September 19, 2022

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Public Commenters (19 min)
Katrina Robinson  Beverly Owens  Matthew Ahn  David Leon Jackson  Christopher Litwinowicz  Rico Dancy 

Katrina Robinson

Griffin: Katrina Robinson from Ward 11. She's here to talk about mortgage retaliation, discrimination, wrongful foreclosure. Is Katrina Robinson available? Ms. Robinson you have the floor. Please acknowledge your time. Everyone has three minutes. You will have a warning light right there in the front. Robinson: Hello, My name is Katrina Robinson.

I'm a homeowner that went to a home first time home writer program through Cleveland Housing Network in 2002. I consider myself an African-American, Black woman who lost her home through illegal evictions that took place under Ward 11 on Lorain and 127th in Cleveland, Ohio.

Since 2010 my home ownership rights were violated by law that intacted and wiped out and destabilized the Negro and African-American, Black communities including the inheritance of my family and other family rights to inherit our property and our wealth.

I say this because I believe in the 14th Amendment that the state have failed me in depriving my rights of liberty, freedom and property with the fair due process.

I spent since 2018 to 2022 fighting and providing documents and showing up at every hearing and moratorium as people from outside of the states attacked me and took my property.

The lender who took my ownership of my home breached a mortgage contract by felony to help sort out the pandemic and mortgage crisis. Instead use the opportunity with outsider of third parties to collect debt that never existed after May 2010.

All my reports were filed in HUD counseling agencies, no non-profit would help me. No one would help me sort out the crisis and economic hardship that it caused me. I used the same lender that was connected to other third parties outside of the states, came in and were allowed to be able to take away even further rights.

I went through the Cleveland Housing. During the pandemic I went through the Cleveland Housing, Municipal Court that was improper procedure against my home ownership during the federal monitorium against automatic bankruptcy stay.

The federal court have now I wrote to them telling them my story and giving them the timeline, how long it took me how many helps I went to, how many city programs I went through, how many people, how many Legal Aide assistants I went through, and they accepted my case but I'm not strong enough to represent myself on the federal level. But they did accept my claim as far as me having a bankruptcy and that I shouldn't have never been in none of the courts. I filed all my claims in 2017 stating that I was a bankruptcy in May of 2000, stating that it was discharged, stating that I wasn't in debt.

I went through and some of the banks were Bank of America, Key Bank and Bank of America I realized now wasn't even had a fidiciary duty to even assist me while I went through a city program.

No one from my inner city would help me and other homeowners and such as my cousins and families who were single parent women, homes were taken from us and we were left without and some of them, and their families are homeless even to this case and even today I am homeless because of these issues. Griffin: Thank you so much. Thank you. And sympathize with you but thank you so much. Thank you

3:31 Permalink

Beverly Owens

Griffin: Now move to Beverly Owens and Beverly Owens is with Ward 5 and she wants to talk about the maintenance of vacant lots, high grass and cleanup. Is Beverly Owens available? Please acknowledge your time. Owens: Hello everyone. My name is Beverly Owens and I currently live in Ward 5.

Actually, I'm a recovering drug addict and a victim of domestic violence, where I spent a lot of my homeless days right there in King Kennedy right down the street, where I currently own my home.

This is new a development I've been there for the 16 years since it's been in existence, and I continue to call, email, text the city of Cleveland about the vacant lots, the high grass where it keeps the animals. We even have deer sometimes.

It's a safety issue and concern I've taken myself and one of my neighbors to go out there and clean the grass that has grown from the vacant lots over to the side lots, across the sidewalk where you are unable to walk down the sidewalk.

I was told you shouldn't do that but I take pride in where I live at, and I will wish and hope that individuals that are in the power to take pride in the homes in the neighborhood in which I reside.

Once again I just want to bring the attention to the City Council and anybody else that would listen if you're not going to cut the lots, if you're not going to keep them clean, then build homes. If you're not going to build homes, then I feel those lots should be maintained in a fashion that us as homeowners can get back the pride that we've had when we purchase those homes.

We're left there to defend on defend ourselves.

It's not important and the streets are becoming very raggedy, and everybody know what raggedy means.

It's a shame to walk down our street and to endure what homeowners have to endure not that it's right because the projects is on the other end.

But I speak for homeowners because we're often told we're not low income we don't need the help the help is not there for us.

So I just want to close this by saying have a little respect for us and in the neighborhoods that we live in because we do have respect for ourselves.

And that's what I want to say Griffin: Thank you Ms. Owens.

2:26 Permalink

Matthew Ahn

Griffin: Next we have Matthew and Matthew Ahn, Ward 3 to Talk about ShotSspotter Mr. Ahn. Ahn: Good evening.

All right my name is Matthew Ahn. You all probably know me by this point. I'm a law professor at CSU (Cleveland State University) and I am here to talk in my personal capacity about the potential use of $2.7 million dollars in ARPA funds on ShotSpotter.

Now fancy technology may seem like an efficient crime fighting tool but I've written articles about how technological algorithms don't typically remove bias, they just sugarcoat it and ShotSpotter ends up being the worst of both worlds.

It's sold as an algorithm but it's ultimately at the mercy of human decision making when Silvon Simmons was shot in the back three times by a Rochester police officer, ShotSpotter initially reported the three gunshots as a helicopter. Then Rochester PD asked them to go back, and they said three shots. Then Rochester PD asked them to go back again and they said four shots, which was consistent with police testimony that Silvon Simmons had shot first, which was later disproven in court.

This has happened multiple times in Chicago as well, including in the cases of Ernesto Godinez and Michael Williams.

Chicago PD both times received second reports with more gunshots fired, one of them an entire mile away from the first report.

In short, ShotSpotter's ability for and history of manipulation means it has no value as a tool. It's being used to fabricate evidence but not even good evidence.

Prosecutors have withdrawn ShotSpotter evidence time and again when it might get challenged in court as unconstitutional, including for Williams who spent one year in jail on later dismissed charges.

This is all without mentioning Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old child the Chicago Police Department killed in response to a ShotSpotter report - despite him having his hands up and, of course, empty.

If police are responding to unreliable ShotSpotter reports expecting to encounter dangerous individuals the next Adam Toledo or Silvon Simmons is just around the corner.

I'm not even gonna have time to talk about the privacy issues with setting up 2 000 microphones across the city that are always on and always listening.

There's more than just anecdotes, though. A massive study of all ShotSpotter jurisdictions published by Johns Hopkins and the University of Connecticut in 2021 concluded that ShotSpotter had no statistically significant impact on gun violence or on police response times.

And, indeed, in cities similar to Cleveland, the gun violence rate actually went up over the course of the 18-year trial period.

In addition, numerous studies have noted that police forces are often more overworked after ShotSpotter's implementation since ShotSpotter's false alarms still result in dispatch and investigation, and so for those who believe that the current force is understaffed and overstretched - Shot Spotter will make the job of recruitment and retention less desirable. Cleveland has spent about $30 million dollars in police violence settlements in the last decade, $3 million of that went to Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams whose car backfiring was mistaken as a gunshot.

Apparently, we want to try to create a zone in the entire city where this could happen, and so I urge the mayor's office and counsel to turn back from this harmful policy and I hope that if it comes up for a vote that you will understand the history and implementation of ShotSpotter and vote no. Thank you.

3:17 Permalink

David Leon Jackson

Griffin: Next we have David Leon Jackson, Ward 8, gun control. Please acknowledge your time sir. It seems to me it's a simple enough thing to do to create a law or rule or orders in your municipality that you would treat guns like you do automobiles. Automobiles need to be registrated. If you need a registration for automobiles, why not guns? Now you want to go into assault weapons, I think where you have to have a CDL to drive your bigger trucks so if you have, you're somebody who want to have a sub weapon maybe you can create a license for that and on top of it.

I think if you would give it the idea of some thought it would also generate revenue for your city even across the country. Thank you

Griffin: Thank you thank you sir and I usually don't respond but I will will have a further conversation with you about that. Council dis pass that law probably four years ago to register all guns and the state struck down the language but I would love to hear some more of your ideas around that.

1:24 Permalink

Christopher Litwinowicz

Griffin: The next person we have is Chris from Euclid and he's here to talk about water rates. Is Chris from Euclid here? Please acknowledge your time. When the light turns yellow that means that wrap up and then red means to end your comments. Thank you.

Good evening Cleveland City Council.

You ever notice that you can find an error in a law? So your law 535.04 is stating .6. Check online and it says .2.

Going through a pandemic, what was the first thing we were told to do? Wash our hands. We're not against Cleveland I come from.

A city where my rate is $8 higher on East 200th Street in Cleveland and East 193rd on Green Road is Cleveland... Euclid.

Now you could say the same thing for Shaker Heights/ Lee Road, they're close to different suburbs. I took this and sent everybody a copy the consumption, thats already flowing through the water, that'salready flowing through the streets. Try it. Give us 3.0 mcf's let these families take care of themselves.

Now when we talk about I understand that I come from a city that my politicians said we gonna serve it on to you the residents.

EPA filed a lawsuit against city of Euclid. The federal government needs to give us money, same thing happened here in Cleveland $2t billion dollars now it's $2.5 this infrastructure from Mrs. Harris our vice president, and our President Joe Biden along with Council gives us the opportunity our infrastructure to stop this, get ahead of the game.

I got one minute left.

I want to talk about the opportunity that this Cleveland Council has with a new administration and you're the legislative body. We could do petition work but we're asking your vote right now. This is a legacy to fix the problem and you got botched water billing systems from the Cleveland Plain Dealer that wrote.

If you look at pie graphs it shows an upward trend. All I could say is that we need and that's each individual that's 17 grown people to one of these days in the next two weeks to three weeks to four weeks come back to this chamber and sponsor it the entire city council along with Mayor Bibb. Thank you.

3:20 Permalink

Rico Dancy

Griffin: Please acknowledge that your time is to wrap up when it turns yellow and when it gets red that means that your comments are to abruptly end.

Welcome Mr. Dancy. Griffin: Please speak intothe microphone. Dancy: I'm a certified deaf interpreter. I'm an AC commissioner of the District of Columbia. In the District of Columbia, Washington DC is the only police place in the country who have a deaf or hard of hearing unit.

This month is Deaf Awareness Month.

I'm gonna be awarded [unclear] this Saturday. So when I look at our deaf community, disabled blind, you name it you name it,

Twenty-seven year ago, I been arrested because when officer forced me to interpret. Now I want y'all to understand the [unclear] law says you have to use a certified interpreter, not a friend not a mama, not a daddy, not an uncle, not a brother.

Have your officer somebody to come to DC we have a deaf andhard of hearing law enforcement unit. If we could do it in DC, I know damn hell we could do it here and all across this country.

And I'm tired of going to fight every year. In September, a deaf person died because an officer shoot them killed them because they are signing. Signing because the officer is not a career about deaf education. I went to one of the best deaf college in this country - Gallaudet University --to become a certified and deaf interpreter. If I become certified, the only black one, somebody to do something come to D.C see how we run our deaf unit. Come and see how we run there. Then, I'll have to come here and fight for my people.

I fight for my people every single day. Somebody do something. Thank you.

Griffin: Thank you Mr. Dancy.

2:36 Permalink