Writer, Ray Hom and Program Director, Devon Jones

By C. Calhoun

The Cleveland Observer media platform was birthed from the Ward Seven Observer. The new Cleveland Observer now has writers from Downtown to East Cleveland, and from Glenville to the Lee-Harvard communities.  On Saturday, September 12, 2020 we launched a spectacular Voter Registration and Census Submission event.

As a result of the paper’s expansion we have been busy with the positioning of our new program director, Devon Jones.  We sponsored a vacant lot workshop, “Cleveland Spaces Vital Places,” a program hosted and organized by the Sustainable Cleveland Vital Neighborhoods Working Group with the City of Cleveland, which was coordinated by Marka Fields.  We also produced 10 live-stream podcasts with Chateau Hough’s owner Mansfield Frazier and his new daughter Ashley Smith.  “The Sunshine and Dad Show” is sponsored through a grant from Neighborhood Connections. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmPgqIJxCtUbmPgqIJxCtU

We collaborated with Neighborhood Connections to produce their storytellers series, “Never Give Up” podcast and “Good News Cleveland” live-stream community voice projects.

With great excitement, it is unimaginable how busy The Cleveland Observer has been. We completed the last article of a six-part collaboration with Jay Williams-WOVU 95.9 FM, Rachel Dissell-former Plain Dealer writer, Executive Director Lucia Walinchus-Eye on Ohio, and Ed “Fatty” Banks-Ramm Pages. The focus of the Witness Project, “Why the Streets Don’t Speak” was funded by the Cleveland Foundation.

The Cleveland Observer launched a writers training class taught by Helen Maynard of WEWS TV CH5. The classes wrapped up on September 9th and those who completed the 8 weekly sessions received a stipend of $250.00. If you are interested in taking the next workshop series, please send an email to theclevelandobserver@gmail.com.

The aforementioned September 12th Voter Registration and Census Submission event was well attended by supporters, writers,

Census Numerators team!

volunteers, spectators and residents from in and around the community. The event was held in the Dave’s Grocery and eatery parking lot. It was a beautiful sunny day and even the bees were in attendance.

We were live with WZAK 93.1 FM and WOVU 95.9 FM throughout the event. We registered over 25 voters and over 100 households completed the Census, which represented over 250 people.

The Cleveland Observer gave away swag bags with PPE supplies, flashlights and wrist bands. We also gave away over $800.00 in gift cards: twenty $25.00 gift cards and thirty $10.00 gift cards for those who completed their Census on site.

Excitement was in the air and several in attendance, were pleasantly anticipating the next Cleveland Observer event.

Last, but definitely not least, The Cleveland Observer will conduct a raffle for individuals that registered to vote and submitted their Census in person, or on the new website. It’s not too late to go to theclevelandobserver.com. The winner will receive 3 months of free cell phone service from one of the following providers: T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon. The drawing will be held mid-October on WOVU 95.9 FM.

Great things are happening in Cleveland communities. Stay informed, get connected and get involved. Yes! WE WANT YOU.