Jan 11, 2022

Council members approved its new rules for the start of the new term Monday, Jan. 3rd, making some significant changes to the Committees of Council. And today (Jan. 4th), Council President Blaine A. Griffin has announced the committee assignments for the new year.

The Committee on Finance, where nearly every piece of legislation goes through before it goes to a full vote of council, was expanded to be the Committee on Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Council had in June of 2020 declared Racism a Public Health Crisis and expanding the scope of the Finance Committee ensures that every bill will be examined through the lens of how it impacts the community at large.

“Legislation that comes through Finance will be examined through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Council President Blaine A. Griffin. The council president is chair of the Finance Committee. “We will expect legislation and sponsors to outline how they meet those requirements and ensure community benefits are included.”

Other changes include expanding the Utilities Committee to oversee the discussion and possible implementation of creating a city-wide broadband network, as well as the matter of whether it is to be a city-owned public utility, a public-private entity or some other configuration.

The Committee on Health and Human Services will add the Arts to its oversight. Arts can affect the social determinants of health, support child development, encourage health-promoting behaviors and is an economic driver in the community. Council wanted to ensure the arts community had a committee where its issues and ideas could be heard.

The Transportation Committee will add Mobility to its oversight, to expand transportation systems beyond the automobile realm to include public, rail as well as micro-mobility devices such as bicycles, e-bikes and electric scooters, while examining regional transportation policies.

Finally, the Committee on Workforce & Community Benefits is now the Committee on Workforce, Education, Training and Youth Development. The change reflects council’s desire to ensure a comprehensive approach towards policies that impact children and adults’ educational and workforce opportunities, as well as creating paths to employment. Issues surrounding demand-driven workforce development that meet the needs of local employers.  

“We want to ensure people are at the center of the decisions we make,” said Council President Griffin. “We need to move beyond just bricks and mortar.”

The committee changes and assignments can be viewed at www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/council/committees. The council rules can be found at www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/council/committees/rules. While council adopted the new rules, the rules committee will soon do a review.