We are facing challenging times on many fronts. Amid a pandemic and the chaos it is creating in our lives, we find ourselves also trying to cope with the burden of racial injustice. Many of us are reeling from the racially charged episodes that we’ve witnessed most recently in Minneapolis and Louisville, and too many countless other places where unwarranted lethal force at the hands of police officers ended the life of a person of color. These incidents and others have led many of you to ask about our use of force policies and training for Cleveland Heights police officers. The City Council, City Manager, and Police Chief share a commitment to advancing fairness and equity in Cleveland Heights as evidenced by the City’s history of groundbreaking anti-discrimination laws and regulations. The CHPD has implemented policies, practices, and training that reinforce this commitment and we will continue to seek out the best approaches to enhance equity in our policing practices. To learn more about the CHPD’s policies, visit the website.Judge J.J. Costello has announced that beginning June 15, 2020, the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court will begin thoughtfully increasing the number of in-person hearings. The Court is focused on protecting the health of staff and all those who enter the courthouse. The Court will continue to serve its vital purpose of administrating justice without denial or delay. To do so, the Court will, wherever possible, utilize remote technology, stagger docket times, and enforce appropriate public health guidelines, including requiring social distancing and face coverings. A copy of the Court’s Order implementing these policies can be found at the Court’s website.Limited lobby service begins at 1:30pm today at the Lee Road branch of the Heights Libraries as part of their phased reopening. Customers entering the lobby must wear masks and keep 6 feet of distance, which will be apparent by the red guides on the floor. You will be able to do the following: pick up tax forms; pick up held materials; make copies or send a fax; check out items using a new touchless self-serve station with your library card; and ask staff questions about your account. Be sure to check their website for the hours they are open and any special instructions.As we continue to fight this pandemic, financial resources for our community are even more important. What is an important source of funding for cities around the country? The federal government. And, how do you gain access to these funds? The 2020 Census. To help encourage participation, Councilperson Davida Russell challenged University Heights in the Battle of the Census to see which city can increase its response rate by 20% in the month of June. The winner will be presented a "Census tree" to represent growth in our respective cities. Let’s bring this home! Complete your Census questionnaire now and ensure bragging rights for Cleveland Heights.Congratulations are in order to our first Shop Local Bingo winner, Michael H., whose list of Cleveland Heights businesses for the win included The Boujie Bakery, The Fairmount, Fawaky Burst, Grum’s Sub Shoppe, and the Wine Spot on Card 1. They reported having a great time playing the game. We encourage you to join in the fun! Cards 2 and 3 are on the website. Shop Local Bingo was launched by the City to help support our local businesses who have faced many challenges due to the pandemic and government and CDC restrictions. Please play and SHOP LOCAL!