Take a seat in the street: Cleveland city council just passed an ordinance allowing outdoor dining and drinking in parking lots, streets and rights-of-way. Lakewood made a similar move a couple weeks ago and other cities are considering it. Increasingly, expanding outdoor space is being seen as a possible solution for reopening safely during Covid-19. Market Garden’s Sam McNulty has even proposed using jersey barriers to block off parking spaces and turn them into patios. ⬥ Scene, Cleveland.com
Start me up: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Rock Hall, the Great Lakes Science Center and more are planning to open in June under the state’s Responsible Restart Ohio guidelines. Maybe summer is saved, after all. Just be smart and keep socially distanced. ⬥ Cleveland.com
Mayor Jackson says ‘no’ to police cuts: In his widely-excerpted interview with The Appeal, the most striking moment is not the “Cleveland may be perceived to be the butthole of the world” comment but when Jackson refuses to consider cutting the police budget by five percent and reallocating that money to public health needs. In Minneapolis, nine city council members have pledged to “dismantle the police department and create a new department of public safety.” Responding to calls to “defund” the police, the mayors of Los Angeles, New York City and Portland have also promised cuts. ⬥ The Appeal, Washington Post
A decade of watching black people die: Gene Demby, co-host of NPR’s Code Switch, grew up in Cleveland. In this special episode, he says he’ll defer judgment on whether this is the moment when America finally understands policing in black communities: “After Ferguson, it’s hard to hold your breath. It’s hard to hold your breath when a 12-year-old kid gets gunned down with a toy gun in the city that you grew up in, as was the case for me with Tamir Rice, and the city just kind of shrugs and everyone moves on. Tamir Rice would have been eighteen in June. America moves on, America moves forward, and to a large extent the white power structure waits for us as black people to quiet down … It matters whether or not people who are not affected by this do something.” ⬥ NPR’s Code Switch
The time is now: Cleveland police and the county sheriff admitted they were unprepared for the protests. Overwhelmed officers fired tear gas into the crowd after issuing dispersal orders few people apparently heard. Jackson and police chief Calvin Williams reacted by issuing a confusing curfew. In an editorial that’s being widely shared on social media, Justin Bibb of Cleveland Can’t Wait advocates for inclusive economic development, accelerating the pace of reform under Cleveland’s consent decree, and creating early-career pathways for public safety jobs for Cleveland residents. “Property can be replaced but will the city finally move beyond the symbols of a resurgence?” ⬥ Cleveland.com
Addressing the root causes of racism: At the City Club, Ward 6 councilman Blaine Griffin outlined the city’s passage of a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis and what it means for Cleveland. Cities across the country have passed similar initiatives to try to spur system reform and action. ⬥ The City Club
Keep our local journalism accessible to all
Reader support is crucial as we continue to shed light on underreported neighborhoods in Cleveland.
Will you become a monthly member to help us continue to produce news by, for, and with the community?