Upcoming Live Public Policy Forums

Upcoming Live Public Policy Forums
All are free and open to the public

Bail Reform in Ohio. What are our Options?
Thursday December 12, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Bail reform has bipartisan support in Ohio. This forum will discuss why it matters and some of the options being considered to make our courts more fair for everyone.
Moderated by Nick Castele, WCPN/Ideastream
Heights Public Library Main, 2345 Lee Road, Cleveland Hts. OH 44118
Cosponsored by Ideastream, Heights Public Library, League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland and CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning

Preschool and Early Child Education forum
Thursday, January 30, 2020
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Shaker Heights Public Library Main
16500 Van Aken Blvd

 

All open to the public. All of them free

Bail Reform in Ohio. What are our Options? a forum on Dec 12, 2019

The flyer is here
Bail Reform in Ohio. What are our Options?
a forum on Dec 12, 2019

Panelists
Judge John J. Russo, Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

Judge Michele D. Earley, Administrative and Presiding Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court

Claire Chevrier, Advocacy Counsel, ACLU of Ohio

Moderated by Nick Castele, WCPN/Ideastream

Bail reform has bipartisan support in Ohio. This forum will discuss why it matters and some of the options being considered to make our courts more fair for everyone.

Nick Castele, WCPN/Ideastream

Heights Public Library Main
2345 Lee Road, Cleveland Hts. OH 44118
Cosponsored by Ideastream, Heights Public Library, League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland and CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate Properties, Ltd.

“The 2020 Census: what does it mean for Ohio and Cleveland?” a forum on September 12, 2019

“The 2020 Census: what does it mean for
Ohio and Cleveland?”
Thursday September 12 7pm

the flyer is here
the forum write-up is here
the forum video is here

with panelists:

Lisa Neidert, Univ of Michigan Institute for Social Research

Daniel Ortiz, Policy Matters Ohio

Michele Pomerantz, Cuyahoga County Government

The forum will begin with brief comments from County Executive Armond Budish, Co-Chair of the Cuyahoga County Complete Count Committee of the 2020 Census

Moderated by Rich Exner Cleveland.com 


Rich Exner, cleveland.com

CWRU Siegal Beachwood Landmark Centre
25700 Science Park Dr., Suite 100, Beachwood, OH 44122

Cosponsored by Cleveland.com, LWV-Greater Cleveland and CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning
   

 

“Plastics and Ohio” forum August 29, 2019 Rocky River Library

“Plastics and Ohio” forum
Plastic pollution, is it the next burning river?
What can residents do?

August 29, 2019 at 7pm

the flyer is here
the summary is here
the video is here

Moderator: Jocelyn Travis, Sierra Club Ohio

w/panelists:
•Cheryl Johncox, Sierra Club Ohio,

•Sunny Simon, District 11 Cuyahoga County Council,

•Sarah Damron, Surfrider Foundation,

•Sarah Mathews, Rumpke Waste,

•Cristie Snyder, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District

Rocky River Public Library, 1600 Hampton Rd. Rocky River OH 44116

Cosponsored by LWV Greater Cleveland, the Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, the Bay Green Team, Rocky River Green Team and Rocky River Public Library

Domestic Violence Forum July 25, 2019


Thursday July 25, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Domestic Violence Forum
The flyer is here
The forum write-up is here
The forum video is here

Shaker Public Library Main Branch
16500 Van Aken Boulevard Shaker Heights, OH 44120
A devastating and potentially tragic problem, an epidemic that is often ignored

What is domestic violence?
From the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center: “Often referred to as battering, relationship abuse, or intimate partner violence; it is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over someone through fear and intimidation. It often includes the threat or use of violence, and can include physical, emotional, verbal, financial/resource, and sexual abuse.”
Find out how you can protect yourself, your loved ones, your friends and colleagues.

Panelists
Rep Janine Boyd (D), District 9, Ohio House of Representatives
Judge K.J. Montgomery Shaker Municipal Court
Alexandria Ruden, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Megen Gergen, Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center
Former student, Shaker Heights High School

Moderated by Rachel Dissell, The Plain Dealer
Sponsored by LWV Shaker Chapter, Shaker Public Library and The Plain Dealer

Domestic Violence Forum, July 26, 2019 by Julie Hullett

Rep. Janine Boyd, D-Cleveland Heights, Alexandria Ruden of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Judge K.J. Montgomery of Shaker Heights Municipal Court, Megen Gergen of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center

Rachel Dissell, moderator, The Plain Dealer

Local experts offer strategies for domestic violence victims
By JULIE HULLETT  The pdf is here

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Lethality tests, advocacy and victim support systems are key to ending domestic violence, according to panelists at a Thursday forum. With a combination of support from legislators, law enforcement agencies and organizations that offer services for victims, the panelists said that more men and women in abusive relationships will survive.

“When there are continuums of care, it’s harder for people to fall in the cracks,” state Rep. Janine Boyd, D-Cleveland Heights said. “If we can engage them at one point and keep them engaged throughout the continuum, then you have a better chance of effectively helping them.”

Other panelists at the forum included:

  • Judge K.J. Montgomery of Shaker Heights Municipal Court
  • Alexandria Ruden of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
  • Megen Gergen of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center

Rachel Dissell, investigative reporter for The Plain Dealer, moderated the discussion. The event, which drew nearly 60 people, was hosted by the League of Women Voters of Shaker Heights, The Plain Dealer and the Shaker Heights Public Library, where it took place.

The forum video is here:

The highlights of the panel are below:

Aisha’s Law

Rep. Boyd spoke on the importance of House Bill 3, known as “Aisha’s Law” that she introduced in the state house in May. The bill is named after Aisha Fraser, who was murdered in Shaker Heights in November by her ex-husband, who was a former state representative, state senator and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge.

This bill would offer additional protections to domestic violence victims, including requiring courts to make restraining orders available at all times and requiring law enforcement to create a separate track for high-risk domestic violence cases.

“Law enforcement has been one of the most supportive groups around the bill because domestic violence calls are among the most lethal for law enforcement,” she said. “They know the people and it’s a revolving door.”

Rep. Boyd said that Gov. Mike DeWine has shown support for this legislation. In the state budget for FY 2020-21, she said that there is a line-tem for statewide domestic violence programs for $1 million per year.

Lethality tests

One of the most important aspects of Aisha’s Law is the lethality test, a method to determine the lethality of a domestic situation. According to Ms. Ruden, the lethality test asks detailed questions so law enforcement can fully understand if a victim’s life is in danger and how to handle the people involved.

The lethality questionnaire asks the victim if his or her abuser is obsessive or has access to weapons. One vital question on the lethality test is whether or not the victim has been strangled. Panelists said that strangulation is a known precursor to more violence. Ms. Ruden said that Aisha’s Law also has a provision that makes strangulation a crime.

“The thing that we’re most excited about is that there is a piece in there on strangulation, finally, working with strangulation and making it a crime—and calling it what it is,” Ms. Ruden said. “It’s not attempted murder, it’s not attempted assault. It’s near-fatal strangulation.”

Victim support

The panelists stressed the importance of offering support and resources for the victims of domestic violence. When Ms. Gergen meets with clients at the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center, she said that she helps them make a plan, such as where to live and how to support themselves.

Judge Montgomery also said that the advocates are instrumental in keeping the victims safe. She said that victims need to have a code word, so if the victim calls a friend or family member and uses that word, the other person will know to call 911. She also noted that in some cases it is necessary to keep a packed bag when it is time to leave the household.

“If somebody wants to kill you, they’re going to do it,” Ms. Ruden said. “[We need to] educate our victims, and the best way to do that is the lethality assessment because you educate not just the victim, but the community.”

Education to end the stigma

According to the panelists, another challenge with domestic violence situations is overcoming the stigma toward them. Judge Montgomery said that this crime knows no boundaries.

“One of the first things you realize is this is a crime that knows no economic constraints, no ethnicity, no neighborhood,” she said. “It comes from all five of our communities that come into the Shaker court, whether they be the most affluent or the most poor.”

Ms. Gergen said that victims are still stigmatized because their stories are questioned and some may blame the victim. She said that society sometimes asks what the victim did to make her husband hit her, or why she chose to be in a violent relationship.

“There has been an increase in conversations, but it’s still uncomfortable for folks,” she said.

Ms. Gergen explained that education and empowerment are key to overcoming the stigma. She said that it can be easy to identify domestic violence on TV, when a professional athlete is caught in the act on video. But it can be harder to admit that domestic violence is occurring if the suspected abuser is an acquaintance, such as a neighbor or a co-worker.

What can I do?

The panelists offered many opportunities for everyday citizens to get involved to help stop domestic violence. Ms. Gergen advised citizens to get to know their neighbors and check in to see how things are going.

Judge Montgomery said that parents must educate themselves and their children on how to handle difficult situations. Ms. Ruden said that people should be supportive to the victims, and suggested not to get upset with the victim if he or she returns to the abuser.

“It takes a victim of domestic violence seven to 10 times to get out of a battery situation,” Ms. Ruden said. “If you are that support system, don’t turn them away when they go back. At some point, they will get out.”

Rep. Boyd advised citizens to advocate for funding for domestic violence programs and resources at the federal level by calling their congressperson and senator and asking for matching funds and grants in states that are implementing the lethality protocol.

An audience member, Eileen Burkhart of Cleveland Heights, said that the presentation was information but is still waiting for more progress.

“This was a good education piece about what the law is, but we need to come up with a way where domestic violence situations are addressed way earlier than letting them get into court and the legal system,” Ms. Burkhart said. “We don’t catch it soon enough, there’s not enough support out there for victims to get the help they need.”

Keeping Kids Safe in an Online World, a forum on June 17, 2019

Keeping Kids Safe in an Online World 
The flyer is here
The preview is here
The “parents guide” is here
The video is here

Monday June 17 at 6:30pm
Lakewood Public Library Main Branch
15425 Detroit Avenue

Children today are more connected to the world than any generation in history.

They have access to information and social networks at their fingertips, but with opportunity comes danger – predators lurking in the shadows of the internet. With the summer quickly approaching, now is the time to be informed about the dangers of our digital world. Parents often tell their children not talk to strangers and issue directions on how to stay safe in public places like malls and playgrounds. But how many parents give those same warnings about interactions on the internet?

Our panel of experts:
U.S. Attorney: Justin Herdman

FBI Special Agent in Charge: Eric Smith

Cleveland Metropolitan Schools Psychologist: Bill Stencil

Join Spectrum News 1 moderator Lindsay Oliver at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at the Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107, for a community discussion on Keeping Kids Safe in an Online World. Learn how predators are working together to prey on children online and how to talk to your children about internet safety.

To RSVP to this free community discussion, please RSVP to SpectrumNewsOH@Charter.com as space is limited, or use the contact us form below to send feedback and include your registration information.

This forum is being produced by Spectrum News 1, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Northern Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Special thanks to Lakewood Public Library for hosting the event.

https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/columbus/news/2019/05/28/town-hall–keeping-kids-safe-in-an-online-world

Cosponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Spectrum News 1 and League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland

 The 2020 U.S. Census. Why Does It Matter? Weds April 3, 2019

 The 2020 U.S. Census. Why Does It Matter?
(w/ways we can help to improve the count)

The flyer is here
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

7:00 – 8:30pm
Fairview Park Branch Library
21255 Lorain Road 44126

With Nada Martinovic, U.S. Census Partner Specialist
Free and open to the public

Cosponsored by Lakewood, Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River & Westlake Chapters

The Election’s Over: What did the voters say? a forum on 11/13/18

The video is here:

Tuesday November 13, 2018 at 7pm

5th floor auditorium at InfoCision Stadium Welcome Center
University of Akron, 375 E Exchange St, Akron,  44304
Free and open to the public
A panel of experts will analyze the results of the 2018 midterm elections and what can be expected regarding voting rights and other issues based on the composition of the houses of government.

Moderated by M.L. Schultze, former WKSU news director and reporter,
Dr. John Green, Interim President, University of Akron,
Greg Moore, Former Exec Dir, NAACP National Voter Fund,
Michael Douglas, Editorial Editor, Akron Beacon Journal
Cosponsored by Bliss Institute, University of Akron, Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com, LWV-Akron Area, LWV-Greater Cleveland, Common Cause-Ohio

Waste and Recycling in Cuyahoga County a talk on August 30, 2018


The flyer is here
The video is here

Waste and Recycling in Cuyahoga County or 

why you cant “wish-cycle” your way to sustainable waste management

Thursday August 30, 2018 7pm

A talk by Diane Bickett, Executive Director, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District

Fairview Park Library
21255 Lorain Rd, Cleveland, OH 44126
Free and open to the public
Cosponsors: Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com, CWRU Lifelong Learning,
League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland.
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate LTD