VIDEO: City Council Leadership Rejects Q Deal Referendum Signatures

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Here is the moment Monday morning when members of the Q Deal referendum coalition attempted to deliver 20,603 signatures at Cleveland City Hall and were rejected by City Council leadership.

The above video was posted to Facebook by Rico Dancy, who is running for City Council in Ward 10, currently represented by Jeff Johnson.

The reasoning for the petition rejection was questionable, and was this morning challenged by the referendum coalition's legal representation at the Chandra Law Firm. Kevin Kelley, meanwhile, is facing harsh criticism from both council colleagues and from citizens.

In the video above, Greater Cleveland Congregations leaders Rev. Jawanza Colvin (left) and Pastor Richard Gibson (right) try to convince council leadership — President Kevin Kelley, Majority Leader Phyllis Cleveland and Majority Whip Terrell Pruitt — to accept the signatures. Gibson is the first to suggest that if council does not accept the signatures, the opposition is "ready to go to jail."

Kelley repeats that council has been advised that the acceptance of the signatures would impair an existing contract. Like Kelley's council colleagues, the GCC leaders have an array of follow-up questions: Who provided the legal opinion? What contract is being unconstitutionally impaired? (A council spokesperson later told Scene that the contract was the Supplemental Agreement contained within ordinance 305-17, the Q Deal itself.)

Colvin, eventually, can do little but shake his head and mutter: "You're better than this. You're better than this."

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