you put jasmine up there and she looks better than you oh doesn't she look better up there now you spoke really good but just looks alone up here that chair fits her so when there's a coup i'm the first one on board but but um you know but blaine I mean you you you've been really good I mean the past few past few years i've only been on two years uh he was always open communication i've taken a lot of guidance from him I mean and speaking boy I can't compare to what he said I mean his speech was fantastic you know he really covered everything here tonight um and it was heartfelt and he was eloquent um so you know I i'm looking forward you know to different leadership styles and different leadership styles are different and appropriate for different times I think you know what i'm looking for for blaine is is that he can combine and mesh two types of styles and and that is you know having a collaboration with the mayor but also being an advocate and and I hope he's more like george forbes uh you know somebody who's an advocate for the residents and advocate for council so that we are truly an equal partner in this and that means collaborating but maybe at times having some dissension in him backing us up in the residence because everybody that ran for public office this year and everybody that's serving we're all good people it's just whatever your philosophy is nobody runs for public office to cause havoc or to cause harm we just have disagreements about philosophies or which ideas are more important so everybody here of course is always going to try to do the right thing but we may have different ideas of what the best way to get there that will evolve so i'm looking forward to that uh you know I heard michael plancik say that he has an open door policy but he's been here 40 years you can't get in his office he has too much junk from 40 years so that's not really accurate it's open but you can't get in um you know i'm looking forward uh this is exciting with the new people the new mayor I mean because part of the frustration is you know when you talk to residents you know a lot of what you hear you know cleveland is a tough city we do the best we can with what we have financially and you know um i guess the underneath frank jackson his biggest credit was he was fiscally sound and fiscally responsible unlike other cities like chicago and that or detroit cleveland is financially healthy you know and he may help maintain that and when i first came on um you know I looked at our our reading a fund and I know somebody said well why don't we spend this and this I got on a couple weeks before covet hit they did a couple weeks later and you know frank jackson I listened to him and he was a very smart intelligent man not like the type of guy the radio tries to portray him on you know some of them but you know he said listen you never know what can come it's better to sit on this money and wait till the end of the year and boy was he prophetic because coveted a few weeks later and i'm glad I hated that advice so um but you know we do have some some extra money off arpa and i'm hoping because you know council people know we get blamed for everything and you know we're the legislative branch we're not the executive branch so we can't really direct you know the mayor's appointees and employees to do things but we can ask them we can communicate with them but there's you know some services we just don't have any money for and I hope that changes in the budget you know like for instance just little things like brick streets I mean for years there hasn't been one dollar appropriated to repairing our brick streets you know just other little things the rhodes program I know in our ward my word gets about 400 000 dollars a year for road program yet cities my size of the award of all of our awards spend the three to four million and so if that keeps happening over ten years you know we've got to appropriate more to the rhodes program you know I know a lot of my residents are frustrated with dead trees and I have to explain to them you know some of these land bank lots and stuff there's no money appropriate to take them down so even though you have a dangerous dead tree there's nothing that can be done so i hope that changes and hope we can appropriate money for these it's going to be a conflict of what because there's a lot of good ideas I mean there's a lot of type of council people a lot of people are more policy council people i'm more of a service councilman you know and there's a mix I pay attention to the policy but I spend my time on the services and trying to hook up residence with city services and maybe less time worrying about the way the world should be or of policies and there's a good mix in that and there's room for everybody but when i'm concerned about services I want to make to try to identify my residents the best way to get things done so you know I am hopeful for our future um i'm looking forward to working with all of you and with the mayor and we did go to the same college american university so as well as jessica trevosano so there's at least three of us there and i'm looking forward to everybody uh and everybody so um let's get our best foot forward and thank you

5:46 Permalink

Councilmember Jenny Spencer (Ward 15)

i would like to start by recognizing my husband mario martinez who was over in the corner and thank you for being here mario i met mario in 2005 when I moved to his small town in paraguay south america and mario moved here in 2008 to cleveland and mario I know that you have made cleveland your home and you have grown to love it as much as i do and I would like to thank you so much for joining me on this journey thank you for being here tonight my mom flo and my brother andrew and his family who are ward 6 residents could not be here tonight but I want to thank them so much for their support and to my wonderful amazing extended family as well you know it was it was such an honor about a year ago to uh to stand up actually it was virtually that I was sworn in as an appointed member of council so we were in coveted times and were still in covet times but that moment was such an honor to be sworn in as an appointed member of council but looking around at this group tonight at you all and realizing that each of you has decided to stand up you stood up you decided to run for office you ran a campaign you got elected what I see in in each of us is a fierce determination and just a deep desire to serve our communities and it is really such an inspiration to be with each of you now that i'm on the other side of my first election i'm really getting that and I really want to let you know you were all an inspiration to me your desire to lead in all the work that brought all of us here so getting sworn in tonight as an elected member of council is is truly an honor and it's extra special i I want to shout out ward 15. ward it is such an incredible honor to serve my community it is one of the most diverse communities in the city of cleveland and we are home to some of the world's very best activists so we have some important policy decisions we have important work to do in our communities as councilman mooney spoke to we have some important policy decisions coming up about for example whether we're going to reform cleveland's tax abatement policy or how we will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in american rescue plan act funds and I know that ward 15 residents expect the best out of me and out of all of us i can't wait to get started in the work of serving not only ward 15 but all of cleveland all of our neighborhoods alongside all of you i would like to join others in congratulating our our new mayor justin bibb and our newly elected council president blaine griffin and I really want to echo what councilman joe jones said earlier we're making some history tonight with a black council president and a black mayor of the city of cleveland and i could not be more excited about our future and there is much to celebrate thank you

3:32 Permalink

Councilmember Deborah A. Gray (Ward 4)

first I want to uh have a verse I want to speak on that i learned over 35 years ago when I changed my thinking to change my lifestyle psalms 27 verse 1 the lord is my life and my salvation whom shall I fear the lord is the strength of my life whom shall be afraid and from this day forth when i've ran a campaign for 10 months along with my foot soldiers who's out in the audience which is robert crickey kenya gray janae hamrick there are my foot soldiers that helped me along with other foot soldiers who have who couldn't be here tonight because we were limited you know for them to come that journey brought me here today to be the first councilwoman in over 40 some years for ward 4. thank you so I am humbled and blessed to stand here with 16 other councils that I have met over the years who who have given me support to understand what we need to do in ward 4 along with our elected president blane griffin and my colleague council 46 our mayor of mayor of justin bill who I met at the rta board meeting per se and that's how we uh engage and build our relationship so he understands me okay we worked in the community together with rta so uh so I am a community activist so on this journey what I have learned in the 10 months of my campaign i listened and I heard what the residents award for had to say and that was the most important mission that I learned from them they want to understand they want to understand for me what I am going to do for them and with them and through this journey we are going to work and decide on what ward 4 needs okay so of course I am the leader that they voted me in to guide them but they have taught me to understand the needs of ward 4 because we haven't had the need of ward 4. so in this mission we have an agenda is to create a to create a community resident board meeting for them to have a say to discuss to understand how we need to work together what our priorities and how we're going to strategize a plan to bring ward 4 together not a division of ward 4 a plan for the entire war for it yes I stepped into ward 4 with a challenge coming into the door but we're going to manage that we're going to manage that okay and we know we have to so there's no question to that so i understand my position on that challenge but moving forward we're also going to have princy dedicated princessy members that we already then engage to build a relationship to have a meeting with them to understand their position to help me to help me to build their neighborhoods their precinct by princing by streets so we can work together and bond together to understand how we can work with our president council and our mayor to bring ward forward together and then thirdly thirdly we're going to have a ward club meeting starting if not this month because I got a whole lot of retreat going on with president council right now so I don't know how much energy i'm gonna have for that we're gonna start our war club meeting probably if not this month next month so you know so we can discuss what we need to start strategizing and building for ward 4. so I want to let you guys understand in my journey i walked and walked and walked the entire ward forward nobody was left behind I met everybody from shaker to woodland to my pleasant to cleveland buckeye i went around the entire wood floor met people I had never met but I listened and I heard them and I walked with them I knocked any doors and I followed up and as i finished my walk from november 2nd and won this election and i'm still so humble and blessed i am but I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to work with council to work with council and my people in ward 4 and I send my people because i'm their neighbor i'm a homeowner and i'm a resident and we all that's one now and that's how they made me feel but as I walked and I finished my campaign and I rested and after I arrested I started having this trump you know this uh sensation in my thigh and I couldn't understand where it came from so I waited like a couple weeks and I waited and waited and it and it kept bothering me so I finally went to my doctor my eternal doctor and i told her about it so she said so she checked it out she looked at it she said miss gray you put a nerve muscle and I was like nerve muscle she said what have you done in the last couple weeks I said for the last 10 months this is what I have done so she said that's where the nerve muscle came from that's how much walking and walk that you've done and you deserve that because you're now the councilwoman of the award so I just want to say we still have a lot of work to do and i'm here as long as god gave me the breath to wake up every morning said thank you god that we're here to stand to do that work but I also want to thank a w monet scott who's here who have represented me if I was able to say that okay or not okay but she's my friend unfortunately my friend okay and then also mother turner she's here too as well uh these are people that I met along the way I want to thank council former council anita gartner who's been my friend since 2009 who worked together for years as well I want to thank former council delores gray my identical twin sister who supported me from day of birth from dale bird okay I want to thank my son kenya gray who ran for council back into 25 years ago so so he gave me the courage he encouraged me for two months before i decided to run to run my daughter-in-law charisse brown and also my granddaughter stand up this is my granddaughter this is granddaughter set up a branch stand up branch she now goes to georgetown law school in washington d.c and she is the branch for the entire family to stand in the footsteps because her mission is to be one of the supreme court justices in the uh uh in columbus and then to be the first president of the united states black woman united states so I just want to thank everybody for uh for your support and for me being the councilwoman award for and we got a lot of work to do thank you

8:21 Permalink

Councilmember Kris Harsh (Ward 13)

well thank you all very much um I was raised and then by a single father and they're both here tonight so thank you both for getting me to 18 in one piece um when I was 18 I told my dad I wanted to go to college to study philosophy and he said and I quote uh what in the hell are you going to do with a philosophy degree well uh aristotle or one of those greeks I don't know i didn't actually graduate um he said that all philosophy ends in politics and here we are that's right um so i'm honored to be uh on this body with with 16 of the greatest philosophers in cleveland um I also want to thank my wife excuse me I uh I wouldn't be here without you honey so thank you um i also want to thank the people of ward 13 which camera are we in which people of ward 13 i met thousands of you this summer and i gave you all my phone number and you've been letting me know and I thank you for voting for me and i'm never giving this number to another human being on earth this is between you and me okay if you need something let me know i will be here for you council president griffin mayor bib it's an honor I look forward to working with you in our hard days ahead there will be some but i'm here for it thank you

1:25 Permalink

Councilmember Stephanie D. Howse (Ward 7)

followed by rebecca maurer um but first and foremost I i just have to thank god because god show out y'all i gotta just tell y'all a story i'm gonna tell y'all a little story so um it was 25 years ago I was a freshman at florida a m university shout out to our hbcus i was in a freshman orientation class and national society of black engineers and they asked us to to write down your goals right and one of those goals was to be a cleveland city council person now if anybody knows this story a lot of people know me oh yeah she's a state rep but a lot of people don't realize that this was my fourth time running for cleveland city council I ran in 2005 2008 2013 and 2021 and so just looking at that one of the things i i know is that sometimes a loss just means not right now right see if I didn't lose back in 2008 after I got appointed then I would not have the experience in the breath that I have to truly understand policy and the ohio general assembly is going to cause us some havoc so I think I hope all of us are prepared to do what is necessary to be the voice for the people in the city of cleveland to get what we truly deserve because I can tell you based on what we we get we're not getting our fair share and we're going to have to fight like heck mr mayor to get our fair share council president we are going to fight like help because when you look at the productivity of the city of cleveland we are giving columbus plenty of dollars but it's not coming back and we're going to have to do everything in our power to get our money back so that we can invest in our people um it is i I have to I have to thank the people of ward 7. um thank you for your prayers thank you for voting for me um thank you for loving on me like i'm just i'm just so happy like i'm really about to live in my dream and i'm thankful um oh I gotta thank my mama what's up annie l king thank you to my mama um she you know she stays safe and cold and all that type of stuff um I want to thank in politics you need a faithful five and i'm one of those individuals who i i don't make decisions right away i'm always johnny come lately but when i make a decision i'm like we gonna do this and so like it was like three weeks before the filing deadline and I was like we gonna do this you know because it's hard you know what i'm saying when you you hear third time's a charm and going to put yourself out there it's just like i don't want to go through that again you know what i'm saying you just don't want to be rejected like that but I am grateful to my uh mary uh clark billy juanita aka kimae and alana uh for being my faithful five initially and then there were so many more people along the way and there's too many people for me to to shout out um i okay and then I lastly have to thank my fiance hey I got a ring y'all you know one of the things a lot of people think that i'm mean and I promise y'all i'm like one of the funnest people that you will know but I fight hard for people because again it is not a laughing matter when we see the issues that are going on in our streets it is not a laughing matter when we talking about crime and infant mortality and people not being able to make ends meet i don't think that's funny and i'm going to go hard every single time when I feel like there are policies in place that are not helping our people right but when of all that I have a man who loves me who has seen I mean oh my goodness shout out to the joneses for birthing robert jones because he has taken care of stephanie and he's going to help y'all if y'all need something it's going to be because of him that he's going to calm me down because he does that a lot um what we think about policies um hey the number one thing that I think that this body needs to look at is covet 19. we are in a global global pandemic and the statistics are telling us that clevelanders are not being vaccinated because they do not have the information that they need that is on our shoulders we are going to have to roll up our sleeves go out and talk to clevelanders about why it is important for them to be vaccinated right now parents are suffering because our schools our school district has to be in virtual learning because again we have a covet spread that is intolerable and we have to show leadership even when it's hard so that we can move our community forward when we talk about crime a lot of times people want to talk about like you know people doing bad things and why do they do what they do the one thing I will say that we dig a little bit deeper and ask what happened to you what happened to you many times we don't ask the question what happened to people people don't wake up with their backs against the wall doing crazy things we got to invest in the things that people don't get in those desperate situations to begin with we're living with that reality a couple of policy ideas because I told the council president I got 17 of them i ain't gonna do all 17 but it's a couple that I want to put out today first and foremost I want us to think about universal basic employment it's about investing in people so that they are not the working poor which is an oxymoron i also want us to think about putting some pressure on our financial institutions it is heartbreaking when i go and I was canvassing and I had a conversation with a single mother who is an educator in this city who could not afford to get a loan to fix up our house so a problem that was five thousand dollars is twenty five thousand dollars and financial institutions are not invested in our people but our people pay a thousand dollars in rent if you are able to pay a thousand dollars in your dog on short able to get a rule get a loan to be able to fix up your house so her porch ain't falling apart and her babies don't fall in love people deserve that finally I will always say it's the quadruple we talk about since the city of cleveland being the most worst place for black women there is a three-legged stool called equal pay for equal work paid family leave it and child care assistance that the city of cleveland needs to work on to ensure that women can thrive in this city I thank you all while I while I may be new elected to this body trust and believe I have studied policy and I am ready to work to actually set the rules so that cleveland clevelanders will be set up for success i thank you all I look forward to working with y'all and let's have a little fun and yes I wanted stress because I know he was like somebody was like I look like i'm going out yes because this is my new year's eve i could not celebrate new year's eve and i always believe that you can do the hard work but look fabulous doing it thank you all god bless and let's get to work

7:00 Permalink

Councilmember Rebecca Maurer (Ward 12)

thank you I knew when I saw the alphabet i knew it was going to be tough following rep house but oh my gosh good evening it is truly the honor of my lifetime to represent the city of cleveland and the residents of ward 4 residents of ward 4 oh my gosh look at me i'm talking more over there this is what you get when you hand write your speech you know at the residence of ward 12. from slavic village to old brooklyn from brooklyn center to tremont I am truly excited to represent every single person in ward 12. getting here to this exact moment to a swearing-in on cleveland city council involved the support of so many from my family to neighbors new friends old allies storied organizations grassroots activists and strong unions who supported our vision for a more transparent more accessible city hall truly to each and every one of you thank you and yet as proud as I am to have gotten to this moment i also know that we are faced we are in the middle of a dark winter coveted cases are higher than they've ever been fishers in an already unequal economy are only widening ems workers and hospital workers pushed past their breaking point schools and businesses on edge at a time when we continue to struggle to meet basic needs around safety health and housing and yet even as we stare into that dark winter we are equipped with better tools than we have had in many years new energy and new ideas at city hall hundreds of millions of dollars in federal relief money even our renewed connection between residents and city hall they say that dark winters are followed by bright springs but that implies the inevitability that comes with the changing of the seasons i do believe there's a bright spring but it is a path that we must fight for a path that we must choose every day i know something about paths like that because the path to get here to this swearing-in was a path I fought for a path that I chose i think back to when I was 19 and a worker at an attendance rights hotline taught me how to write my very first demand letter and help me get the heat turned on in my apartment building setting me on the path to going to law school i think to my time at legal aid representing moms whose children had been poisoned by lead realizing that the city had not done everything it could to protect our children and I think back to moments in this room when i've been in the back of this incredible hall fighting as a resident for a cold weather plan for our neighbors experiencing homelessness fighting for the right to public comment those moments made me choose the path to take me from the back of this room to the front and now from the front of the room i'm thinking about the work ahead and I keep coming back over and over again to the story of linda ann eastman linda ann eastman was the first woman to run a major library system anywhere in the country and she ran it right here in cleveland i also call her a ward 12 resident because she's now buried in riverside cemetery in ward 12's brooklyn center neighborhood but perhaps most importantly for tonight linda ann eastman was at the library during one of the most contentious fights of the 1890s whether or not to let patrons browse the books at the cleveland public library see up until then books were kept behind high counters and you had to fill out a slip of paper to get the book that you requested many librarians found the idea of so-called open shelves horrifying convinced it would lead to anarchy and theft but linda ann eastman and the rest of the library's leadership believed otherwise they believed that if you trusted the patrons with the books the patrons would trust the library more and that that mutual respect would help everybody in the end cleveland became the first library system in the country to implement open shelving and linda ann eastman became the first editor of a library bulletin called the open shelf sold for a penny a piece to clevelanders the experiment was a huge success today you or I could not imagine going on a trip to the library without a chance to browse the shelves to us it feels like it should always have been done that way and this story has been on my mind because it is exactly the challenge we face at this moment on cleveland city council we need to dig into the work that builds the trust between residents and local government that builds the mutual respect that comes from recognizing empowering and prioritizing our communities i truly believe that by working with my fellow members of council and the incoming administration we can change the face of cleveland so that clevelanders a hundred years from now will look back and think of course it should always have been done this way but the path to get there is a path made of choices choices that will be before this body they'll be before this body in the next 100 days when we have an immediate chance to pass renter and worker protections they will be before us in the next four years as we fight to make city services more accessible and more reliable and they'll be before us in the next 10 20 30 years as we fight to tackle generational challenges like lead poisoning and persistent racial inequality there is a path forward for cleveland but it's one we must choose and we will only succeed at this work if we do it together thank you

5:54 Permalink

Councilmember Richard A. Starr (Ward 5)

because the president i'm promised i'm gonna be good tonight I promise um how y'all doing um first and first i would like to thank my lord and servant of jesus christ for blessing me with the opportunity to be here tonight i want to thank mr justin bibb for becoming our new mayor thank you council president blane griffin for serving as our council president now um and on behalf of my colleague i wanted to make sure I thank county councilwoman meredith turner for coming here today i would like to introduce everyone to my mother mommy stand up all right all right mommy you have sacrificed so much for your kids people counted you out when you became pregnant with your second oldest baby which is me i know you had other dreams things you wanted to do but you had to take care of all six of your kids as a single parent my fire and my fight come from you [Applause] you've always taught me that disrespect will never be tolerated thank you mommy for being my role model and being the best mommy in the world my father richard star is here today can you stand [Applause] my father spent most of his life of my life in jail but people often forget that you should never judge a book by its cover my father has been on his own since he was a teenager when his mother died due to that he got into the streets and tried to do whatever he could to provide for his family my passion drive sense of humor and work ethic are things that i inherited from you father [Applause] i am so glad that you are home and I want you to know that I am proud of you old man to my siblings and family which consists of a slate of aunts uncles cousins i know that I have been steady on the go year after year still I want you all to know that i'm just following god's plan and I ask you to have patience because everything starts with faith and good work ethic which are my tools for success i have to say this war five we did it but now it's time to get back to work for the residents in cleveland who do not believe in democracy i urge you to stay engaged continue educating yourself and your community on politics and make sure you hold all elected officials accountable for our actions for cleveland to grow our democracy we must listen and pay attention to our residents we must ensure that our residents are a part of their communities by engaging them just like we do when it's time for our election i want you all to know that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity at rise time we need everyone in our city to start voting because change began at home not in washington d.c i want to thank you everyone who has helped make this day a reality to my campaign team i know he had to deal with the lies the hate mail and the false allegations at times but friends of richard a star they never lost faith once again I thank my entire campaign team and so many different volunteers donors that it will be here all night i ain't trying to do like um councilman kevin bishop did in 2018 i'm gonna be good uh thank you to my support team such as mike hardaway latia taylor bridget donna butler melvin burke howard little frederica walter cassandra and uncle charles taylor you have been with me when times were rough and will be with me when times are when things are great to my boys and girls club family i want to thank you for helping raise me i was eight years old even in big board rooms the advice and lessons taught in after school programs are used today thank you boys and girls club for all your hard work thank you ron soder shelley johnson chris west sandra del valle and others for me believing in me when others doubted me because I was a kid from the projects to the youth that called me mr rich honk hops i want you all to know that we can do anything we wish to no matter where we come from we are judges politicians lawyers ceos athletes and in this city if you can make it here you can make it anywhere today is a start of a new journey in which I must introduce myself to my new colleagues i was born and raised in ken kennedy projects being raised in the projects was a community within our city where only the strong survive growing up in the projects all you ever had was each other so friends eventually became family because of the same struggles that we have i attended george washington carver elementary school central middle school graduated from east technical high school and after high school for the past 13 and a half years i've been working in our community giving back and servicing like a true leader should i have dedicated my life to putting our youth on a positive path and clearing them from criminal activity and violence having been a beacon to youth and their families by helping provide food school tuition assistance and even grief support to the families who have lost loved ones due to gun violence today I am proud to say that I have received my bachelor's and master's degree from baltimore's university as someone who grew up in a central neighborhood I understand that most problems stem from poverty and lack of education until we address poverty and education with real solution [Music] crime and violence will continue to destroy destroy our neighborhoods and act as an assembly line you know you know conway to the prison system or cemeteries as councilman for ward 5. I understand the trauma we face deadly from bearing loved ones due to law gun violence i know that that medium income of twelve thousand five hundred seventy five dollars in ward five is not enough i understand that we need to help homeowners of all ages fix maintain and repair their homes i am committed to finding solutions that put the interest of residents first and in closing i ask my colleagues to remember we have so many things that we need to address together as a council such as leg crisis gun violence inadequate housing infant mortality unemployment lack of opportunities mental illness vacant and abandoned homes and a poor education system thank you all i look forward to working with you and i leave you with a quote from the goat jay-z himself i'm not afraid of dying i'm afraid of not trying

8:56 Permalink