Cleveland Council committee changes reflect leadership priorities

CLEVELAND – Just hours after five new board members were sworn in on Monday night, Cleveland City Council Chairman Blaine Griffin announced significant changes to board committees to reflect the priorities of the new board leadership, including including a broader focus on equity, diversity and inclusion.

The change in committee structure applies to what was previously known as the finance committee, health and social services committee, public services committee, transport committee and manpower committee. and social benefits.

The finance committee, which acts as the most powerful committee because almost all legislation is passed, has been replaced by the finance, diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

Council Chairman Griffin said in a press release that the changes to the finance committee reflect a new focus on reviewing legislation from a diversity, fairness and equity perspective. inclusion.

Tuesday’s announcement follows Griffin’s speech at Monday night’s swearing-in ceremony, in which he reiterated to the new-look council that their job is to “take care of the people.”

“We’re going to take care of the people in this town,” Griffin said. “Not the infrastructure, not the bricks and mortar, not the institutions but the people will be our guiding principles of what we are trying to do.”

Changes have also been made to the utilities committee, which will see an increased role in overseeing a possible implementation of a city-wide broadband network. In the closing days of the 2020 legislative session, the council passed an allocation of $ 20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to fund broadband services in Cleveland, one of the least connected major cities. from the country. Councilor Brian Kazy will chair the committee.

In addition, the health and social services committee, which will be chaired by city councilor Kevin Conwell, will be expanded to also include the arts. The arts community has long lacked a specific committee to which it can provide ideas and comments.

The council’s transport committee will also have a broader framework, overseeing not only automobiles, but other modes of transport as well, including public transport, rail, e-bikes and electric scooters. Councilor Kerry McCormack will chair the new committee.

Finally, jobs and employment will receive renewed attention within the Workforce, Education, Training and Youth Development Committee, previously known as the Workforce Committee. -work and social benefits. In the press release, Griffin said the committee, which will be chaired by City Councilor Jasmin Santana, will take a holistic approach that will impact the workforce and educational opportunities for children and adults.

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