Regular reporting and commentary on the interplay of race, class and power in the civic, business and cultural spaces of NEO from the inner rings of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Primary interests: Cleveland/NEOhio regional public affairs; African American politics, commerce, culture and society; public education; national and international affairs; Cavaliers∫Browns.
Friday, January 25, 2013
“Drug War” Comes to East Cleveland; NAACP’s Hilton Smith; Emerging Leaders on Horizon
Twice within the past fortnight I have written about
the efforts of the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope [NOAH] to bring attention
to critical problems that make most of us throw up our hands and turn our
heads: the epidemic incarceration of black men and municipal finance.
There’s a part of me that wonders
about the relationship between these themes of our injustice system and muni
finance, as represented by the City of East Cleveland: to what extent did the Cleveland police officers who chased Timothy Ray Russell and Malissa Williams into that
broke city and killed them in gangland fashion feel impunity to do so because
of a subliminal concurrence with the sentiments so indelibly expressed in the
infamous words of Chief Justice Roger Taney in Dred Scott, thatthey
echo in the coarse paraphrase “East
Cleveland had no laws that white police officers were bound to respect”?
Tomorrow afternoon NOAH will present the Cleveland-area
premiere of “The House I Live In”, the top documentary at the 2012 Sundance
Film Festival. The powerful film questions why the United States has become the
world’s leading jailer of its own people.
Danny Glover, John Legend, Brad Pitt,
and Russell Simmons were executive producers of the film.
The special screening will be Saturday,
January 26, at the East Cleveland Library, 14101 Euclid Ave. Admission is free
and doors open at12:45 PM. The film will start at 1:30 PM. A moderated discussion will follow the screening.
This coming Monday, NOAH will host a
forum on East Cleveland’s budget and budget process. Last month the city was
recently returned a state of fiscal emergency by State Auditor David Yost,
where it has spent most of the past quarter century.
The forum will be held Monday,
January 29 from 6:30-8:30 PM at New Covenant Lutheran Church,
1424 Hayden Avenue, East Cleveland OH 44112.
Last week a group of East Cleveland
citizens organized by NOAH presented a letter jointly addressed to the mayor
and city council president inviting them to the forum. While Mayor Gary Norton
accepted immediately, NOAH’s executive director told us in an email that every
council member has cited “other obligations” precluding their attendance at the
Why aren’t our most-publicized local
civil rights organizations — the Cleveland NAACP and increasingly, the local
Southern Christian Leadership Conference — organizing these kinds of events in
the community? Perhaps some answers will emerge at either or both of two events
scheduled for next weekend.
Next Friday, Feb. 1, the newly installed
Cleveland NAACP president, Rev. Hilton O. Smith, will speak at the City Club of
Cleveland. His talk will be broadcast live on WCPN 90.3FM at 12:30PM and will be shown on television on WVIZ/PBS on Sunday beginning
at 10AM. The taped telecast will include the traditional City Club Q and A from one of the city’s most engaged audiences.
Of course, you may want to have your
resident or neighboring teenager TIVO that Sunday telecast so that you will be
free to attend a forum that morning at First Unitarian Church of Shaker
For the past several years First
Unitarian has been sponsoring “discussions that matter” community forums on
Sunday mornings from 9:30 until 10:45 in their Fellowship Hall, 21600 Shaker
Boulevard, Shaker Heights OH 44122.
On Sunday, February 3 the panelists
at this “come one come all” event will comprise a representative sample of the
next generation of Greater Cleveland leadership. Businessman Clint Bradley,
banker Michael Jeans, United Black Fund executive director Cecil Lipscomb, and
political organizer and civic activist Gigi Traore will share their ideas on
where we are, where we need to go, and how we might get there. Real
Deal publisher Richard T. Andrews will moderate.