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Cleveland City Council Clerk Certifies Signatures for November 7 Ballot Initiative

Jul 19, 2023

Cleveland, OH (July 19, 2023) - Today, Cleveland City Council Clerk certified petitions to place a charter initiative for participatory budgeting on the November 7, 2023 ballot. 

Voters will decide whether to generate a $14 million annual budget deficit and reallocate the funding to future projects that would be decided upon by a to-be-determined and unelected group of people. 

The $14 million that would be reallocated could lead to massive layoffs and have a devastating impact on the city. Currently, a $14 million reallocation could cause any of the following:

  • Prevent hiring roughly 140 police officers at a time when our Division of Police is dramatically short-staffed. 
  • Eliminate the entire Department of Public Health
  • Eliminate all staff from the Division of Recreation ($10,537,247), the entire Department of Aging ($1,868,592), and $2M for salting winter streets
  • Eliminate roughly half of the EMS staff
  • Lose 13% of the Division of Fire staff 
  • Nearly eliminate the entire Division of Waste Collection staff
  • Eliminate the entire Department of Building and Housing - leading to no inspections, Code Enforcement, or permitting

The $14 million requested for participatory budgeting is more than the City currently pays for many critical services, including Aging, Public Health, and the Building & Housing Department. Additionally, the proposed amount is greater than the $12 million currently allocated for repaving and repairing streets in the entire city. 

Council President Blaine A. Griffin stated, “Council welcomes the opportunity for residents to offer constructive feedback to building a better Cleveland. However, I believe the proposal presented will have devastating impacts on public safety and services in our city. Council will work tirelessly in the coming months to communicate how this initiative, if approved, will negatively impact Clevelanders.”

Cleveland voters will determine the fate of the initiative on the November 7, 2023 ballot. Council will share more information on the ballot initiative, and its impact on Clevelanders in the coming weeks and months.