Cleveland City Council created a coalition of government leaders and advocacy groups to dismantle systemic racism in the city when it declared racism a public health crisis two years ago. Since then, the coalition leadership says the group has met monthly in secrecy.
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On an early September evening, about a dozen neighbors gathered in the backyard of Phil and Christina Buck on Cleveland’s west side for a meet-and-greet with City Council president and mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley. The candidate, dressed casually in a short-sleeve shirt and leaning forward in his lawn chair, listened intently as an Ohio City resident complained about absentee landlords.