CLASH referendum “fighting for all Cleveland’s neighborhoods – to ‘get the lead out’” — it is not a distraction Open letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

CLASH referendum “fighting for all Cleveland’s neighborhoods – to ‘get the lead out’” — it is not a distraction
Open letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

(Plain Press, July 2019) This letter is in response to the June 12 Editorial by the Editorial Board of the Plain Dealer and published by and the Plain Dealer titled Strong Cleveland lead safe legislation still needs funding and to add day cares. CLASH can help by ending distracting referendum drive.
Per the article: “There’s another sour note in the process: CLASH — the Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing citizens’ group that helped spark change with its referendum drive — has announced that, because it didn’t get every single element it wanted in the Cleveland legislation, it would continue to work toward a March 2020 ballot issue, seeking to adopt its package of reforms by referendum.”
And per the internet: “Initiative, referendum, and recall are three powers reserved to enable the voters, by petition, to propose or repeal legislation or to remove an elected official from office.”
Obviously, it is the group’s right to proceed with the referendum considering the fact that they are the “group that helped spark change.” As a member of a community affected by lead I see it as every bit as incumbent of the group to press on with the referendum. I am glad they are doing this.
Per the article: “Such a referendum drive — undercutting Cleveland’s current efforts instead of working with City Council and the community Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition to strengthen the city’s lead safe proposal and solidify funding — couldn’t be more disruptive and counterproductive. CLASH should shelve the referendum effort and get to work helping council refine its legislation, see the light on regulating home day cares and raising money in the community to support this important work.”
City Council is a body elected by the people, for the people and of the people so it is they who are accountable to the citizens who voted them in and may someday vote them out. The problem with Cleveland today lies in its lack of neighborhood civic associations supported by street block clubs. These organizations proved {in the past} that they could be used to transition neighborhoods once dominated exclusively by various nationalities. Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) is a group formed around a single issue but is fighting for all of Cleveland’s neighborhoods to “get the lead out”.
Therefore, it is incumbent of City Council to work with CLASH {and other groups} to determine what legislation to enact. Referendum is a handy tool to use if City Council does not abide by what the people want and with its looming possibility may allow for more negotiations between CLASH, City Council and the other groups. Our children’s very futures depend on it.
Joe Bialek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: