Inspiring Action: Arts & Culture Network Night in 2021


You’re invited — October 28th

Whether you are an artist or someone who simply loves to support arts and culture in the community, we hope you’ll join us for an upcoming Arts & Culture Network Night.

 
Thursday, October 28, 2021
6 to 8 pm via Zoom.
Music by Xavier Walsh, a participant of the Roberto Ocasio Foundation‘s Latin Jazz Camp

Click this link to register.

Network Night includes space for anyone to host a breakout conversation during Business of the Network. To host, you simply pose a question you’d like to listen about. This is an opportunity to get feedback on your work, to brainstorm ideas, or receive support. You can scroll down to see examples from previous Arts & Culture Network Night events. If you’d like to host a conversation and would like support shaping your invitation, simply email Lj or call her at (216)264-9858.

Save the Date — our final Arts & Culture Network Night event for the year is on December 9th from 6 to 8 pm. Be sure to mark your calendars now!


 

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for Arts & Culture Network Night.

Special thanks to Carolina Borja for welcoming us with beautiful music. To learn more about Carolina’s Tutti Music Program, you can check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

Business of the Network is always a part of Arts & Culture Network Night. It is an opportunity for people to host conversations about topics that matter to them. It is an excellent opportunity to get feedback, learn from the group, and explore opportunities for collaboration. The following topics were discussed in August:

  • Are you collecting demographic info? We’d love to hear about your process, any challenges or ideas you have. (hosted by Julia
  • How might FRONT International Triennial for Contemporary Art create meaningful connections to the Cleveland community so more people can enjoy and participate in this program? (hosted by Deidre)
  • How do cultural institutions create collaborative community-based programming with community members? (hosted by Andrew)
  • Are any of your organizations struggling with the anxiety-level of your audiences and/or participants? And how are you navigating this? (hosted by Colleen)
  • Who are your favorite elected officials who have supported arts and culture, and how have you worked together? (hosted by Jeremy)

To learn more about these conversations, check out the Public Agenda or click the contact person’s name to send them an email. If you’d like to host a conversation in October or December, we are happy to help you shape the question. Simply email Lj.

The Marketplace is a practice that reveals the gifts and resources we have available in the community. Everyone is invited to make a request or an offer, and then “match” with folks to share resources and support the community. Here are a few requests and offers from the August event:

  • Ed offered help with IT and tech support.
  • Sharon is looking for community partners to help bring chamber music to a broader community, specifically for our concerts presenting the Imani Winds (10/5/21) and Lawrence Brownlee (4/26/22).
  • Nahomy works to uplift the Latinx artist community. She offered to share opportunities with a database of Latinx artists.

To see a full list of requests and offers, check out the Marketplace and Connections section of the Public Agenda. 

See you Next Time!

Arts & Culture Network Night is scheduled for Thursday, October 28th and Thursday, December 9th from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit our Events page to register now!


Arts and Culture Network Night in April

Thank you to Caleb Wright and Seth Bisen-Hersh for the beautiful performance to open up Arts and Culture Network Night in April.  You can learn more about Caleb on the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture directory, or on Instagram and Facebook. More info about Seth can be found here or @sethbhdotcom on all social media platforms.

Remember, that you can also create a profile or share event info on the CAC directory, ClevelandArtsEvents.com.

As we opened Network Night, Luis took a moment to acknowledge the ongoing fight against white supremacy and the stress that our communities continue to bear, especially those who are BIPOC. Luis shared some of his favorite resources for taking care of ourselves:

Business of the Network

Whether you are an artist or someone who works at an arts organization, Business of the Network is a great opportunity to get input and support. Simply pose a question for discussion and host a 20-minute breakout conversation.

These were the conversations hosted in April.


Do you have a conversation you’d like to host? Simply join us at an upcoming event or contact Lj for more information. 

The Marketplace

The Marketplace is another great way to make connections at Arts & Culture Network Night. Here are a few of the requests and offers we heard in April:

  • Dawn is looking for places to distribute comics for Comics on the Corner, the project she created to improve literacy in her neighborhood. 
  • Luis offered to tell folks more about the CAC Grant applications that will be a live beginning in May.
  • Jensen works with the Mandel Humanities Center at Tri-C. They are looking for projects in the community they can support. 
  • And Christopher, who was the Marketplace Leader in April, made a declaration that he WILL do physical therapy 5 days a weekWay to go, Christopher. We know you can do it! 

Matching funds for your arts and culture projects are available through the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Match fund with IOBY.org

To see all of the requests, offers and declarations from April, click this link, or you can check out the collection of all the Virtual Marketplace matches here.


Read a recap from February’s Arts and Culture Network Night here.



You’re invited!

Whether you are an artist or someone who simply loves to support arts and culture in the community, we hope you’ll join us for an upcoming Arts & Culture Network Night. We’ll be co-hosting several gatherings this year with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


If you have ideas for Arts and Culture Network Night, or if you’d like to join the team of volunteers who make this event happen, we’d love to have you! Contact Lj or text her at 216-264-9858.

 


 

 

 

CLE Documenters Public Comment Guide


Last updated September 30, 2021


Cleveland City Council members are elected by residents to represent them. A big part of their job is to discuss and vote on which laws to pass and how taxpayer money should be spent. That work has to be done during public meetings. 

Cleveland City Council historically has not held a regular space for members of the public to share comments during its meetings. That changed recently with a new set of rules that open up opportunities for residents to speak at council’s weekly meetings. 

Since the process is fresh  for all of us, we have some learning to do. This guide is a start. It covers the rules for signing up to make a comment, things to know before heading to City Hall and some history about the role of public comment and how it – finally – came to Cleveland.  

What is public comment?

Public comment is a way for residents to address government bodies or elected officials during meetings where they consider and vote on legislation. A public comment or participation period is a forum for residents to share information or opinion on community matters. 

Public comment at Cleveland City Council

Here’s a bit about Cleveland City Council and how it functions:

  • City Council holds regular meetings, where all 17 members meet and do the business of the city by voting on legislation that creates or changes laws or by approving requests to spend money.
  • City Council also holds committee meetings, where members discuss legislation and decide whether it should be voted on; there are currently 11 committees, (Additional info on how to make a comment at committee meetings appears below.)
  • Occasionally, City Council will hold special community meetings to hear from residents on important issues.


Public comment at regular council meetings

Starting Oct. 4, 2021, regular council meetings will include a public comment period, allowing for 10 pre-registered members of the public to comment for no more than three minutes each. 

Registration 

Register online, by email or using a paper form between Wednesday at noon and Monday at 2 p.m. before the 7 p.m. council meeting. You’ll receive a notification confirming you registered. Speaking slots are allotted by order of registration.  If you’re not among the first 10 registrations, you’ll be notified that you don’t have a speaking slot. The list starts fresh each week. 

Find the online form at: https://clevelandcitycouncil.org/news-resources/public-comment

  • Download a printable version of the form here
  • You can submit the downloaded form by:
    • Emailing it to publiccomment@clevelandcitycouncil.org
    • Printing it and delivering it in person at Cleveland City Hall, Room 220, 601 Lakeside Ave.  Paper forms will also be available there to fill out there (will have to go through security to go to council offices).
    • Mailing it to the address above (but it must arrive during the registration period.)
  • Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
  • Early registrations will not be accepted.
  • Registration information is considered public record.
  • Accommodation Requests: City Council is asking people who seek accommodations – such as for a disability or language assistance – to make the request at least three business days before the accommodation is needed. This online form can be used to make requests to access council’s public facilities, services or programs, including council meetings, council committee hearings, and ward events that include council members. 

Below is a screenshot of the public comment registration form, showing the required fields. 

What to know before you go

Transportation and parking at City Hall

  • You can park in the Willard Garage connected to City Hall on Lakeside Avenue. Cost is $3.50 for the first hour. Each additional half hour is $1.50, with a maximum cost of $10. To find a Greater Cleveland RTA Bus Route, use GCRTA’s “Plan a Trip” feature found at http://www.riderta.com/routes.
  • There is a bicycle rack on the east side of City Hall, just past the FREE stamp.
  • To get into City Hall, you will need a driver’s license or other current identification card.
  • At the security desk, tell the officer you are going to City Council chambers, which is located on the second floor. 

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

  • The capacity of council chambers is 112 people. This allows for approximately 60 members of the public to attend in addition to the regular council, staff, and administration.
  • Everyone must wear a face mask and observe all City Hall COVID-19 protocols which include temperature checks and social distancing.

Want the essentials? Check out our public comment one-pager.

Council’s Rules for Public Comment

Council’s new procedures for public comment contain limitations for speakers who participate. People who don’t follow the rules may be asked to leave the council chamber.

The rules include:   

  • Speakers have up to three minutes for their comment and cannot yield remaining time to other speakers. Speakers can only address the topic they included on their registration form.
  • Indecent or discriminatory language is not allowed.
  • Speakers can  address the council as a whole, but not individual council members.
  • Speakers can’t  promote  products, services, or political campaigns when speaking at the podium. 
  • Signs and banners are not permitted in council chambers.

Council’s full procedures for public comment can be found here.

 

Public comment at committee meetings

People looking to make a public comment at a committee meeting have to contact the council member who chairs or leads the committee and ask to speak at the meeting. The chairperson ultimately decides whether to invite someone to speak.

To request permission to speak, a resident would need to:

  1. Figure out which committee they want to address.
  2. Identify the chair of that committee.
  3. Figure out when the committee will meet. Here’s council’s calendar. 
  4. Contact the chair and ask to speak at a meeting.

There is a general contact form on the website for residents to submit comments and questions. Each council member’s web page has contact information for them or their assistants, as well as the submission form on the main contact page.

The law and history of public comment in Cleveland

Ohio law and Cleveland’s city charter mandate that government meetings be held publicly. But what does the law say about public comment at those meetings?

  • Ohio law does not require or ban public comment
  • Cleveland’s city charter neither requires nor bans public comment
  • The city charter gives council the authority to make its own rules

Before September 2021, City Council did not routinely hold a space for public comment in its regular meetings, except for a brief time in the 1920s and 1930s. Here is a bit of history.

According to Cleveland City Council’s City Archivist Chuck Mocsiran: 

Here is a section of the 1924 city charter mandating public comment:

Despite that mandate, the city has no record of resident comments made to council during that time.

Efforts to bring public comment to Cleveland

Frustration about the lack of public comment has grown in recent years, and on Aug. 18, 2021, council members voted to change the rules to allow a reserved period of public comment at regular council meetings. 

On Sept. 20, 2021, Cleveland City Council voted to approve the current set of procedures for public comment, laying ground for a public comment at every regular City Council meeting.

Clevelanders for Public Comment, a coalition of organizers and advocacy groups from across the city led the recent push for a regular public comment period at City Council. It supported a proposed city ordinance written by Jessica Trivisonno, the director of economic development for the Northwest Neighborhoods community development corporation (CDC). The group’s research for the ordinance showed that public comment is either mandated or regularly permitted in the legislative councils serving: 

Details such as when the public comment period occurs in a council meeting, how long people are permitted to speak, and how many people can speak per meeting varies.

Nine Cleveland council members endorsed Clevelanders for Public Comment’s ordinance, but it was never officially considered by council. Instead, Council President Kevin Kelley introduced a proposed change to council’s rules in May that would allow for public comment.

A council rule change is more flexible; council can vote to suspend its rules and remove public comment from any meeting. Repealing an ordinance requires more steps and would provide increased notice to the public.

The original proposed rule change required speakers to be Cleveland residents or own a business in the city. It also required speakers to specify what ordinance or resolution they would speak about. Council voted on a rule change on Aug. 18, and approved the procedures for public comment on Sept. 20.

The procedures allow any member of the public to speak, and while speakers must stick to a specific topic, they aren’t limited to talking about a particular ordinance or resolution on the meeting agenda.

Created by the Cleveland Documenters team. Comments or questions? Email documenters@neighborhoodgrants.org. Find a one-pager version of this guide here.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.

Neighbor Up Action Grants are back!

Neighbor Up Action Grants invest in everyday people creating an extraordinary world right where they live. Grants range from $500 to $5,000, and are meant to spur small, grassroots community projects. Find out more about applying for a Neighbor Up Action Grant.

Healing Spaces

Healing Spaces is a project designed to amplify the healing spaces that exist in our communities and showcase the power of people to transform their neighborhoods.

Find good information on the 2021 Fall Elections!

Neighbor Up supports civic participation all year long. This fall members have been brainstorming ways members can find good information about the upcoming elections. To start, we have collected opportunities to learn more about candidates in the upcoming elections. 

If you know of additional non-partisan events to add please email Kaela.

Get ready!

  • Register to Vote here, deadline is October 4th.
  • Request your absentee ballot here (before October 30th). Early in person voting for the election starts October 5th!
  • Learn who is on your ballot.
  • General Election: November 2nd

Get Involved: 

Get Informed: 

Hear from mayoral and council candidates on these issues:

Learn more about Mayoral Candidates at these forums:

Learn more about City Council Candidates

Learn more about County Council Candidates

City Club of Cleveland County Council Candidate Forum 

Additional resources to learn about candidate and civics

Meet The Collective & apply for free PPE and hygiene supplies

The Collective is 14 local grassroot organizations and community leaders that came together to create a point of distribution for masks, cleaning and hygiene products. Our collective goal is to help support a healthier and a safer Cleveland.

Our distribution center, located near Gordon Park, is an opportunity to serve communities on the east-side of Cuyahoga county. This project focuses on inclusivity and reflection while respecting the work being done in the community by you. Our approach is community based and provides grassroots leaders and community organizations a consistent place to receive available supplies for free.


“Working Together To Get The Job Done!”

 

The Collective includes: Alisha Blackmon; Karen Florence, community health worker; Edward Muhammad, distribution center; Bessie Conner of The Kings and Queens Within Us; Sauriika (Riika) Lockett, distribution center manager and data specialist; Billy Sharp of Mastering Generosity Unlimited; Teralawanda Aaron of The Spot Youth Empowerment; Raimere Florence; and Tyra Jackson of The Caring.

Members and organizations not pictured include: Wyndi Moore of FARE (Food Access Raises Everyone); Garden Valley Neighborhood House; Love in Action; The Spot Youth Empowerment; Tammy Kennedy; Charles E. Bibbs Sr. (Advisor); and Jan Ridgeway (Advisor). The Collective is supported by Neighborhood Connections and a grant from the Greater Cleveland Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund.


Apply for supplies

Download our application here or call Riika, the distribution center manager, to fill out the application by phone at 216-699-0332.

See our product information sheet for more details on filling out the application and picking up supplies.


Would you like to volunteer with us?

Looking for a way to give back to your community but don’t know where to start? Let us help!

Sign up to volunteer in our distribution center to sort, pack and do inventory for organizations picking up supplies to help their communities in need!

Contact Teralawanda at 216-323-6049.


Contact The Collective

Distibution Center: 7550 Bittern, Cleveland, Ohio, 44103

___

Phone: (216) 699-0332

Email: Theworkingcollective14@gmail.com

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Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thecollectiveworkingtogether/

 

Parks & Public Space Innovation Team

Join Neighbor Up for a Parks & Public Space Innovation Team!

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a team of Neighbor Up members have heard loud and clear from residents across the city about the increased need for quality parks and public spaces across Cleveland. (Read more about that work here.) Outdoor spaces provide the benefits of improved mental and physical health, greater economic development, and a cleaner environment. Yet 25% of Clevelanders live more than a ten-minute walk from a park, and often residents are met with confusing roadblocks and bureaucracy that hinder our ability to gather in public spaces.  For these reasons, we’re launching a Parks & Public Spaces Innovation Team.  The purpose of this team is to:

● Create connections amongst residents who care about parks and greenspace in Cleveland;

● Identify issues and strategize solutions;

● Understand existing systems in Cleveland and determine opportunities for residents to influence how new systems are created and designed

There will be four sessions, starting September 14 and ending October 2, and meals will be provided. At the end of the sessions each team member will receive a grant to continue parks and greenspace advocacy! Click on the button below for details.

Send your completed application to Anastazia at anastaziav@neighborhoodgrants.org by Friday, August 27. Have questions? Call Anastazia at 216-200-8761.

Neighbor Up Elyria — 2021 Learning Lab


Deadline extended!! Click here to complete the application by August 27th.


Join us and the Community Foundation of Lorain County for this training on Community Network Building just for people living in the city of Elyria.

The Neighbor Up Network has about 3,000 members, mainly residents of Cleveland, who have years of experience bringing people together to create a more just, equitable and inclusive community. With support from the Community Foundation of Lorain County, we invite you to help build a similar network in Lorain county. We believe that the most desirable community change is fueled by the interests, energies, and commitment of the broadest array of community members. To create welcoming, inclusive neighborhoods where everyone can thrive, we must engage each other and our neighbors in meaningful ways and work together to build the community we want.

Welcome Neighbors!

We are looking for 18-20 people who live or work in the city of Elyria, care about this community, and are able to commit to the four-month training.

As a member of the team, you will:

● Learn more about yourself and the gifts you bring to this work;

● Build relationships within your neighborhood, across the city of Elyria, and with other community-builders in Lorain County.

● Learn about and practice various approaches to building community, including Asset Based Community Development and Community Network Building

● Work with a team of committed community members to overcome challenges and create a community where everyone can thrive.

● Receive a $200 Visa Gift Card


Who Is Invited to Apply

City of Elyria residents, merchants, employees at institutions who:

● believe that all members of our community have gifts, knowledge, and wisdom to offer;

● are interested in building and bridging relationships to create a strong, interconnected network in Elyria;

● are comfortable sharing power and working as a team;

● are willing and excited to work in multicultural and diverse spaces with people from all over Elyria;

● are willing to learn and raise consciousness about structural inequality;

● are open to learning and experimenting with new forms of community building; and

● are willing and able to do some of this work virtually using new technologies.


To ensure the health and safety of everyone, we are asking that all participants be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 


Commitment of Team Members

Some components may be changed to phone calls and virtual engagement as necessary due to public health needs.

● Fully participate in all sessions. This includes one Friday evening kick-off event, six Saturday sessions, and two Wednesday evening sessions via zoom (See dates and times below).

● Share your experience and knowledge with peers.

● Complete 10 one-on-one conversations with neighborhood stakeholders.

● Work with an existing team of community builders to implement and grow Neighbor Night, a city-wide gathering that was launched in 2021 by the Neighbor Up Lorain 2020 cohort. 

● Develop action plans and prototype smaller-scale efforts to address an issue that you care about with others on the team.

Based on the above components, we expect participants will dedicate 15 to 20 hours each month between September and December 2021; and then 10 to 12 hours each month through August of 2022. This includes scheduled sessions, additional time between sessions, time on community projects, and supporting Neighbor Night. 

Timeline

Application and Selection Process

● Applications Due by Monday, August 9th at 9 a.m.

● Applicant Interviews August 16th through August 25th

● You will hear back from us by Monday, August 30th

● Sign the Participation Agreement and join the team. The Kick-off event is on Friday, September 24th at 5:30 pm.

Required Session Dates

All sessions are in-person, except where indicated. Some components may be changed to online Zoom sessions as necessary due to public health needs. 

  • Friday, September 24th 5:30 to 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, September 25th from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Saturday, October 9th from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Zoom session — Wednesday, October 13th from 6 to 9 pm
  • Zoom session — Wednesday, October 20th from 6 to 9 pm
  • Saturday, November 6th from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Saturday, November 20th from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Saturday, December 4th from 10 am to 4 pm

Deadline extended!! Click here to complete the application by August 27th.

Questions?

For more information or to ask questions, contact Miyah at the Community Foundation of Lorain

 Neighbor Up members Jerry or Lisa-Jean:

Common Ground 2021: Take action

This year, Neighbor Up will continue to support Common Ground projects through small grants in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties. Grants are available up to $2500 for resident-led groups, small non-profits, and small faith-based organizations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.

  • Groups or organizations are required to have hosted a Common Ground conversation this year.
  • Applicants must be from the community with which they are working and demonstrate their connectedness to that community.
  • Proposals must be from a civic group (three or more unrelated people coming together in the community), a small non-profit, and/or a faith-based organization.
  • Small non-profit and faith-based organizations must have no more than 5 full-time employees.

Grant Application Available July 17 to August 31st.

After your Common Ground conversation, make your good idea for your community a reality!

Last call! More free masks and hygiene supplies for community groups available until July 9th

Our PPE distribution is coming to an end. The last day to request free supplies is Friday, July 9. We have hand sanitizer, cloth masks, N95’s and face shields available for grassroots groups to stay safe while doing community building work.

Order free bulk PPE for your community

Request PPE by filling out the request form here: bit.ly/clevelandPPE

Availability of supplies is limited, and groups might not receive the quantity requested. Once you fill out the request form, one of our PPE Coordinators will email or call you. You must then respond by email or phone to confirm your pick up date, or we will not be able to complete your order. 


Since last year, we have distributed free PPE and hygiene supplies to grassroots groups and nonprofits serving Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties to help meet a need where families have been left without because of the pandemic. We distributed 2.5 million masks through this work.

Special thanks to our partners

Many thanks to our funder and partner the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund as well as our partners Matthew 25 Ministries, MedWish International, May Dugan Center, Murtis Taylor Multi Services Center,  and The Cuyahoga County Emergency Operations Center for making it possible to ship, warehouse, deliver, and process these donations. 

Available now! Circular Cleveland Community Grants

The Circular Cleveland Community Grants provide financial assistance to grassroots neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations and small non-profit organizations (with an operating budget of less than $250,000) to support their community work related to the circular economy.

WHAT IS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY?

A circular economy diverts waste from the landfill and reduces pollution, keeps products and materials in use and restores and renews the natural system.  

For more information about the circular economy and Circular Cleveland, visit these Sustainable Cleveland blogs:

Watch this video explaining the circular economy and providing some national and local examples.

APPLYING FOR A GRANT

Before you begin your grant application, please make sure that this is the right application for your project by considering how this project contributes to transitioning Cleveland to a circular economy. If your project idea is not a good fit for this grant, please check out our other Neighbor Up Action Grants here.

Please answer the following questions to determine if your project idea is a good fit for the Circular Economy grant:

  • Is material being diverted from the landfill?

Some examples of how materials might be diverted are:

  • reuse 
  • repurpose
  • share
  • repair 
  • redistribution
  • redesign
  • repackage
  • restore
  • refurbish
  • remanufacture
  • recycle
  • upcycle
  • recover
  • refuse
  • rethink
  • reduce
  • other

If materials ARE being diverted, what are those materials? 

  • textiles/clothing
  • food
  • metals
  • electronics
  • plastic
  • construction materials
  • other
  • Or, is energy from fossil fuels being saved?
  • Or, is a natural system being restored or renewed?

If you can answer yes to some of the above questions, your project DOES contribute to the circular economy. Please read the Grant Guidelines below. 

GRANT GUIDELINES

  • Team members must all live, work or worship in Cleveland.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their connectedness to their community.
  • Proposals must be from grassroots neighborhood groups of at least three persons, faith-based organizations or small non-profit organizations (with an operating budget of less than $250,000).
  • Applicants must demonstrate their capacity to make change in their community.
  • Applicants must show the need in their community.
  • Projects must build off the assets in the community (wisdom, skills, talents, and networks of individuals in the community, civic groups, institutions, physical space, local economy, and/or community culture).
  • Only one proposal can be submitted by a group or organization at a time.
  • Groups and organizations with or without 501(c)(3) designation are eligible for funding and encouraged to apply. Groups and organizations without 501(c)(3) designation will need to find a fiscal sponsor. If you need assistance finding a fiscal sponsor, please contact us.
  • These grants do not fund individuals, large non-profit or large faith-based organizations, religious organizations for religious purposes, political campaigns, endowment funds, fundraising campaigns, for-profit entities, single businesses, or government entities.
  • Grant applicants will be notified of funding decision via email by early June. If approved for funding, you will receive an email letting you know, and you will be required to fill out some simple paperwork to receive your funding. If your proposal is declined funding, we are available to talk through the reasons why.
  • Funds are GENERALLY dispersed within two weeks from when approved grantees complete their paperwork. 
  • Grants will cover a 6 month period and will range between $250 and $3,000.

READY TO APPLY?

1. Watch this “How to Apply” video for more information about these grants.

2. Start the application process by clicking the ‘Apply’ button below.

QUESTIONS

If you or someone you know does not have access to a computer and/or to the Internet but wants to apply or if you have questions about the application, please contact one of the people below:

GRANTMAKING COMMITTEE

#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 the mayor’s office of communications, said the mobile vaccination service is available by request. Cleveland residents may call 216-664-2222 to reach the CDPH Vaccine Help Line and request a mobile vaccination.

The City of Cleveland said CDPH’s mobile vaccination program includes three clinical staff members and is part of the county workgroup referenced in this column by Leila Atassi. Cuyahoga County residents may request mobile vaccination by calling the Western Reserve Agency on Aging at 216-621-0303.

When Cleveland Documenters asked if there is a particular number of doses available for this program, the city said CDPH is currently able to provide a vaccine to “residents who requested service and meet the criteria for homebound.”

What’s the city’s criteria for homebound? Here’s what we learned:

CDPH has administered vaccines to 30,643 people overall as of May 15, according to last Friday’s COVID-19 Watch report.

Read Kathryn’s notes to learn what else the Health and Human Services Committee discussed on April 12, and visit our website for all Cleveland Documenters meeting notes and live-tweet threads.

NEO Youth Climate Action Fund

From our partners at The NEO Youth Climate Action Fund

NEO Youth Climate Action Fund is intended to support young people in planning and executing projects with a focus on climate and environmental resiliency. The project theme is “circular systems.” The fund aims to be accessible and all accepted projects will receive their funding up-front — students will never have to pay for anything out of pocket and be reimbursed later.

Who should apply?

Motivated young people between the ages of 15 and 21 can apply as a team of 2-5 people. If students don’t have anyone to apply with, they can let us know and we can pair them with teammates. Applications close on May 31, 2021 but we would like to move to a rolling application process without a single deadline.

What do teams need to provide?

  • Teams will provide a problem statement, solution, timeline, budget, and how they plan to measure their success, for which templates are available on the website. Advisors and Mentors will help teams fine tune their projects and stay on track.

Need some help figuring out a project?

  • Interested applicants can sign up for one of our Project Workshops. Whether they have a project ready to go or they need some help turning an idea into a convincing pitch, these workshops will walk prospective teams through the process of developing, submitting, and executing a successful project. Register for a workshop here!

#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 flying a Trump flag at its Cleveland headquarters in the months before the event.

The board had an earlier contract with Midwest Direct that didn’t include an unbiased-conduct clause. The new contract runs through the end of this year. Want to see the new contract in its entirety? Here’s a link: https://bit.ly/2ROUF3i.

A screenshot of the unbiased-conduct clause.

Mary asked, “How is the Board of Elections monitoring Midwest Direct’s work moving forward and their adherence to the unbiased-conduct clause? What are the consequences if they do not adhere to that clause?”

Mike West, manager of community outreach for the board, told Cleveland Documenters, “If vendors that do business with the board violate terms of contracts or agreements, the board will take whatever action they feel is appropriate.” Cleveland Documenters asked how the board would monitor Midwest Direct’s conduct to make sure it was unbiased. West said via email, “We monitor all of our vendors and contracts, but it is routine and not newsworthy.”

The board did not answer why there wasn’t an unbiased-conduct clause in the previous contract. Linda Walker, an administrative assistant with the Democratic Board Office, said the clause is now a standard element in all the board’s contracts.

Want all the details from the April 5 board meeting? Check out Mary Paxton’s notes here. You can also read Documenter Dan McLaughlin’s live-tweet thread of that meeting.

Comb through all Cleveland Documenters meeting notes and Twitter threads right here.

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 trains and pays people to document local government meetings. For the project, Documenters asked friends, family and other community members about their hopes and hesitations regarding the vaccines. Documenters also learned about what influences Clevelanders as they make vaccination decisions.

Cleveland Documenters hoped Voices on the Vaccine would feature voices that aren’t typically heard in media. Here are a few graphics showcasing the range of people interviewed.

A diverse group of interviewees brought a diversity of perspectives. Some residents were eager to get a vaccine.

Heather Russell, a 52-year-old Jefferson neighborhood resident and head of the Cleveland State University music school, had this to say to Documenter Leslie Bednar:

Other Clevelanders weren’t so sure.

Manuel Santiago, a 35-year-old Ohio City resident, told Documenter Kevin Naughton that people can fight viruses naturally. But, he worries he won’t be allowed to work, travel or dine out without being vaccinated.

Santiago also said that he agrees with how Ohio prioritized vaccine access. He said people with weakened immune systems, like his diabetic mother, should be able to get vaccinated first if they wish.

Beyond learning about Clevelanders’ vaccine intentions, Documenters learned about what influenced people. Science, history, and lived experience were three common factors. Rev. Leah Lewis told Documenter Kathryn Johnson that she based her decision on science.

Wondering what other Clevelanders had to say? Check out the Voices on the Vaccine stories in The Cleveland Observer:

Why Some Clevelanders are Still on the Fence or Not Getting Vaccinated


Clevelanders Share About Why They Got the Shot


Science, History and Lived Experiences Influences Choices of Clevelanders

Documenters who contributed to Voices on the Vaccine include Dorothy Ajamu, Leslie Bednar, Courtney Green, Sheila Ferguson, Gennifer Harding-Gosnell, Kathryn Johnson, Giorgiana Lascu, Sharon Lewis, Daniel McCarthy, Dan McLaughlin, McKenzie Merriman, Alicia Moreland, Kevin Naughton, Rosie Palfy, Angela Pohlman, Andy Schumann, Tina Scott, Janenell Smith, Chau Tang, and Candice Wilder.