Taylor neighbors ask city to take action in response to recent shootings
This was read to Cleveland Heights City Council at its Sept. 21 meeting. It was written in response to the shooting that occured on Sept. 20 on South Taylor Road at Blanche Avenue, near Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, and other recent shootings in the city.
Dear Cleveland Heights City Council,
We do not have the answers.
We just know something must be done.
We just know that this assault on our neighborhood cannot go unanswered.
We know murder and violence are unacceptable.
We are grief-stricken and in shock.
It is not okay to mumble platitudes about the recent uptick in violence and hope it will not be in our neighborhood next time.
We, the members of Taylor Neighbors Association, present a unified response of horror that there was a shooting in front of a school. It does not matter that it was at night. It is not okay. Anytime a life is cut down. It is not okay. A threat to one is a threat to all.
And we ask you, the city, not to accept it as a status quo either. We are not here to propose answers. We are not experts in surveillance or security.
Look into what security measures can be increased? Yes. Do we have the same measures our neighbors do? No? Are there improvements that can and should be made? Is there more Cleveland Heights can do to prevent a repeat? Let us have that conversation.
We look forward not only to Chief Mecklenburg's report, but also to her response and swift indictments.
And although it sounds helpless to merely plead—"Do something!"—it reflects our feelings, as a neighborhood, as having been victimized, as feelings of raw helplessness.
Some of us were sleeping. Some of us were outside. Some of us were experiencing Rosh Hashana. Some of us send children to that school. Some of us heard the shots. But we all live here.
Silence is acquiescence, and so we speak out and say this is unequivocally unacceptable. We do not accept that it has to be this way. You should not either.
Our hearts go out to those who have experienced such a tragic loss.
Rhonda Davis-Lovejoy and Susan Efroymson
Rhonda Davis-Lovejoy and Susan Efroymson are members of the Taylor Neighbors Association.