Council Meeting Highlights (7/12/23)
Jul 12, 2023
Cleveland (July 12, 2023) - City Council held its July meeting today. The next meeting is August 16. Here are today’s highlights:
Paid Parental Leave: Council passed legislation to provide city employees with paid parental leave. While Council members began advocating for this benefit during the last administration, Councilman Charles Slife, who initially sponsored the bill, contacted the Bibb administration soon after they took office to pitch this added benefit to city of Cleveland employees. The legislation will provide eligible employees (regular full-time annual and hourly rate) with up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth of an employee’s son or daughter or the placement of a son or daughter with an employee for adoption or legal guardianship.
In addition, parents are entitled to up to 20 hours of paid leave for prenatal car appointments or pre-adoption appointments, and leave can be accessed by employees who experience pregnancy loss. Ultimately all council members sponsored the legislation. It was amended to add a working committee, suggested by Councilwoman Stephanie Howse, with the Administration and stakeholders, including Council representatives, the Mayor’s Office, Department of Human Resources and Law, labor representatives, and subject area experts to develop a City Paid Family and Medical Leave policy. Ord. No. 630-2023
Veterans Housing in the Southeast Side: Councilman Kevin Bishop has worked over the past several years on a project with Union Miles Development Corporation to establish housing for veterans in the community. Tonight, Council passed legislation to provide a $750,000 grant to Union Miles CDC for the “Walter Collins Veteran Housing & Service Facility.” Councilman Bishop, the sponsor, has advocated and worked for the project for more than five years that will establish 11 housing units for struggling veterans. The grant is from revenue recovery funds the city received.
Union Miles will partner with other organizations to bring the project to fruition. The location is on vacant land on Harvard Avenue, east of E. 93rd Street. The facility will provide affordable housing options for male and female veterans. Rid-All Green Partnership, an urban agriculture organization, will engage the veterans through interactive programming onsite, teaching best practices for successful urban agriculture – promoting healthy living and providing actionable stability for veterans. Councilman Bishop believes this project will help jumpstart other development in Ward 2. Ord. No. 556-2023.
Outdoor Patios, Parklets : Council passed legislation formally extending what began as pandemic-era rules to allow restaurant and bar owners to expand seating into parking areas, streets and other public spaces. The program, which began in 2020 in response to Covid-19 allows restaurants to apply for permits allowing them to expand their seating into outdoor public areas or private parking lots, including streets and on-street parking spaces. A separate, pre-pandemic city program has long allowed restaurants to expand café-style seating to public sidewalks. Ord. No. 704-2023.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Way: Councilman Anthony Hairston sponsored the legislation that passed tonight designating East 99th Street Avenue from St. Clair Avenue to Colonial Avenue with a secondary and honorary designation of “Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Way” in recognition of their 30 year musical career featuring Cleveland.
Formed in Cleveland in 1991, the group was originally called "Band Aid Boys" then “B.O.N.E Enterpri$e”. Their second album “E. 1999 Eternal” and the album’s single “East 1999” are odes to East 99th Street where some of the members grew up. The success of this album and songs like this have made the cross-section of East 99th Street and St. Clair Avenue infamous and an unofficial landmark. Ord. No 804-2023
Karamu House Theatre Renovations: Council President Blaine A. Griffin sponsored the legislation to help finance completion of Karamu Theatre’s renovations. The $500,000 authorized by council helps open the door for Karamu to receive philanthropic donations for the renovation, the Council President noted. Ord. No. 715-2023
Councilman Richard Starr sponsored legislation introduced tonight on armed security guards. It amends Chapter 674A Late Night Retail Establishments in several ways. (Ord. No. 803-2023) By:
Broadening the definition of “late night retail establishment” to include any bar, and any business engaged in the retail sale of groceries goods, merchandise, and/or gasoline, that is open any time between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (current code section is midnight to 6:00 am).
Requiring late night retail establishments to provide an armed security guard and other security measures, including an interior and exterior security camera system that is registered with the City’s camera registry and integrated with the City’s Real Time Crime Center and the Department of Public Safety. This legislation amends the Code to require that the security guard be armed AND that other security measures be provided.
Requiring that, if, after the effective date of the ordinance, certain crimes are committed at the late night retail establishment arising out of its business, the late night retail establishment shall provide at least 4 armed security guards whenever the establishment is open for business between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am; or lock the establishment during 11:00 pm and 5:00 am and only transact business indirectly through a pass-through trough, trapdoor or window; or close the establishment between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am.
It also increases the penalty for violation to a first degree misdemeanor.