Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bonnie Entler, Director of Seeds of Literacy, awarded the Sharon Stubbs-Davis Award for State Administrator of the Year from the Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education

Congratulations to Bonnie Entler, Executive Director of Seeds of Literacy, for receiving the Sharon Stubbs-Davis Award for State Administrator of the Year from the Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education (OAACE).  See the Seeds of Literacy announcement below.

Bonnie Entler, Executive Director of Seeds of Literacy

Our Ward 14 office has been working closely with Seeds of Literacy over the last few years in providing them with funding and helping them to leverage their resources to strengthen their programming and services.

Last year, working collaboratively with other City Council members and Mayor Jackson's Administration, Seeds of Literacy obtain additional funds that assisted in the expansion of operations to an east side location at 13815 Kinsman Road - they serve as a city-wide adult literacy program.  Their west side offices are located on the 3rd floor of the US Bank Building at 3104 W. 25th Street (at Clark Avenue).

Also, check out the volunteer opportunities here, and other ways to help including monetary and in-kind contributions here.

Change Your Life Through Education – 
Advice from Seeds of Literacy

Having an education is important. It can change your life in many ways. Getting an education can help you:

  • Find higher-paying jobs.
  • Go to college or trade school.
  • Understand your health.
  • Keep a budget.
  • Express your opinions.
  • Participate in politics.
  • Help your children or grandchildren in school.

At Seeds of Literacy, we take education very seriously. We have free classes for adults in basic education and GED preparation. We want you to walk out of each class knowing more than when you came in! 

At Seeds, each student works at his or her own level and pace. We have tutors to help, too. Seeds has helped thousands of students since 1997. 

Classes are Monday – Thursday, 9 am to 11 am; 1 pm – 3 pm; and 6 pm – 8 pm. Seeds is located at 3104 W 25th Street, 3rd floor (corner of W 25th and Clark Ave.). Seeds has a free, secure parking lot, building security, and is on major bus lines. All classes are free. Registration is every Monday and Tuesday. Call 216-661-7950 for more information.

Here are some ways you can improve your educational skills:
  • Read to your children – this is one of the best things a parent can do. When you read to your children, they do better in school.
  • Make a schedule for important things like family, work, and school. This helps you find the time to do them.
  • Read outside of class. The more you read, the more you know.
  • Write your goal down. Then think of the steps you need to reach it.  

We hope to see you soon! For more information, call 216-661-7950 or visit or facebook/seedsofliteracy.

Click on the images for a larger image.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Consent Decree Agreement entered into by City of Cleveland and Department of Justice regarding Cleveland Division of Police

The City of Cleveland entered into a Consent Decree Agreement today with the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The agreement was reached in an unprecendented short period of time, just under 6-months after the DOJ issued their Investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police on December 2, 2014.

Upon quick review, the agreement that has been announced appears to have drawn from some of the best practices from around the county.  Specifically there is concern expressed by many to ensure the following three critical areas are covered:

  1. Reform of the existing Civilian Review Board and Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) (IX. Accountability, pg 43-57).  There is a requirement to develop within 180-days a new operational manual for the OPA and for City Council to be involved in placing on the ballot a City Charter Amendment to form a new Police Review Board from which its members would appoint a Chair and Vice Chair;
  2. Creation of an Audit or Inspector General oversight component (X. Transparency and Oversight, pg 58-59); and,
  3. Major inclusion of a broad and representational group of citizens in the research, review and recommendations of policy and protocols - Community Police Commission, 13-member body to be established within the first 90-days. (III. Community Engagement and Building Trust, pg 4-7).

In addition to the three main issues above, another notable issues addressed includes a section on bias free policing - requiring that within 18-months CPD will develop a,"bias-free policing policy that incorporates, as appropriate, the recommendations developed by the Commission pursuant to paragraph 17, and that provides clear guidance to officers that biased policing, including deciding to detain a motorist or pedestrian based solely on racial stereotypes, is prohibited."

Other notable inclusions in the agreement is a lengthy section on use of force policies, guidelines and procedures (VI. Use of Force, pg 12-31).  Additionally, to deal with Police response to individuals or situations involving mental health issues a Mental Health Response Advisory Committee will be created within 180-days (VII. Crisis Intervention, pg 34-38).

There is a lot of information and timelines to review within the agreement.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Northeast Ohio Media Goup has already begun tackling sections of the agreement and a link to their work and a full copy of the Consent Decree is provided below (downloadable and searchable PDF document.

Some of the most immediate next steps will be that the City of Cleveland in collaboration with the DOJ will select a Monitor to oversee the implementation of the agreement.  An Request for Information was issued back in April and it is expected that more applicants will respond now that the agreement has been reached.

Here are a few reference links to examples of policing reform that Cleveland will be pursuing under the agreement:
Complete Video of today's annoucement and press briefing

Justice Department announces settlement with Cleveland police actions.  In a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio announced a settlement between the Justice Department and Cleveland that will see widespread police reform in the city. Published on May 26, 2015 (1:01:08)

The following is a complete copy of the 105-page agreement.  It can be downloaded and is a searchable PDF formatted document.

(please comment below and send suggested links to be added)

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with City of Cleveland to Reform Cleveland Division of Police Following the Finding of a Pattern or Practice of Excessive Force
Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Cleveland agrees to federal police reforms: How often does DOJ intervene?
By Henry Gass, Staff writer,The Christian Science Monitor, 5/26/2015

Mayor Frank Jackson, Justice Department agree to Cleveland police reforms
By Cory Shaffer, Northeast Ohio Media Group, May 26, 2015

DOJ consent decree: How long does the Cleveland police department have to implement changes?
By Patrick Cooley, Northeast Ohio Media Group, 5/26/2015

Cleveland will create citizen panel that will scrutinize city police reforms
By Andrew J. Tobias, Northeast Ohio Media Group, 5/26/2015

Cleveland police to improve early intervention program
By Ida Lieszkovszky, Northeast Ohio Media Group, 5/26/2015

Agreement between Cleveland, U.S. Justice Department to overhaul police response to mental health crises; By Brandon Blackwell, Northeast Ohio Media Group , 5/26/2015

A brief, clear explanation of why the Justice Department's police reforms may fall short
Updated by German Lopez on May 26, 2015

Cleveland's settlement with the Justice Department calls for major overhaul of police use-of-force policy; By Henry J. Gomez, Northeast Ohio Media Group, May 26, 2015

Note the following other stories being generated by the Plain Dealer and NEOMG regarding the agreement.  Cleveland-Consent-Decree (all articles)

Other Blog Posts on the issue:




Thursday, May 14, 2015

Waste Curbside Expansion Project to be completed by October 2015

The City's Division of Waste Collection & Disposal will be completing the Curbside Expansion project by October 15, 2015.  The postcard that will be mailed to the remaining households that are still receiving manual pick-up is provide below along with a map of the final areas to be covered in Ward 14.

An informational meeting will be held at 6:30-7:30 on June 24th at Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Road.  For any questions or more details, please call 216-664-3717.

Residents will receive wheeled waste collection carts: a 95-gallon black cart for garbage and a 65-gallon blue cart for recyclables. Seniors, disabled residents and households of three persons or less can request 48-gallon black and blue carts. 

Homestead Exemption - Residential property owned and occupied by senior citizens 65 years of age or older and/or disabled with an annual income less than $29,500 may be eligible to receive the Homestead rate discounted to $4.

The City's automated curbside started as a pilot project in October 2007.  With a struggling economy and drops in City Revenue, the City passed legislation to begin charging a waste fee to residents in December 2007, currently $8.75 per month

Areas in yellow are the remaining locations where automated curbside pick-up will begin before October 2015.

Ward 14 Curbside Expansion Map by Brian Cummins

Monday, May 11, 2015

Aragon Ballroom receives final approvals, interior renovations to begin, opening expected by end of 2015, early 2016.

The Aragon Ballroom project received final administrative approvals through the the City's Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) today clearing the way to receive permits for renovations to the interior of the building.  See details and updates posted in April here.

The Historic Aragon Ballroom, a conference and banquet facility, is expected to open in Fall 2015/Spring 2016.

To-date emergency repairs and a majority of the exterior renovations have been completed. The interior renovations will include a new commercial kitchen to service the conference and banquet facility. At today's BZA hearing, the variances the building needed to operate were passed with seven conditions that were agreed to by the owners.  The list is provided below.

Also see the Freshwater article that featured some photos of the unfinished interior.

In addition to the historic Aragon Ballroom, owner Ali Faraj also operates La Villa Conference & Banquet Center located at 11500 Brookpark Road.

Aragon owner Ali Faraj and daughter Abbei, photo credit: Freshwater

Exclusive first look: the Aragon Ballroom renovation
Erin O'Brien, Freshwater, 4/15/2015.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Convening on Local Police Reform - Tools for promoting justice in policing

The following documents represent policy research and tools to assist in sharing best practices from around the country in work being done to bring justice to policing and ensuring better citizen oversight and community-centered policing.

The Center for Popular Democracy, PolicyLink, Communities United for Police Reform, and, Local Progress are four organizations that held a convening last week in New York City where community activists, non-profit organizations and elected officials came together to share their experiences from around the country regarding police and justice reform.  The meetings build on and follow a Convening by Local Progress that was also held in New York City in early December, 2014.


Also see -- 

PolicyLink - Equity Policy Tool


The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works.

Communities United for Police Reform is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change.

Local Progress is a network of hundreds of local elected officials from around the country committed to a strong economy, equal justice, livable cities, and effective government.

Cleveland Habitat Launches Multi-Faceted Stockyard Initiative - May 7th, 2015

Features Pope Francis and Apostles Build Projects

Location:         3566 West 50th Street, Cleveland
Date/Time:       Thursday, May 7, 2015 @ 11:00 a.m.

See the press release below for the Stockyard Initiative.

“We’re excited about doing this project on the near Westside...We expect to complete five to seven full rehabs, and help 40 existing residents with exterior home repairs.  We are particularly pleased by all of the diverse partners who are joining us on this year’s initiative.”
     -  John Habat, executive director for Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. 

Stockyard Initiative Partners:  

Habitat Launches 2015 Initiative on Near West Side

NOTE:  $30,000 in Ohio Casino Tax Revenue Funds are being utilized as the Ward 14 authorization, being used to leverage other funding and significant volunteer labor for this home improvement and beautification project.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Planning for the future of Lincoln West High School - Public meeting this Monday May 4th

There is another public meeting this Monday, May 4th to discuss the Lincoln-West building assessment as well as academic planning.  Note that assessment, provided below provides suggested options but no specific recommendations on any particular option.  This assessment will help inform the community conversation as we move forward.

For more information about the high school see:
Lincoln-West High School: Center for International Studies

Here is a good overview of the Building Assessment that is listed below.

Save Lincoln-West pool for $3.3 million or build a new school?
Have your say on Monday

By Patrick O'Donnell, The Plain Dealer, May 03, 2015 at 9:12 AM, updated May 03, 2015 

Also see previous post regarding facilities information.

CMSD Board of Education Presentation: Proposed Issue 4 Segment Plan
Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The following documents help explain CMSD's Facilities Plan released in mid-February and three area meetings scheduled for:  Cluster 4 - Clark Fulton & Stockyard (3/5), Cluster 5 - Old Brooklyn & Brooklyn Centre (3/11), and Cluster 3 - Ohio City & Tremont (3/24).  See full post with CMSD documentation here.