City Of Lakewood, Community Relations Advisory Commission Presents Annual Report To City Council

The City of Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission serves as a general advisory liaison between residents of the city and city officials. The commission also works on projects and sponsors events that focus on community empowerment and involvement.  The Commission consists of thirteen members all appointed by either the Mayor or a Member of Lakewood City Council. The Commission meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm in the Jury Room at Lakewood City Hall. We invite and encourage the public to attend!

Since Members of the Community Relations Advisory serve as volunteers for the community, they are to serve under the citizens of Lakewood, the Mayor and Members of City Council. As part of reporting our work, the Commission is required by its bylaws to present an annual report to city council.  For this year’s report that was presented at the September 19th, 2011 meeting of Lakewood City Council, the Commission selected Vice Chairperson Rev. Paula Maeder Connor. Rev. Maeder Connor has also served as the Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church located on Detroit Ave here in Lakewood for the past 20 years and also serves as a member of the Lakewood Ministerial Association.

We would also like to educate the community about what was presented in the annual report and some of the work the commission has been recently working on with the readers of the Lakewood Observer. First, we would like to follow through on what the commission accomplished in the last year. In August of 2010, the commission sponsored a Summer Potluck with Italian dishes donated through community partners. This potluck was held in conjunction with the city sponsored Friday Night Flick film “ Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”. The annual diversity potluck was held in January, 2011, and was sponsored by a collaborative partnership of the commission and the Lakewood High School RAD (Race and Diversity organization). This was a very well-attended event that also received food and beverage donations from local businesses and residents. The commission has proposed to host its annual diversity potluck again in January 2012, so stay tuned for further details!

The commission has been working on creating a public educational campaign in regards to Lakewood Codified Ordinance 56-09, which is an ordinance regulating vehicle emission output in the city. The commission has been working on the Public Educational Campaign since last December by creating an action plan with ideas. This action plan was approved by City Council in May and we anticipate a full rollout of the campaign in the not too distant future.  

Members of the commission have also begun efforts to reach out to members of the youth community. Last February, the commission hosted a youth conversation forum, spearheaded by Commission Member Nadhal Eadah. The program focused on a group of five panelists, all students of Lakewood High School, who shared their experiences and answered audience questions of what it was like to grow up as a youth in Lakewood. As a result of this effort, open gyms are now held for indoor basketball play and a non- competition agreement between the Lakewood City Schools and Greater Cleveland YMCA was negotiated. Other ideas to improve the climate of recreational and youth activities are being brainstormed at the present time.  

Last spring, members of the commission watched a filming of “The New Metropolis” which goes into great detail of the challenges inner ring communities such as Lakewood face in modern times. Metropolis goes into a two-part series in regards to policies in the Ohio State Government when it comes to funding first ring suburbs and how residents of a first ring suburb collaborate and make positive improvements to their community through citizen empowerment and involvement. The commission intends to host a community conversations workshop in conjunction of publicly showing the Metropolis film for residents in March 2012, so stay tuned for this event.

The commission is working on efforts to reach out to its new residents. We have begun the process of revamping the “Welcome to Lakewood” packets that new homebuyers receive. We also propose to reach out to those new in our community with the proposed idea of hosting a “Welcome to Lakewood” event that is slated to be hosted in April, 2012. The primary purpose for this proposed event is to welcome our newcomers and make them feel accustomed to their new city. Further details on this event will be published when available.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 7:12 PM, 10.19.2011