If you've noticed "I'm with Charlie" signs around Lakewood, recently, here's what it's about.
Lakewood currently has breed-specific legislation (BSL) on the books, which essentially means a ban on pit-bulls, like Charlie. The "I'm with Charlie" campaign promotes a repeal of this discriminatory approach, so all dogs (and dog owners) are subject to the same rules.
I'm in favor of that. I have commented about BSL before, but the simplest and best reason to replace it is that it doesn't make dogs or people safer. The Center for Disease Control studied this issue for 20 years, and found that BSL just isn't effective. The bans are also expensive, legally shaky, and may even make problems worse.
But basically, there's just no reason for keeping a policy that doesn't work, when alternatives exist that do. In 2011, Cleveland replaced its ban with breed-neutral legislation that focuses on problem behavior.
In June and July, our campaign hosted four open-ended community town halls. For the most part, Lakewood hasn't seen anything like these in years.
I'm more convinced than ever that it's time to change that.
Turnout has grown at each ward town hall (after making allowances for extra turnout in Ward 4 to see a very special guest). On July 29, dozens showed up for the Ward 2 town hall for no reason other than a conversation about our city. As I told everyone there, I want to keep this going. If I'm elected to city council, I will continue holding open town hall meetings.
Former state senator Nina Turner, recently named the new chair of Our Revolution, is one of my heroes. So I was beyond honored when she stopped by Lakewood's Madison Park to join our Ward 4 town hall, this weekend.
Nina was kind enough to encourage people in supporting my campaign. But she also had some powerful, inspiring things to say about the bigger mission of progressive change, and I want to share some of these here.
The discussion at town halls has been wide-ranging, so far. We’ve talked about greenery, historic preservation, sidewalks, block clubs and much more. Often, though, conversations about our city come back to inclusivity, one way or another.
In three town halls and on hundreds of front porches, I keep hearing a few things from all kinds of people:
A very, very big thank-you to everyone who made our July 4 parade such a success. It's not about me, it's about us, and that's how it should be!
Project DAWN is an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) program. Program participants are educated on the risk factors of opioid overdose, how to recognize an opioid overdose, and how to respond to an opioid overdose by calling 911, giving rescue breaths, and administering nasal naloxone. Eligible participants are given FREE naloxone kits containing two vials of naloxone hydrochloride medication.
Vist: www.metrohealth.org/projectdawn or call 216-778-5677 for more information.
Close involvement with the community should be local government’s best feature. We can find solutions through real, open conversations among people, without the barriers that tend to divide us otherwise.
That’s how it should work, and as a candidate for Lakewood City Council At-large that’s what I’m committed to delivering. Let’s have open discussion, let’s discuss the issues, and let’s get more people not only heard but involved.
Let’s get started, too. Please attend a town hall conversation about your ideas for a better Lakewood. Starting June 10, I’m hosting a series of town halls in our city’s wards, but the focus is you and your input. What’s working in Lakewood, and what should work better? Whether it’s a citywide issue, a larger issue, or an issue local to your block, this is the place for it.
Today is Democracy Day in Cleveland. City hall will host public hearings on the impact of money in politics, with regular citizens invited to testify. (My Progressive Caucus colleague Steve Holecko will be among those speaking.) In approving the observance, last December, Cleveland joined a growing number of communities adopting Democracy Day in support of the Move to Amend campaign. Just in Northeast Ohio, Democracy Days are now on the calendar in Brecksville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Lake County, Mentor and South Euclid.
Where’s Lakewood, you might wonder? Did Move to Amend snub us? Not exactly. Unfortunately it was the other way around.
Apparently, true grassroots campaigns aren't discouraged by rain, they thrive in it.
Today's campaign kick-off made this clear. On a cold and rainy day in Lakewood, our campaign team set up everything to receive guests, and then watched the gray scene before us wondering if any would show up.
A few showed up. Then a few more. Then more. Etc.
Lakewood takes pride in being an environmentally conscious community, as we should. Recycling rates are up; bike infrastructure promotes a healthy option for Lakewoodites and our environment. But there are other responsibilities where our practice has fallen behind our intentions. To honor Earth Day 2017, here are a few examples of what I believe Lakewood can do better
Despite good progress in aggregate numbers, our city’s approach to recycling has actually become less supportive for many people. Before 2015, apartment residents could leave recyclables in blue bags for collection; now the refuse department only collects from blue bins, which it doesn’t provide to most apartments or businesses. The official “solution” is for them to drive their own recycling to the Berea Road facility—even though city collection trucks pass down their own street once every week. Most probably throw everything away, instead, even if they would like to be less wasteful. Let’s give them a better option.