On Monday, Oct. 9, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a legislative update at Friendly Inn Settlement for the Central-Kinsman community. During the event, Senator Brown moderated a panel discussion with community stakeholders from the Central and Kinsman communities.
“We are facing awful budget cuts and the message is always that it will trickle down and create jobs. Well, it never trickles down to Central,” Brown said.
Central resident and community leader Dwayne Browder coordinated the discussion with the goal of giving residents and members of disadvantaged communities a platform to voice their concerns.
“I want all of us to step up and get the message out about what is going on in our community and how federal budget cuts are going to impact our lives,” Browder said.
Panel participants Jeffery K. Patterson, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Chief Executive Officer, Councilwoman Phyllis E. Cleveland, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood director Lowell Perry Jr., Promise Neighborhood engagement manager Joe Black, Promise Ambassador Delores Gray and others spoke with Senator Brown about a number of issues impacting the quality of life in Central.
“We are now faced with the decision to provide safe and affordable places for people to live or early learning and youth enrichment programs because we can’t do both. At the end of the day we want everything to be done and shouldn’t have to make choices,” Patterson said of how the federal budget cuts will impact CMHA.
In addition to housing, the panel was able to speak with Senator Brown about healthcare, education, job creation and criminal justice reform.
“We keep asking people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but forget that we first need to make sure people have boots,” Black said.