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TAKE ACTION - Sign a Petition - Demand a Utility Shutoff Moratorium in Cleveland

On December 1st, 2020, the City of Cleveland lifted the utility shutoff moratorium on Cleveland Public Power (CPP) and Cleveland Water. Although Cleveland City Council has expressed a verbal commitment to halting CPP and Cleveland Water shutoffs through April 1, there is nothing in writing requiring CPP and Cleveland Water to abide by this policy. Northeast Ohioans need a formal written moratorium on electricity and water shutoffs due to underpayment to CPP and Cleveland Water, respectively, through the end of the pandemic and the following six months.

Thank you to Utilities for All and Sunrise Cleveland for collaborating on this campaign with IRTF.

Sign this petition to demand a utility shutoff moratorium in Cleveland.

To Cleveland City Mayor Frank Jackson and City Council President Kevin Kelley,

I am a Northeast Ohio resident who is concerned by the lifting of the utility shutoff moratorium by the City of Cleveland, as of December 1st, 2020. Although Cleveland City Council has expressed a verbal commitment to halting CPP and Cleveland Water shutoffs through April 1, there is nothing in writing requiring CPP and Cleveland Water to abide by this policy. Northeast Ohioans need a formal written moratorium on electricity and water shutoffs due to underpayment to CPP and Cleveland Water, respectively, through the end of the pandemic and the following six months.

City Council has said it is “working closely with the Jackson administration to ensure that no resident loses electricity or water during the pandemic or during winter months.” While these efforts are appreciated, the public needs greater clarity in how the City plans on enforcing this and greater initiatives towards assisting those in need.

The current financial relief tools offered by Cleveland Water and CPP are inadequate. Federal funding from the CARES act, while valuable, also failed to meet the significant need in our community. It is well-known by Northeast Ohio residents from long waits on hold that both providers’ customer services are poor; their websites contain no specific information about programs for working through overdue bills; and I have heard too many stories of people being denied reasonable repayment options. It should also go without saying that with so many people having little-to-no income since March, offering no assistance other than repayment options is, frankly, tone-deaf and cruel.

Furthermore, in contradiction to Cleveland Codified Ordinance 523.11, CPP does not have, and has not had for decades, a functioning review board to hear appeals from households facing shutoffs. This is illegal and unjust, and while our immediate focus is to guarantee access to utilities for all Northeast Ohio residents during the pandemic and its consequential economic fallout, we would like to work with the city to instate a review board.

These are trying times for everyone, utility providers included. I support publicly-owned utilities and believe that they want to provide adequate services for Northeast Ohio residents, but are severely underfunded. As such, I would like to see the city allocate more resources towards CPP and Cleveland Water, and hold these entities accountable for any mismanagement. Most immediately, I am adding my name to the list of Northeast Ohio residents who demand that the City of Cleveland places a formal moratorium on all shutoffs for both Cleveland Public Power and Cleveland Water for the length of the pandemic, as well as the six months immediately following.

Sincerely,

[Your signature]

Sign the petition here!