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Council Meeting Highlights (5/16/2022)

May 16, 2022

Cleveland (May 16, 2022) – City Council held its regular Monday meeting tonight, both in person in Council Chambers and through live streaming. The next council meeting is May 23rd. Here are the highlights:

Help for Cleveland Businesses: Council approved three ordinances authorizing the city’s Department of Economic Development to enter into agreements with three non-profit groups – JumpStart Inc., Manufacturing Works and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland – to provide economic development assistance for various businesses in Cleveland.

The city will be giving JumpStart up to $578,000; Manufacturing Works up to $499,883; and the Urban League up to $350,000.

The organizations will use the money for training, planning, workforce development, technical help and general financial assistance. Manufacturing Works will provide economic develop assistance to the Cleveland Industrial Retention Initiative, which focuses on manufacturing and heavy industry. JumpStart will target outreach and coaching for small businesses, among other programs. The Urban League will continue its administration of a loan fund and assistance, training and planning for small businesses through the Entrepreneurship Center.  Ord. Nos. 386-2022, 387-2022, 388-2022.

Free Paint for Eligible Homeowners and Tenants: Council approved legislation authorizing the city to conduct an expanded Exterior Paint Program, aimed at improving the city’s housing stock, much of which was built a century ago.

The legislation authorizes the city’s Department of Development to enter into agreements with eligible homeowners and tenants for the purchasing of paint, supplies and for the first time, hiring labor. Community engagement specialists would refer applicants to this pilot grant program, which aims to cover the labor costs for 50 households (up to $10,000) in 2022. To be eligible for labor support, you must be elderly, disabled or low-income.

The traditional voucher program, offering approved applicants free paint and supplies, would happen simultaneously. The paint program was reestablished by the council several years ago to create incentives among homeowners and tenants to maintain the exteriors of their homes and to aid in reducing lead-based paint hazards.

The program, budgeted at more than $522,000 a year, will provide eligible home owners up to $1,500 and eligible tenants up to $750 for paint and supplies. Funding not used in the paint program from previous years is going toward the labor costs for the 50 homes.  Ord. No. 371-2022.

Resources Available at Rec Centers: Council approved hiring of consultants to design and implement projects to support the transformation of City recreation centers into trauma-informed neighborhood resource and recreation centers and to develop and provide programs and activities for youth and their families to serve as tools to prevent violence, develop skills and knowledge to overcome challenges associated with trauma and toxic stress, and to create opportunities for youth and their families to live quality lives. Ord. No. 457-2022.

Council Condemns Classroom Censorship: Council approved a resolution condemning House Bill 616 which would prohibit discussions of diversity, equity, sexual orientation and gender identity in the class room. Basically, it would censor teachers, books and instruction materials on these matters.

“This bill attempts to erase and exclude LGBTQ+, Black, brown, Indigenous, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islanders and other historically marginalized people from the classroom and is exceptionally cruel to these community members, their families, and anyone who loves them; the broad, open-ended ban on race and gender-related topics constitutes an attack on the freedom to learn of every young person in Ohio and deprives them of a well-rounded education, and puts Ohio’s most vulnerable students in unsafe and unwelcoming classrooms,” the resolution states.

The resolution also says HB 616 threatens to damage Ohio’s reputation, making it less inviting to companies, investors, work-force talent and residents. Res. 486-2022.