City of East Cleveland helps Ex-Offenders move forward in life

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 04/09/2006 - 23:31.

With a prayor and the promise "this is not some kind of a trick", East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer fulfilled a promise to his citizens, this Saturday, April 8, 2006, and organized a community day to help residents of his city who have criminal records to move forward with success in life. Around 200 citizens turned out to learn how to clean up their records, as much as possible, and find jobs in a world that largely views ex-offenders as unemployable.

This is not the first time an area community leader has helped citizens clear their names and records en mass, but it does seem this is the first time in Ohi history leaders of a city have driven such initiative - as Mayor Brewer pointed out this afternoon, in a moving speech to his citizens, they pay taxes for city services and it makes sense for a service of their law department should be to help citizens succeed in life when they have had legal problems, and that is a refreshing approach to government.


 After Mayor Brewer explained the purpose of the program to the attendees, he was followed at the podium by representatives from the Urban League, who will provide ex-offenders with job training, and the East Cleveland Law Director, who explained how her department would help ex-offenders seal their records, if possible. It was a very informative, effective and thoughtful program that clearly benefits residents.

Quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer article about Mayor Brewers ex-offender initiative, found on-line here, Brewer said "A lot of ex-offenders are still on the streets... so we can continue to arrest and prosecute these people, or we can give them free legal advice on how to improve the quality of their lives." And everyone who came to this community day got such help on the spot, and the promise of more help in the future.

I was pleased to attend this community day to let attendees know REALNEO will work with anyone in the East Cleveland ex-offender program to understand how they can benefit more from information technology. Our friends of East Cleveland will process donted computers to give to ex-offenders and we will advise individuals on how to use the technology to improve their lives, whether in business, education, art, or social interaction.

Certainly, more friends of this initiative are very welcome - if you want to help out, have computer equipment you want to donate, or if you have ideas on how to improve the lives of these East Cleveland residents, please let me know at norm [at] realinks [dot] us or contact Mayor Brewer at mayorbrewer [at] eastcleveland [dot] org