News from Greater Cleveland Congregations
After four weeks of research and deliberation involving hundreds of conversations with parents, students, teachers, administrators, and others connected to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, GCC announced its support for Mayor Jackson’s Education reform legislation in a Plain Dealer op-ed. Our teams launched a letter-writing campaign to our State Representatives and Senators in Columbus to urge passage of this legislation without changes. Thanks to our education team for all of the hard work. Our next steps are to understand the details behind the proposed fall school levy in Cleveland and discern our role in that campaign, and to investigate how we can work to bring more resources to the crucial area of early childhood education. Meanwhile, we are working to build teams of parents in CMSD schools that be an active voice in the implementation of school reform. Our next team meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
HEALTH CARE TEAM:
Our team successfully mobilized to support the Cuyahoga County health and human services levy this March, which preserved funding for numerous crucial programs. In the midst of uncertainty about the fate of the federal health care reform law, the Health Care team has decided to focus on the provision of mental health services. In May and June, the team will conduct individual meetings and house meetings with members of our congregations connected to the mental health system as patients, professionals, and family members to discern where GCC can make a difference. Our next Health Care team meeting will be on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m.
FOOD ACCESSIBILITY TEAM:
The Food Accessibility team is working to build a constituency of residents living in neighborhoods identified as food deserts. Our future action steps will be determined by the interests and commitment of this new constituency.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE TEAM:
After a successful County Prosecutor Accountability Action, the Criminal Justice team is looking at local and state legislation that can remove barriers to employment for ex-offenders. Groups are also working to assess the viability of making an impact on the death penalty, racial profiling, and expungement. The next meeting will take place on Monday, May 21 at 7 p.m.
The jobs team is launching a pilot program to help job hunters in our congregations improve their effectiveness in seeking employment, and to connect them with potential employers in our congregations. Find out more about this program at our next jobs team meeting on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m.