Entries by Doug Breehl-Pitorak

Issue 24: What’s Next?

As the new year approaches, Cleveland Documenters are wondering what’s next regarding Issue 24, the amendments to the city’s charter that aim to strengthen civilian oversight of police discipline in cases of alleged misconduct. Here’s what we know. The charter amendments officially took effect on Nov. 22. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections certified the […]

Cleveland residents offer ideas for sharing the time and place of local government meetings

Fifteen Cleveland Documenters asked nearly 80 Cleveland residents who live in 26 neighborhoods this question: If you were in charge, how would you help residents learn about when local government meetings were happening? Here were some of their ideas. Resident engagement teams Tramane Kedar Medley, 45, of Lee-Harvard, suggested that each City Council ward have […]

The Pace of Passage: How Quickly City Council Makes Laws and What That Means for Clevelanders

By Doug Breehl-Pitorak, Cleveland Documenters During a July forum for mayoral candidates, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley answered what seemed like a simple question: “What are your thoughts on what constitutes adequate public notice and public participation?”  Kelley, who called public participation “crucial,” said during his seven years leading council, he’d made sure residents […]

Pace of Passage: Terms to Know

This is a list of terms tied to the “Pace of Passage” story and their definitions. Have questions, concerns or ideas? Email our civic reporter, Doug, at DougBP@neighborhoodgrants.org. Board of Control: A city board made up of members of the mayor’s cabinet and city department heads. It directs the city’s Division of Purchases & Supplies. […]

#CLEDocsAnswers: Will CDPH administer more vaccines to homebound residents via its “ice cream truck” model?

Documenter Kathryn Johnson attended the April 12 Health and Human Services Committee meeting. She learned that the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) used an “ice cream truck” model to distribute vaccines to 24 homebound residents. Kathryn wondered about plans to do more. This edition of #CLEDocsAnswers shares what we learned. Nancy Kelsey, then with […]

#CLEDocsAnswers: How will the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections ensure Midwest Direct’s conduct is unbiased?

This #CLEDocsAnswers stems from questions that Documenter Mary Paxton asked after attending the April 5 Cuyahoga County Board of Elections board meeting. In that meeting, the board approved an $861,000 contract with Midwest Direct for supplying election ballots. Some context: Midwest Direct made news for delayed ballot delivery during the 2020 Presidential Election and for […]

#CLEDocsAnswers: How does public comment work at Civilian Police Review Board meetings, and how long do cases take?

Documenter McKenzie Merriman attended the April 13 Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) meeting. She noticed that David Lima, of Showing Up for Racial Justice, made comments about the Cleveland Police vehicle pursuit policy and the investigative process concerning the 2019 pursuit that killed 13-year-old Tamia Chappman. McKenzie wondered how public comment works at CPRB meetings. For […]

Voices on the Vaccine: Cleveland Documenters Interviewed Community Members About Vaccines

Throughout March and early April, more than 20 Cleveland Documenters conducted 42 interviews to better understand how Clevelanders were approaching the coronavirus vaccines. The result of that work, Voices on the Vaccine, appeared last week as a three-story series in The Cleveland Observer. The project was the first of its kind for Cleveland Documenters, which […]

#CLEDocsAnswers: How many people in each ward use the city’s exterior paint program?

This week’s #CLEDocsAnswers is about Cleveland’s Exterior Paint Program, which gives eligible residents the supplies needed to paint their homes. The deadline to apply for the program is April 30. Residents can find the application here. Documenter Robert Rotatori attended a meeting about the program and left with a question. He asked, “How many individuals […]

#CLEDocsAnswers: Why are the budget numbers reported as unaudited?

This marks the first installment of Cleveland Documenters’ #CLEDocsAnswers series. After attending and documenting Cleveland and Cuyahoga County meetings, Documenters share their follow-up questions. #CLEDocsAnswers is Cleveland Documenters’ effort to answer those questions. Documenter Seanna Jackson (@seandene on Twitter) was one of many #CLEDocumenters who attended Cleveland City Council’s budget hearings in February. In addition […]

City Council Agenda Guide

Ever read a Cleveland City Council agenda and ask yourself, “What’s that mean?” Check out our new City Council Agenda Guide! The guide defines items that commonly appear on City Council agendas. It also reads between the lines and details procedures like “suspension of the rules.”

Public Comment at Cleveland City Council — Explained

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money. Cleveland City Council passes laws (called ordinances). Its members are elected by citizens to represent them. Historically, City Council hasn’t provided residents a regular and formal space to comment on those decisions outside of committee […]