7-9 p.m. at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple (23737 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood)
The March 6 primary election for the position of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor is of great importance to Greater Cleveland Congregations’ goal for fair and equal treatment of all persons in all aspects of the criminal justice system. Bill Mason, current County Prosecutor, is retiring and five candidates—Subodh Chandra, James McDonnell, Tim McGinty, Robert Triozzi and Stephanie Hall—are running for the open seat.
At GCC’s County Prosecutor Candidate Accountability Action meeting on Feb. 20, GCC members will ask the candidates to commit to improving the way the office handles crucial issues in the criminal justice system. The GCC Criminal Justice Team has identified the following issues of concern which are directly influenced by the County Prosecutor:
• Adequate representation for the accused.
• Use of over-charging in felony cases.
• Availability of diversion and treatment programs for non-violent offenders.
• Treatment and care of children in the juvenile justice system.
GCC cannot and does not endorse candidates. A rehearsal for the action meeting will be held Feb. 16, 7-9 p.m. GCC core team leaders are encouraged to attend.
Also at the Feb. 20 event, GCC will hold a Health and Human Services levy campaign rally. The Cuyahoga County Executive and Council have put on the March 6 ballot a request for a renewal of an expiring 4.8 mill Health and Human Services Levy to continue the provision of critical services to those in need. The levy (issue 15 on the ballot) will raise approximately $139.7 million in 2012. This funding goes primarily toward:
- Services for children and families
- Services to senior citizens
- Mental health/alcohol and drug-addiction services
- Metro Health
- Other programs
The renewal levy will continue at an annual rate of $147 per $100,000 in property value. Levy funding affects all of GCC’s issue areas:
• Health Care: $36.1 million for Metro Health (which will draw down an additional $64 million in federal funding that will provide health coverage to 26,000 more people) and $33.6 million for mental health/substance abuse services.
• Education: $11.3 million for early childhood education
• Criminal Justice: $15.5 million for juvenile court services, $2 million for the office of re-entry, $300,000 for the public defender
• Jobs: $10.5 million for employment services
• Food Accessibility: $250,000 for OSU Extension Center urban agriculture programs.
Everyone attending the Feb. 20 meeting is encouraged to bring their vote-by-mail ballots as a symbol of GCC’s voting power. To learn more about GCC, visit its website or contact any of Trinity’s issue action team leaders. Trinity GCC leaders will have a table in the piazza on Feb. 5, 12 and 19 distributing information on the levy as well as absentee ballot applications.