Following the near-total bungling
of reaction to the U.S. Department of Justice report on the Cleveland Police Department's pattern of excessive use of force, a group of citizens is beginning a push for the recall of Mayor Frank Jackson. The first public forum for such will take place on March 4.
Jackson wrote on Friday: "It is the right of citizens within the charter to request a recall of any City of Cleveland elected official if they believe that is what they need to do."
At issue is the mayor's tacit support for a system that regularly dispenses injustice — via the police department, the housing department, the health department, etc. 19 Action News cites
Ken Bender of the Black Contractors Group: "African Americans are continued to be denied the opportunity to build their neighborhoods. Build their communities and go home and feed their families too." These issues have been on the table for decades, stretching back to administrations predating Carl Stokes and the late-1960s' Cleveland: Now! campaign. Jackson's administration, all nine years of it at this point, has kept its ken focused neatly on downtown development. Conversations urging on a greater sense of action in Cleveland's more isolated, poorer neighborhoods form a constant and thrumming node of daily life in this city. In both local media and in the halls of government, those problems have long gone unresolved.
Still, the organizers are centering their work around the DOJ report and the systemic cause-and-effect events that surrounded the Nov. 22, 2014, shooting death of Tamir Rice.
Recall efforts necessitate some 12,000 voter signatures before landing on the ballot. Through three campaigns for election, Jackson has handily picked up at least 55 percent of the citywide vote each time. He picked up 66 percent of the vote in 2013 when he defeated Ken Lanci.
The first meeting of this recall effort will take place at 5 p.m. March 4 at the Kinsman Square Party Center, 3224 East 93rd Street.