WPT volunteer Jerry Mask to serve as Cleveland Chapter SPJ President for 2023-24 year

Retiree Jerry Masek, a volunteer at The West Park Times, has been asked to serve as President of the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for the 2023-24 program year.
A journalist since 1969, and a member since 1976, Masek has been recognized for service to journalism on the local, regional and national levels.
SPJ represents all journalists, whether they are members of the Society or not, in all modes of journalism — print, broadcast, freelance and online. The SPJ Code of Ethics is considered the industry standard. All Chapter programs and Board meetings are open to the public.
To learn more, go to the national or local Facebook pages, or www.spj.org, or www.clevelandSPJpro.com. The Pro Chapter works with student chapters at Cleveland State University and John Carroll University.

Holly Trifiro will step down from her role as Chief of Education effective Aug. 25


Today, Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced that Holly Trifiro will step down from her role as Chief of Education effective Aug. 25, 2023. 

Stepping into the role is Michele Pomerantz, a veteran Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) educator and advocate with decades of experience in regional collaboration, policy development and education management. Pomerantz’s first official day as Chief of Education will be Aug. 28.  

“I am proud of the work we have done in the education space during the first 18 months of my administration,” Mayor Bibb said. “From Cleveland Reads and ARPA investments, to strong selections for the Board of Education and an inclusive search for CMSD’s next CEO, we have accomplished a lot and I am deeply grateful to Chief Trifiro for leading these efforts. As we begin a new school year with new leadership, it is an optimal time to bring in the next Chief of Education and I wish Chief Trifiro all the best as she embarks on this next chapter of her career.”  

Although she is leaving the administration, Chief Trifiro will remain very much involved in working directly with students, educators, families and partners across Cleveland to continue this progress from a new vantage point.  

“My experience in the Mayor’s Office has deepened my understanding of the value of community organizations and creative educators working directly with students to reimagine learning in a post-pandemic context,” Chief Trifiro said. “With this insight, I will be working on strategies to grow high-quality engaging learning experiences in our city. The mayor’s commitment to a youth agenda paired with Dr. Morgan’s experience leading meaningful academic progress signal a phase of incredible opportunity for Cleveland’s young people, and I am excited to continue to play a role in that work.”  

Chief Trifiro and Pomerantz will work together on the transition and onboarding process to ensure there is no disruption to the work of the office.  

“We are excited to welcome Michele to City Hall and to continue building on our progress,” Mayor Bibb said. “Given her experience in education, local government, advocacy and policy, she is well prepared to take on this critical role.” 

Michele Pomerantz began her career in education as a first-grade teacher for CMSD in the early 1990s. During her 21-year tenure as an educator, Pomerantz was focused on improving the system for teachers and for students. From 2008 to 2012, she served as director of political action for the Cleveland Teachers Union, where she led advocacy efforts for the 2011 Ohio Collective Bargaining Limit Repeal and played a major role in the formation and establishment of The Cleveland Plan.  

Pomerantz then spent a year at D.C.-based American Federation of Teachers (AFT), serving as the deputy director of the office of the president, before returning to Cleveland as a senior advisor to then CMSD CEO Eric Gordon.  

In 2018 Pomerantz was selected by former Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish to serve as Director of Regional Collaboration, a role she held for four years before joining the MetroHealth system’s government relations team.  

“I am both humbled and excited to be named Cleveland’s next Chief of Education,” Pomerantz said. “This role draws on every facet of my 30 plus year career in education and government, and I am ready to hit the ground running. It is an honor to be selected to serve our young scholars, families, educators, administrators and citywide stakeholders. Together, I believe we will achieve great things for and with the young people in this city.” 

Cleveland International Film Festival Executive Director Marcie Goodman plans to step down June 2024

 Marcie Goodman, Executive Director of the Cleveland International Film Festival informed the Board of Directors that she plans to step down at the end of June 2024.


Marcie Goodman, executive director of the Cleveland International Film Festival informed the Board of Directors that she plans to step down at the end of June 2024.

Marcie Goodman started at CIFF in 1987, took a hiatus from 1994 to 1997 to work at moCa Cleveland, and returned to CIFF in 1998. In 2001 she became the organization’s third executive director in its 47-year history — following founder Jonathan Forman and his successor, David Wittkowsky.

“It has been a labor of love to work with so many dedicated board members, talented staffers, loyal volunteers, and generous sponsors, donors, and funders,” Goodman said. “Together we’ve helped filmmakers find audiences for their amazing work, bringing our artists and our attendees joy, wonder and excitement. One year from now I will have been the Film Festival’s executive director for 23 years. It’s time for me to take a break and turn the page to the next chapter. The Cleveland International Film Festival is world-renowned, so I’m 100% certain the board will get to choose from amazing candidates to replace me. And the board will find someone with the right leadership skills, energy, and vision to keep CIFF going as one of the crown jewels of Cleveland’s arts and culture community. The new director will also have time to prepare for CIFF’s 50th anniversary in 2026!”

Board President Chris Blake said: “Marcie Goodman has overseen an extraordinary run of success for CIFF during her tenure as executive director. Under her leadership, CIFF managed extraordinary growth during the Festival’s time at Tower City Cinemas, successfully pivoting to showing films online at the start of the pandemic, and transitioning the Festival to its new forever home at Playhouse Square. We are grateful for her service to CIFF and we’re looking forward to celebrating her during CIFF48 — her final Festival as executive director. In the meantime, we will use the advance notice she’s given us to identify the next great leader for CIFF.”

The Board of Directors will soon begin a national search for CIFF’s next executive director.

CIFF48 will take place April 3-13, 2024 at Playhouse Square — the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York. The Festival will screen films in five of the iconic theatres at Playhouse Square, with a handful of other spaces being used for CIFF talkbacks, community events, and patron andfilmmaker gathering places. Information on CIFF48 Streams – the Festival’s online component – will be announced in the coming months.

The Cleveland International Film Festival is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Also, the Cleveland International Film Festival is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council(OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

Antonio, Kunze Unveil Funding for No-Cost Period Products

Antonio, Kunze Unveil Funding for No-Cost Period Products


On July 26, Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood)state Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Dublin)Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus and members of the Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls held a press conference to discuss funding in the budget to provide no-cost period products in Ohio schools.

“Menstruation is a natural, biological occurrence that’s experienced by more than half the population—just as a lack of access to toilet paper is unhygienic and a danger to one’s health, the same is true of lacking access to period products,” said Leader Antonio. “I am pleased that this budget bill includes a provision for the basic health and hygiene necessities for girls, and I look forward to seeing expanding access to period products as we work toward menstrual equity in Ohio.”

This appropriation was recently signed into law as part of the state operating budget, House Bill 33. Leader Antonio and Senator Kunze introduced the budget amendment that will allocate this funding. It will provide $5 million in fiscal year 2024 for schools to provide free period products in schools. Of the $5 million, $2 million will go toward installing product dispensers and $3 million will go toward purchasing the products.

“I am grateful our amendment to provide period products to our 6-12 grade students was included in the Senate version and final version of the state operating budget,” said Senator Kunze. “We heard from advocates throughout the state that this will significantly aid in ensuring less truancy and stigma, and promoting productivity and participation in the classroom.”

At least 30 states and the District of Columbia have laws easing access to period products, and Ohio joins more than 20 states that have legislation to increase access in schools specifically. Providing students with freely-accessible tampons and pads can increase school attendance by 2.4% and reduce the documented health risks that they may face when experiencing a lack of access to these essential products.

“It is imperative that all students have every opportunity to learn in our schools.  Eighty percent of teens have reported missing class time or knew someone who had missed school due to not having access to period products,” said Commissioner Driehaus. “Providing no-cost period products in Ohio schools enables students to attend class, reduces period poverty and fosters gender equity.”

The bill requires all public and private schools that enroll girls in grades six through 12 to provide free period products for those students. The bill further permits schools to offer free period products to students below sixth grade if they so choose and determine where the products are to be kept in the school.

Watch the full press conference here.

Mayor Bibb names Matthew J. Cole as Cleveland’s new HR director


Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced today that Matthew J. Cole will be the new Director of Human Resources for the City of Cleveland.  

“We are pleased to bring Matt on board and believe that his community-centered HR philosophy and more than two decades of experience in the field make him the right person for the job,” said Mayor Bibb. “I look forward to working with him to modernize our HR operations and find new and innovative ways to recruit, retain and support our employees across the city.”

Cole will assume the role from Interim Director Edward Romero, who has been leading the city’s HR team since March 21, 2023. His first day will be August 21.  

A human resources veteran with more than 23 years of experience, Cole has spent much of his career driving strategic organization-wide initiatives in the public sector, managing and coordinating large teams and departments and leading employee and labor relations efforts. He is an established leader in building and growing high-performing teams, strategic planning and execution, collective bargaining, DE&I work, organizational development and risk management.  

Cole most recently served as director of administration and human resources for the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the commission’s HR, safety services and offices services departments.  

Prior to joining the commission in May 2003, he worked as a human resources manager for Cuyahoga County, where he was assigned to the Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency. Prior to working for Cuyahoga County and the Ohio Turnpike, he worked for the Bellefaire Jewish Community Board as a youth counselor.  

Cole holds both a bachelor’s degree in social work with a concentration in criminal justice and a master’s degree in labor relations and human resources from Cleveland State University. He is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). He was selected for this role through a competitive internal search committee process.  

Help shape the future of parks and recreation in Cleveland!

REMINDER: Happening tonight at 6 p.m.

Your input is needed!

The City of Cleveland is in the first phase of planning the future of parks and recreation and wants to hear from residents. An open house will be held on Wednesday, July 26 at Gunning Park Recreation Center, 16700 Puritas Ave, from 6 to 8 p.m. Stop in at any time during the two hour window to give your input. Bilingual staff on site. A light meal will be served. #cleparksrecplan

Cleveland Public Library welcomes new development director

Cleveland Public Library is pleased to announce Shirley A. Leonard as the new Sr. Director of Development at Cleveland Public Library. Photo of SHIRLEY A. LEONARD.


The new director will drive strategic growth
and lead fundraising endeavors

Cleveland Public Library is pleased to announce Shirley A. Leonard as the new Sr. Director of Development at Cleveland Public Library.

“Cleveland Public Library is thrilled to welcome Shirley A. Leonard to the team,” said Dr. Shenise Johnson-Thomas, Chief of External Relations and Development at Cleveland Public Library. “Shirley’s extensive experience and deep understanding of philanthropy will be invaluable as we strive to enhance and expand our services to meet the evolving needs of our community.”

In this newly created position, Leonard will be responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive fundraising strategies including the creation of a major gifts campaign that will support the Library’s strategic plan.

The investment in building the fundraising capacity for the Cleveland Public Library Foundation was made possible by a generous gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.

Leonard has proven success in development, nonprofit leadership, and donor relations. Her accomplishments include a case for support for two initiatives worth millions of dollars at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), where she served as Associate Dean of Development and External Relations at the Weatherhead School of Management. Prior to CWRU, she was Senior Director of Development at Cleveland State University for the Monte Ahuja School of Business and Levin School of Urban Affairs, where she was instrumental in helping the University surpass the goal of $100 million in its first comprehensive funding campaign.

“Cleveland Public Library contains a wealth of knowledge and stories, and I look forward to mobilizing resources to empower this storied institution in its efforts to connect with the hearts and minds of Clevelanders for generations to come,” expressed Shirley A. Leonard, Sr. Director of Development at Cleveland Public Library.

The Highland Heights native earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University.

City of Cleveland files lawsuit against illegal insulin price-fixing  


Cleveland is the first city in the country seeking damages to recover millions in benefit payouts 

Today, the City of Cleveland filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) who orchestrated a pricing scheme that resulted in skyrocketing insulin prices and cost the city millions of dollars in prescription benefit payouts. The city is represented by the Law Department, the Cleveland firm of Kelley Ferraro, LLC, and others. 

Cleveland is the first city in the country to file a lawsuit of this nature against the defendants. 

Cleveland’s Chief Trial Counsel Elena Boop and Chief Assistant Law Director Amy Hough, who represent the city in the case, are honored to work with a team of talented lawyers to hold defendants accountable for skyrocketing insulin prices. This case is also deeply personal to them.   

Amy Hough was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in December 1979. From age seven, she was warned about the dangers of not controlling her diabetes – blindness, heart disease, loss of limbs, dangerous pregnancy and a shorter life. She needs access to a steady supply of insulin so she can take the right dosage at the right time to keep diabetes in check. Insulin is not something she, or any other diabetic, can save up for to buy in the future. If she puts off the purchase, she risks her life. Prior to working for the city, Amy had resorted to using high-interest credit cards to buy this life-sustaining medication. 

When Elena Boop’s 15-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it became clear that her small legal practice was no longer sustainable, due to the out-of-pocket cost of insulin medications. Insulin prices effectively destroyed Elena’s small business. The last seven years have been shaped by constant worrying of how her daughter would be able to afford insulin once she turns 26 and is no longer on the city’s health plan. Her daughter’s career choices and future, including where she lives, have been shaped by insulin costs rather than her dreams and inspirations. 

Diabetics need insulin to stay alive. The defendants exploit this reality to guarantee their price-fixing scheme, making insulin unaffordable to individuals and resulting in exorbitant costs for prescription benefit sponsors like the City of Cleveland.  

Diabetic medications are among the highest costs under the City’s prescription benefit plan provided to its employees. The lawsuit seeks to recover those costs. It alleges violations of federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Civil Conspiracy and Unjust Enrichment and seeks to recover compensatory and treble damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, costs and interest. 

City wants input from community to plan future of parks and recreation in Cleveland

Four open houses are scheduled for July 26, 27 and 29


The Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects (MOCAP) is in the first phase of planning the future of parks and recreation in the city of Cleveland, and wants input from residents. With that, a series of open houses scheduled for July 26, 27 and 29, on both the west and east sides of town, are part of a robust community needs assessment. 

  • Wednesday, July 26 at Gunning Park Recreation Center, 6-8pm
  • Thursday, July 27 at Zelma Watson George Recreation Center, 12-2pm
  • Thursday, July 27 at Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center, 6-8pm
  • Saturday, July 29 at South Branch Public Library, 10-12pm

The City seeks a diverse range of participation to ensure residents’ voices are heard and translated in the plans. 

“This plan will provide a playbook for the City to follow over the coming decade,” said OLIN CEO Lucinda Sanders. “For that playbook to be responsive to the needs of Clevelanders, we are hosting these open houses as one way to hear directly from residents what they would like parks and recreation in the City to look like in the future.”    

The open houses are being organized by OLIN, the Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm selected to guide the planning process, along with local community partners including ThirdSpace Action Lab, Neighborhood Connections, designExplorr, OHM Advisors, and others. Two pop-ups engagements will be held, as well, during Wade Oval Wednesday on July 26 at 5:30pm and at Public Square July 28 at noon.

The first of its kind in the city’s history, this multi-phased planning process will look at the city’s Neighborhood Resource and Recreation Centers (NRRCs), parks, pools, playgrounds and similar spaces across the city as well as the quantity and the quality of programs provided.

The City of Cleveland currently operates 179 unique parks and recreation sites, including 155 city parks, 23 recreation centers, and 1 golf course that total nearly 1,760  acres. These sites include 111 baseball fields, 108 playgrounds, 88 basketball courts, 70 tennis courts, 40 indoor or outdoor swimming pools, and hundreds of other public amenities and programs.  

Led by MOCAP, the 15-year master plan will create a roadmap that ensures just and fair capital investment in parks and recreation, provides equitable connections to quality parks and recreation activities while meeting the needs of city residents, community groups, and other stakeholders.    

“This is an incredible opportunity to revitalize public spaces in every neighborhood across our city,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “This plan is all about access and equity, removing barriers, building community, and creating places and experiences that enrich peoples’ lives.”    

The three-phase planning process is expected to take 18 months to complete. The goal of the first phase is to identify the current and future parks and recreation needs of Clevelanders, community groups, and stakeholders over the next 15 years. The second phase is the creation of a long-range plan that will reconcile existing conditions with the community needs assessment. The third phase entails a strategic plan outlining the best methods to finance and implement the long-range plan.  

To learn more about the project visit www.cleparksrecplan.com



The mission of MOCAP is to provide for the planning, designing, construction, and preservation of the City of Cleveland’s facilities and infrastructure through collaborative and comprehensive planning, leadership in management, excellence in sustainable design and technical expertise, and quality construction based on integrity and professionalism. The office oversees the Division of Architecture and Site Development, the division of Engineering and Construction, and The Division of Real Estate. 


OLIN is a nationally and internationally recognized landscape architecture, urban design, and planning studio with more than 40 years of experience in parks and recreation system planning and designing for the public realm. OLIN projects include a 25-year master plan to transform the post-industrial land along Philadelphia’s Delaware River, the campus and gardens at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, the award-winning 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C., and the parks master plan for Fort Collins. OLIN is also the team behind the Eastman Reading Garden at the Cleveland Public Library and the plaza and greenspace surrounding the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building. More about OLIN and the studio’s work can be found at parks.theolinstudio.com.

Mayor Bibb announces RISE Initiative

Latest investments include marketing plan for police recruitment, carjacking pilot program, & expansion of violent crime reduction efforts


As part of his comprehensive effort to combat crime levels in the City and enhance law enforcement, Mayor Justin M. Bibb introduced today an extensive plan for additional investments in public safety.  TheRaising Investment in Safety for Everyone (RISE) Initiative is a portfolio of multiple strategic investments, partnerships, enforcement efforts, and technology championed by Mayor Bibb and his administration.

“The level of violence we are seeing in our city requires seismic investments and an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Mayor Bibb. “We are engaging everyone — police, fire, EMS, building and housing, community relations, residents, nonprofit partners and businesses — to confront this issue.  We all have a role in keeping Cleveland safe and everyone must send the message that we will not tolerate violence.”

RISE is focused on investing in police and public safety, leveraging regional partnerships, promoting aggressive enforcement and increased police visibility, and increasing the use of technology to help tackle crime. The initiative’s framework includes foundational support specifically designed to help police do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible, recognizing that officers alone cannot solve this complex issue. 

Latest Investments

The Department of Public Safety is finalizing a contract with a local marketing consultant, who will develop a robust, comprehensive strategy and campaign for officer recruitment and retention.  The department’s current numbers reflect challenges being felt by agencies nationwide experiencing an unforeseen reduction in police safety forces over the last three years.

The Division of Police partnered with Cuyahoga County and launched a pilot program that will focus on addressing carjackings and car thefts across Cleveland.  The goal of this Cleveland-centered program is on intervention, where the use of pretrial monitoring will help with a more efficient court response to these types of incidents.

The City expanded several of its violent crime reduction efforts, both internally and through partnerships with other agencies.  The City’s Violence Reduction Task Force – which prioritizes crimes of violence, gang activity, drug enforcement and fugitive apprehension – extended their focus to hot spots in the city and shutting down problematic locations and streets in partnership with the departments of Building & Housing, Public Health, and Fire.  The City is also actively augmenting several of its law enforcement strategies by working with the U.S. Marshals and FBI on the expansion of warrant sweeps and gun intelligence efforts, the U.S. Attorney to support fast-tracking of city-related gun cases, RTA and CMHA to expand curfew enforcement, and the State Highway Patrol to ramp up traffic enforcement.

Other Investments

Previous investments the city has made under the RISE plan include increased police officer pay, the establishment of a $10 million violence prevention endowment fund, and using $1 million in ARPA funds for a downtown lighting project to enhance safety. Additional investments in police, including recruitment and retention strategies, remain under discussion in the run-up to Cleveland’s first ever Public Safety Summit, which was announced last week.  The Summit is scheduled for August 23 with leadership of the city, CPPA, and FOP working together to strategize on how to best support recruitment and retention of the city’s police force.

Earlier this month, the city announced the expanded Safe Smart CLE Camera Program, powered by FUSUS, and began a campaign encouraging business owners, residents, and community partners to register their cameras to be part of the program.  Registration takes less than 60 seconds and is done through a private and secure online portal.  To date, the program has nearly 2,000 cameras integrated with the City’s Real Time Crime Center.  The program has the support of Cleveland State University, RTA, Steelyard Commons, and Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and is also backed by community leaders.

“Cameras tucked into new high-tech streetlights are powerful aids … [that] act as security systems and monitor traffic and parking, solving crimes, [and] silent eyes that more than once have caught overhead images that led to solving crimes,”said Pastors Greg and Teresa McCurry with New Beginning Ministries in the City’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.  “This helps combat gun violence, to solving cases, to helping save lives.”

“Since working with our former Commander … our block was able to get a street camera in our street light system and we have not had any guns shooting in years on this street,” added Joyce Hood, Elizabeth Street Club President in the Union-Miles Park neighborhood.  “We use[d] to be a high gun shooting area till now.”

Other technology components of the RISE initiative include AI-powered camera monitoring and maintenance, a push to hire five additional crime analysts – one for each police district – to support the work of police and detectives in solving and responding to crimes, and the expansion of ShotSpotter into all five police districts, which is also supported by community members.

“ShotSpotter appears to be doing what the technology is meant to do,” said Dot Martin with the Old Brooklyn Crime Watch group.  “If it helps the police officers be more efficient and productive (especially in light of the shortage of officers) then it should continue and ideally be expanded.”

“I support ShotSpotter to help the police,” added Edie Le Bouton, another resident in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood.  “I believe this will help citizens all over the county.”

Additionally, RISE calls for the expansion and strengthening of regional partnerships, from working with inner-ring suburban mayors and police chiefs to collaboration with the FBI, U.S. Marshals, State Highway Patrol, faith leaders, business owners, partner organizations like Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and others.

“As mayor, safety is my number one priority and I am deeply grateful to our first responders, to our police union leadership for their engagement, and to the community leaders out in the neighborhoods working to make Cleveland a better place,” added Mayor Bibb. “Everyone deserves to feel safe no matter what neighborhood they live in, which is why we need to unite, stand up, and push back against this violence.  That’s what RISE is all about.”

St. Patrick’s Church celebrates 175th anniversary

St. Patrick’s Church is the oldest and most well-known landmark in West Park. In 2023, church members are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the parish, a focal point in a neighborhood known for its Irish population. (Photos by Kate Rybak, a photojournalist who joined the staff this week. Please join us in welcoming her.)

New CPL Rockport Branch building expected to open spring 2024

A study in contrast. The current home and future home of the Cleveland Public Library Rockport Branch sit side-by-side on West 140th Street near Puritas Avenue, in Ward 16. The library is one of the most-used branches in Cleveland, and is home to the Best Buy Teen Tech Center. The new building, which offers much more space, is expected to open in spring 2024. (Photos by Kate Rybak)

A study in contrast. The current home and future home of the Cleveland Public Library Rockport Branch sit side-by-side on West 140th Street near Puritas Avenue, in Ward 16. The library is one of the most-used branches in Cleveland, and is home to the Best Buy Teen Tech Center. The new building, which offers much more space, is expected to open in spring 2024. (Photos by Kate Rybak)

OPINION: Let’s keep one person one vote in Ohio: Vote “no” on Issue 1


On May 10th, Senate Joint Resolution 2 was passed by the House and Senate. This bill proposes an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, to appear on the ballot at a special election on August 8, 2023.

Issue 1 would:

  • Require any future constitutional amendment to be approved by at least 60% of the voters.
  • Require signatures of at least 5% of the electors in each of the 88 counties, instead of 44 counties.
  • Eliminate the 10-day period to file additional signatures for an initiated constitutional amendment.

This proposed amendment destroys the principle of “One Person, One Vote.” Without a doubt, Issue 1 oppresses the individual rights of all voters.

Don’t be fooled by the drafters’ ruse of falsely titling Issue 1 “elevating the standards to qualify for and to pass any constitutional amendment.” Should Issue 1 pass, the standards would not be “elevated”—instead, they will be utterly eradicated. The current standard for passing constitutional amendments is by a simple majority (50%+1). This standard has been inscribed into the Ohio Constitution since 1912 and has been the way in which our state has voted for the past 111 years. Ohio is still governed as a democracy. By definition, the word “democracy” means “rule by the people”—this means that our government relies on the participation of the people in the political process in order to function properly. However, our democracy would be thwarted by the implementation of Issue 1, insomuch as the approval of Issue 1 would give extremist legislators an almost absolute power to assert their control over Ohioans and the state legislature by passing their own nefarious bills without much penalty while ignoring the demands of voters. Outside groups are bankrolling Issue 1 because if it passes—the not-everyday citizens will be the only ones to be able to bring forward ballot measures.

It’s imperative that Ohioans vote to protect our freedom and are registered to vote by July 10th in order to vote in the August 8th election. It is no surprise, however, that the gerrymandered super-majority has attempted to make it increasingly more difficult to cast a vote in Ohio. In order to vote in person, Ohio law now requires a valid, unexpired photo ID (this includes a driver’s license, state ID card from the BMV, military ID card, or U.S. passport). Voting by mail doesn’t require a photo ID, and you can go to VoteOhio.gov to register for an absentee ballot with your current address.

Protect your rights as Ohio voters. Let’s keep “One Person, One Vote” in Ohio and vote “No” on Issue 1—your vote can and will determine the future of Ohio.

Cleveland Division of Air Quality issues health alert due to Canadian wildfires


The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) Division of Air Quality  (DAQ) has issued a health alert due to elevated levels of fine particulate matter caused in major  part by wildfires in Canada. The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) has  also issued an Air Quality Advisory, due to an exceedance of fine particulate levels in the “Very  Unhealthy” Air Quality Index (AQI) range.  

During periods when the air is “Very Unhealthy” CDPH recommends that individuals with heart  or lung disease, older adults, children, and teens:  

• Avoid outdoor activities as much as possible. 

• Stay inside with the windows closed. 

Everyone else: 

• Limit outdoor activities especially strenuous outdoor activities. 

• Keep outdoor activities as short as possible. 

• Re-assign outdoor work to indoor activities except in emergent situations. 

Those with heart disease or COPD should pay close attention to symptoms such as chest pain or  tightness, a fast heartbeat, feeling more out of breath than usual, or extreme fatigue. Contact  your health care provider or system, or if symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1. Check the daily Air Quality Index and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Fire and Smoke  Map at www.airnow.gov to view hourly updates, as the condition will change hour to hour.

The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) is committed to improving the quality of life of City residents  by promoting healthy behavior, protecting the environment, preventing disease, and making the City a healthy  place to live, work, and play. As the local public health agency for the City of Cleveland, CDPH offers a range of  programs, including clinical, environmental, health promotion, and population-based services. Our mission is to  promote and protect the health and well-being of residents, communities, and partners in the City of Cleveland.  Our vision is to be the most responsive, trusted, and impactful health department in the country. For more  information, please visit www.clevelandhealth.org.