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'We’re ready for a change': East Cleveland residents pursue recall efforts against three council members

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Posted at 10:05 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 23:17:33-05

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — On Thursday afternoon, Che Gadison was knocking on doors in East Cleveland, she’s a former councilwoman who says she’s not running to lead the city again.

“I just think that myself along with other residents are just tired of the instability and we’re ready for a change,” said Gadison.

That’s the message she is sharing with residents as she asks them to sign a petition recalling three East Cleveland city council members.

“You don’t really know what to expect council meeting by council meeting, one council meeting there’s this person there that’s supposed to be council person, although they have not followed the guidelines or procedures,” said Gadison.

The petition calls for the recall of council president Korean Stevenson, along with Councilwoman Juanita Gowdy and Patricia Blochowiak.

News 5’s reporting has shed light on the nonstop back and forth in East Cleveland City Hall, from recall efforts, to alleged illegal council members appointments and the debacle surrounding the city’s budget.

“It’s very frustrating anytime you go to a council meeting or you go to YouTube and you look at it, it’s embarrassing,” said Walter Melton. “You see them bickering with each other arguing, the kids are watching, you want the kids to do better but you’re not doing better.”

Melton and Gadison walked through an East Cleveland neighborhood searching for more signatures Thursday, their deadline to submit the signatures is Friday.

“A lot of the residents go to our council meetings every week and they leave disgusted and frustrated,” said Gadison.

One resident is over the debate.

“Everybody has the same ‘Let’s move forward’ mentality, but then they get in and it’s all this bickering and back and forth and stuff and I’m tired of it,” said one East Cleveland resident.

Gadison and Melton say they want to move forward and they hope this petition will be the push to do just that.  

Gowdy and Stevenson both sent News 5 similar statements telling us that they were not informed about the recall petition, and Stevenson called the petition an effort to dismantle East Cleveland’s government. 

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