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Public Officials Breakfast Highlights Right to Counsel Movement

Posted April 4, 2020
10:52 pm

On March 6, more than 100 public officials gathered at Legal Aid for a breakfast event highlighting Legal Aid’s work to ensure housing stability.

After a welcome by Board President Mike Ungar and an introduction by Executive Director Colleen Cotter, Legal Aidattorneys Hazel Remesch and Abigail Staudt described Legal Aid’s joint work with United Way of Greater Cleveland to implement right to counsel in the City of Cleveland. The presentation focused on how Cleveland’s new Right to Counsel law will help level the playing field for families in poverty facing eviction.

The presentation was followed by keynote remarks from United States Senator Rob Portman. Portman championed Legal Aid as an advocate for justice and described the bill he co-sponsored along with Democratic Senator Michael Bennet (CO) to address the eviction crisis. The Eviction Crisis Act aims to shed light on the root causes of the eviction crisis, reduce preventable evictions, and limit the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable. Legal Aid is excited to expand our eviction advocacy work beyond the scope of Cleveland’s new law. This event, which brought local officials together to talk, learn, and collaborate, was an important step towards future progress beyond Cleveland’s recent right to counsel legislation. Change is certainly happening in Northeast Ohio, and Legal Aid continue its work to preserve rights, dignity, and justice for all.

Mark Bennett, Esq. (US Attorney’s Office); US Senator Rob Portman; Colleen Cotter, Esq. (Legal Aid)

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judi French; Hazel Remesch, Esq.(Legal Aid); Andrew Katusin (United Way) and Julie Wisneski (United Way)

Legal Aid Board President Mike Ungar, Esq. (Ulmer Berne) and Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley

Ohio Senator Nikki Antonio and Ohio Representative Jeff Crossman

Councilperson Vivian Walker (Woodmere Village); Jettye Matlock, Esq.; Magistrate Tracey Gonzalez (Cleveland Housing Court)

Senator Portman and Barbara Simmons
US Senator Rob Portman and Barbara Simmons (Legal Aid)

Legal Aid Executive Director Colleen Cotter with Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick Fischer

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