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Cleveland, Akron and Ohio leaders promote safety for summer

People check in at the American Airlines ticket counter.
Erik Verduzco
People check in at the American Airlines ticket counter at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. AAA said this summer could be “one for the record books, especially at airports,” with more than 43 million Americans projected to travel 50 miles or more.

Safety has been the word of the week from city and state leaders. We have arrived at the long Memorial Day weekend which marks the unofficial start to summer. An estimated 40 million people will be on the move. Highways and airports will be busy.

The arrival of summer also means summer vacation for students. Violent crime increases in summer months and Mayor Justin Bibb wants Clevelanders to be actively involved in keeping their neighborhoods safe by alerting police if they see or hear something that warrants attention.

A second lawsuit has been filed trying to halt a planned August special election on an issue to make it harder to amend the state constitution. One Person One Vote filed a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court. This challenge centers on the wording for State Issue 1 that voters will see on their ballots. The organization claims the wording is misleading. State Issue 1 if passed would require 60% majority to pass future constitutional amendments. The current threshold is a simple majority vote. Supporters say it will protect the state constitution from outside money interests. Opponents say it is undemocratic and designed to undermine the expected November vote on a reproductive rights issue.

The police shooting death of Jayland Walker and the special grand jury’s decision not to indict any of the officers involved brought hundreds of protesters to Akron on Wednesday. Activists are demanding that the Department of Justice investigate the Akron police department. Activists also want the officers involved to be fired and for Ohio to end its qualified immunity policy that provides broad protections to police officers.

Ohio House Republicans this week introduced a "bathroom bill." Nearly two dozen members signed legislation that would block students from using school bathrooms or locker rooms other than those for their gender assigned at birth. Ohio will become part of a trend. In 2016, North Carolina became the first state to pass a bill barring transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. Recently, Idaho, Iowa and Arkansas have passed bathroom bills and Arkansas is considering a more restrictive bill.

-Glenn Forbes, Supervising Producer for Newscasts, Ideastream Public Media
-Gabriel Kramer, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Jo Ingles, Correspondent, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."