Cleveland City Council is a cliche of itself
if you're going to be dumb, at least be unique
In a continuing campaign of dastardly Disney villain tactics, the Cleveland City Council has doubled down on saying that 2% of OUR budget should NOT be controlled by the people, but rather by them. They claim it’s because they’ve been elected, so it’s their right from the voters to horde all the power like dragons. To pile the City’s budget underneath them, hovering above it like they think they hover above the rest of us.
Granted, they don’t mention that City Council races have some of the worst voting turnout numbers, with Ward 13 having Kris Harsh winning with only 2,745 votes in a district of 20,000 eligible voters.
On the other hand, maybe it is purely out of self-interest they are fighting against it, as early studies show Participatory Budgeting like the one being suggested actually INCREASES voter turnout, which could threaten their nicely trussed-up elections.
Not only is it insulting to insinuate the voters who manage their own budgets can’t collectively decide on what their ward needs, but it is comically cliche. Pick any political movie, TV show, political comic, and you’ll always run into the same trope of characters deciding they know what’s best for the voters…without consulting them.
City Council wants us to believe we’re in some sort of elective monarchy, where officials like themselves get to act like kings and queens in office and crush anyone who dares voice a differing opinion.
Granted, back in 2021, City Council decided to approve $8 million a year to renovate the Guardians’ stadium out of public funds, on top of another $112.5 million to extend the team’s lease. Then in 2022, the Browns looked for $1 BILLION to renovate their stadium, again from our pockets. This would make sense, if the revenue from these facilities came back to the city or was invested in much needed infrastructure like public transit, or street maintenance. But of course, it doesn’t. The privately owned franchise reaps all the most lucrative portions of owning a team, while the city is slammed with a NEGATIVE cashflow of about $180Million.
But hey, we all love going to games. And they are argued to bring in jobs, tourism, business to the downtown area, and all that is well and good. But the fact that Cleveland City Council is willing to eat a multiMILLION dollar deficit with public funds but claims TWO PERCENT (just about $14million dollars) of our own money is “obnoxiously expensive!” is a slap in the face.
Let me end with this. The other day, I went to a PBCLE bonfire meeting. It was a fairly intimate gathering of 25ish people in someone’s backyard. There was a cooler full of Great Lakes, a few pizzas, and a hodgepodge of lawn chairs and other places to sit. Besides the PBCLE stickers, you’d never think we were anything but a group of friends. But when went around and introduced ourselves we had students, parents, neighbors, and some people who had never organized a petition or participated in local politics beyond voting. I then was reminded of Kris Harsh’s words, “Participatory budgeting undermines movements for social justice and fails to engage residents in the electoral process.”
I can’t imagine a statement further from the truth, and so easily disproven. Most everyone who is involved has at least one other job, career, or education that we’re taking time away from in order to lend a hand. You can swing by the office where we barely had clipboards and pens or ask for an invite to a “fundraiser” where we sit around a fire and share a beer.
Over half the people at the bonfire could point to their house, and a few even have been living in their ward for 20+ years. I’m not even being dramatic when I say we’re just a rag-tag group fighting against out of touch politicians to improve the lives of everyday Clevelanders.
Vote yes on 38.