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Dear Community/Community Activists/Media
This is relative to the conflict between Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman T.J. Dow (pictured above), with support from Ward 7 residents and community activists, and the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University as to a proposed $100 million apartment complex and hotel project in Ward 7 near the Cleveland Clinic. Dow says that the Cleveland Clinic needs to give back to the Black community in Hough, one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, including a resource center. Advocates of the project, including the Plain Dealer Newspaper, say the project itself is enough. It is not. Dow replaced the late Ward 7 Councilwoman Fannie Lewis and she would have demanded same. (Editor's note: Councilman Dow agreed to the project five days later, saying he got some concessions for his Black and other constituents in the impoverished largely Black Ward 7, one of the poorest communities in the city).
Mayor Frank Jackson, whom we support for now for firing several of the cops at to the 137 shots regarding the 2012 police ambush of unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, who were gunned down by 13 non Black Cleveland cops slinging 137 bullets, supports the project, as does west side Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. We will support the mayor while asking that he and Cleveland City Council demand more of the Cleveland Clinic for the larger community, and the Black community in general. And in 2017, in which the mayor's office is up for grabs, Black community activists want a Black to lead the largely Black city of Cleveland, whether its Jackson, Nina Turner, councilmen Jeff Johnson, Zack Reed and Kevin Conwell, or state Rep Bill Patmon (D-10). The reason, in part, is that Blacks in general should lead a Black city.
Dow, who is Black and a former assistant county prosecutor who came up under community activists, will hold a press conference on the issue on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 2;30 pm at 79th Street and Hough Avenue with the Ward 7 Advisory Council. He is a strong advocate for his ward and the Black community and community activists will not permit any further harassment of him.
I can say that in 2008 I wrote an article published in the Call and Post Newspaper as to the Cleveland Clinic not giving enough back to Ward 6, and its response was removed from the article per George Forbes, the newspaper's legal counsel, who said then that the Cleveland Clinic has not done enough for Blacks. I ended up in the county jail where I was held naked in a jail cell and held in the county jail for four days without charges, the article of which was at issue as was housing, and a one-on-on Call and Post interview with then presidential candidate Barack Obama, among other matters. After inmates got upset I was taken out on the fourth day by Mayfield Hts police and driven around in handcuffs and told that I would be put in a mental institution if I did not cooperate. The police that held me captive said to tell Call and Post publisher Don King to back-off and called the Cleveland Clinic for advice. I was released without charges via support from retired judge Sara Harper, then my attorney, who came and got me out. But the damage was done, and the harassment continues.
Nonetheless, the issue of the Cleveland Clinic and whether it is giving enough back to the Black community for its projects remains and community activists support Dow in demanding a resource center and other amenities in his neighborhood. If the project cost $100 million they can find monies for this poor inner city community in Ward 7. And the Plain Dealer should not attack Dow for seeking such. We urge activists, Black elected officials, Black clergy and the Black community in general to demand more from the Cleveland Clinic, a renowned medical institution supported in general for its achievements. The Cleveland Clinic can afford to do right by Cleveland's impoverished Black community and its children.
Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com