|Ron Busby, Sr., President/CEO |
of U.S. Black Chambers Inc.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Meeting is site where Tamir Rice shot and killed almost a year ago
The Cleveland Community Police Commission, appointed by Mayor Frank Jackson in September pursuant to the consent decree he negotiated with the US Department of Justice following the latter’s two-year investigation of the city’s police practices and procedures, will hold its third community meeting today at Cudell Recreation Center. The meeting is scheduled from 5:30pm-8:30pm.
Twelve-year old Tamir Rice was shot dead on the playground just outside the center last November 22 when two Cleveland police officers confronted him in response to a citizen call that an armed man was brandishing a gun outside the center. The dispatcher who took the call neglected to pass on the caller’s caution that the gun was quite possibly a toy. Video of the encounter show that Tamir was shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann within two seconds of the police cruiser driving right up on the pre-teen, in clear violation of what many experts suggest is proper police procedure.
The Commission, tasked with making recommendations on improving policies related to bias-free policing, greater transparency, and other issues, has been crisscrossing town for its meetings. A substantial portion of its Oct. 28 meeting, held at Elizabeth Baptist Church on Francis Ave. in Ward 12, was devoted to considering how to adjust the agenda for the possibility that Tamir’s relatives might attend the meeting and wish to speak, and whether they should perhaps receive an official invitation. At the end of the discussion, the consensus was that unofficial invitations by individual Commission members would be appropriate, and that similar invitations might be extended to the families of other victims who died as a result of street lawlessness, including police officers.
While the first Commission meeting, on Oct. 14, was attended by about 150 people, less than half that number came to the Oct. 28 meeting. Tonight’s meeting is likely to be among the best attended and perhaps the most fraught with emotion, of the five public meetings announced to date.
The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3 at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave.
Nearly 100 attend launch of Black Business Chamber last night
Knowing chuckles spread through the audience when Ron Busby, president and CEO of the US Black Chamber of Commerce, recalled his father’s expressed view of the family business: “I’m’ a keep it small, and keep it all.”
Perhaps it was the recognition by the professionals and owners of mostly small businesses, in attendance to celebrate the launch of The Presidents Council Business Chamber, the city’s newest trade association, that the typical black-owned business has only one employee and has gross annual receipts of about $72,000.
PCBC was established in Cleveland this summer to provide leadership, ideas, and resources to advance black-owned and operated businesses in Greater Cleveland, according to the group’s mission statement. It starts off with more than sixty charter members. Watch for the December issue of The Real Deal Press for a full report on last night’s event and PCBC’s plans.
Visit www.thepresidentscouncil.com or call 216.771.8702 for Business Chamber membership information.
GOP Debate observations
I arrived home too late to watch most of last night’s debate of 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls. I checked out perhaps 15 minutes towards the end, which yielded these quick observations.
1. Someone should tell Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that not all Americans arrived here full of hope for freedom and a brighter life ahead. Among those he excludes from his happy historic reconstruction — happy historic reconstruction is an exercise many Texas officials work to enshrine in the state’s educational curriculum — are the ancestors of most African Americans, Chinese laborers, and of course, Native Americans. It’s likely not so much that he forgets about these groups as that they simply don’t register in his view of traditional Americans. Cruz is a second-generation American — his father emigrated from Cuba —and obviously was quick to pick up the glorified Gone With The Wind version of a “colorblind” America whose only problem was the refusal of damn Yankees to let good old’ boys perpetuate their Confederacy.
2. Carly Fiorina has a thoroughly prepared answer for most every question and is especially sharp-tongued when it comes to skewering the only other female presidential contender, Democrat Hillary Clinton. She does it with such self-assurance that most people, wrapped up in her delivery, probably are unaware of how fast and loose she plays with the truth. One senses how the Hewlett-Packard board of directors was likely smitten with her right up until the moment they realized she was tanking the company.
3. In attempting to catch up with the spinmeisters this morning, I found sixth-tier also-ran Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina talking about the religious war being raged against the United States. South Carolina is one of the most militarized states in the US with its abundance of military installations and retired armed forces personnel, and their senior senator was quite the true believer as he condemned ISIS/ISIL Muslims for their savagery and singling out of Christian targets. I guess he must wonder why they don’t use drones like we do.
Cleveland Heights City Council to have new vacancy
Jeff Coryell resigning effective Dec. 31, moving out-of-state
Cleveland Heights Council Member Jeff Coryell announced his resignation from council, effective Dec. 31, on Monday. He is moving to Detroit where his wife, Phyllis L. Crocker, has been Dean of the School of Law at University of Detroit Mercy since early 2014.
Coryell will leave two years into a four-year council term that began January 2014.
According to the city's charter, Cleveland Heights City Council must appoint someone to fill Coryell’s unexpired term. Typically, the Council solicits and reviews applications before making the appointment. Its timetable for doing so has not yet been established.
Whoever is appointed would have to run in November 2016 to finish the last year of Coryell’s term and again in 2017 for a new four-year term in 2017.