Cleveland, OH

Black Women Organizations Unite to Request 11 Eastside Expectations List for Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb Social Analysis

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Cleveland, OH. As we enter into a new era of Cleveland politics, the President of the Shaker Lee Block Club, the Women Commission for Education and Training, and the Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County have created a list of goals for Mayor Justin Bibb, City of Cleveland. Bibb was elected Mayor during the 2021 election. Bibb will be sworn into office Monday, January 3, 2022. During his campaign, Bibb touted, "Now is the time for bold, new, dynamic, visionary leadership and not the failed politics and policies of the past." As Bibb assisted with Urbanova, he should consider turning all eastside neighborhoods into "smart" communities. The Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County echoed, "Smart communities will also use data and common sense reasonability to develop strategies that will enhance the quality of life for all residents, business owners, and stakeholders. When politicians and power brokers are transparent and open, they will invest in distressed neighborhoods without hidden agendas and fears. In return, constituents will become empowered, and they will become willing participants to aid in the transformation to improve their living conditions."

1. General Maintenance of East Side Communities: Several of our eastside neighborhoods are unkempt; trash, broken fixtures, caving streets, tall grass and bushes, trees blocking sidewalks, etc. The Bibb Administration should create a "program-specific" monetary spending clause within the public works department to aid in the maintenance of eastside neighborhoods. Every ward should implement a snow removal plan. All main streets and sidewalks should be plowed and salted. This plan will allow residents to move freely during in-climate weather. Cleaning neighborhoods is the beginning of crime prevention and reduction.

2. Global Eastside Neighborhood WIFI Internet Services: The digital divide where the poor does not have access to free high-speed internet service is a handicap. Internet services link finding employment and essential resources. All neighborhoods should have full access to this type of resource.

3. Residential Landscape Specific WARD by Ward Lighting Infrastructure Identification and Signage: Our neighborhoods are dark and unkempt due to poor maintenance of vacant lots and city-owned trees. Most are environmentally hazardous. We are requesting capital improvement with light fixtures that will accompany the individuality of each eastside ward. We ask for a monetary clause for tree maintenance and empty lots and the restructuring logistics of how often lots are cut and trimmed. The city should also be responsible for bagging loose grass and trimming bushes on city-owned property.

4. New Housing Development (Fannie Lewis): Eastside neighborhoods should model Cleveland WARD 7 new home developments. The former councilwoman, Fannie Lewis, designed a structure of homes to increase the value of each area. The portfolio of developers was unique. We requested a strategic plan of new home development designs, cost, and structure. We asked for a global market plan to understand how each neighborhood will be defined and marketed to investors for eastside projects. Affordable new homes and development are essential to increasing property value, entertaining investors for big box stores, and sustaining viable stakeholders.

5. Viable Business Structure: Each eastside business community must be strategically developed. We are seeking a likeness beautification model. We want a well-developed business district with viable businesses and resources. We want financial resources for walkways, parking lots, fencing and gates, green space trees, shrubs, awnings, and building rehabbing.

6. Point of Sale Expectation: Cleveland should inspect all homes before the sale. The home inspection would ensure that all homes meet the standards of a specific neighborhood. The compliance measure should be the same for each district and community.

7. Eastside WARD Landlord and Tenant Housing Expectation Community Assessment and Agreement Consortium and Collaboration with HUD and the Housing Voucher Program: Government Programs, Landlords, and Tenants shall be accountable to adhere to the exact expectations. Every homeowner and renter deserves to reside next to a homeowner and renter who are a responsible homeowner and renter. Eastside residents shall be held liable to the same measure. We no longer want to see our neighborhoods crumble due to blight-ness and unkempt properties owned by banks and federal programs.

8. Senior Resource Connection Center and Green Space Initiative: Every WARD should have a safe space just for seniors. The green space would allow a parking structure, a walkway, track, gazebo, and a small coffee shop. The resource center will be symbolic to a trade school. Seniors will learn to become self-efficient. The senior community will understand a new cash flow structure and get the necessary resources to which they are entitled. The master plan should be built by seniors, maintained by seniors, and supported by seniors.

9. Streets Infrastructure: Transportations and power supply are essential to every neighborhood. We want a beautifully detailed landscape for all main streets in each ward. Each terrain will comprise historic flags honoring civil rights leaders, Cleveland's history makers, including young people, and transportation decors reliving past triumphs. We would also like to see a partnership with connecting suburbs through landscape mason foyers or a connecting bridge and traffic directives signaling the welcoming and exiting of each Cleveland eastside ward. We can benefit from new street signs with updated fonts and logos per ward. Lastly, street sweeps should occur monthly and sewer line draining and cleaning.

10. Black History Museum and Performing Art Theater: We want to showcase our black art and history. We are seeking an elaborate structure to house Black history memorabilia and art accompanied by a remembrance wall for young people who lost their lives due to gun violence

11. Missing Bureau & Mini Police Stations: Eastside residents must be able to engage in the legal system without harm or fear. We want the city to implement "user-friendly" Police Resource Community Stations in every ward where residents can make reports and feel safe. Residents should attend community police meetings/training and meet with social workers and other designated community relations specialists to assist with nonviolent crimes.

Janet Williams, President of the Shaker-Lee Block Club, stated, "I have witnessed a decline in our eastside neighborhood. During a Mayoral Forum held by Concerned Citizen of Cleveland WARD ONE and Two, Mayoral Candidate Kevin Kelly told us that the eastside neighborhoods had been intentionally ignored for years by city hall".

Representatives from each group have come together to formulate an 11 step "expectation" list of what they would like to have implemented on the eastside of Cleveland. Representatives of the Black Women Commission stated, "We are here. We are part of the City of Cleveland. Cleveland is not only for downtown residents and the westside citizens. We want to have our voice heard as well. Collectively, we want what is best for our neighborhood. This plan is our beginning".

The Women Commission for Education and Training is a not-for-profit organization built to empower women and communities. "We urgently need direct access to food/agricultural systems healthy food options with stores that cater to the community's wellness. We need better health and wellness programs and access for the needy, ill, children, and seniors - assistance for our small business owners who have been in the community for 15 plus years but lack resources due to economic strife and the stifling of the community. We need economic and financial assistance for sustainability for our homeowners, seniors, and single mothers/fathers living under the federal poverty guidelines. There is a need to revamp the current lack of education plaguing our communities due to the closing of schools and the recent pandemic that has caused children to become remote with a lack of resources and some parents' lack of education. Financial assistance is needed to help the Southeast side CDCs that have lacked funding for more than 20 years. We are collectively standing with other organizations that share similar values," stated Makanya "Mikki" Smith. Smith is the Chair of the WCET's Community Relations Board.

The group sent their wish list to Angela Shute Woodson, Senior Advisor of Communities and Government Affairs, to Mayor Justin Bibb to start this conversation.

We reached out to Woodson and the Bibb Team for comment. No one was available.

This article will be updated immediately.

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"Brown On Cleveland" features podcast host, licensed social worker, and social justice activist Kimberly F. Brown. Former talk show host with WOVU.95fm. Brown is the Chief Administrator of The Brown Report Newspaper. Brown experience is with investigative reporting.

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