EAST CLEVELAND - One local group is taking a different approach to getting an East Cleveland eyesore removed.
Imagine eating fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and salad in your backyard. But your view is trash, dust and gravel.
Arlena Labon was 109 years old and lived like that before she passed away about a month ago.
"She used to like to come and eat and enjoy the tranquility of her backyard, until this massive dump came one day,” event organizer Art McCoy said.
Black on Black Crime, Inc. is inviting elected officials to see the same view on Monday for their summer picnic.
It’ll take place in the backyard of Labon’s home at 1749 Noble Road in East Cleveland.
Organizers McCoy, Al Porter and Judy Martin said it’s not just for Labon, it’s for residents who are still living in the same conditions.
"They're saying that it's toxic, but it's still livable or it's non-harmful. That's a lie,” longtime resident Willie Morrow said.
"We're inviting some of the great political leaders as well as the current mayor Brandon King, former mayor Norton, along with Marcia Fudge and others," McCoy said.
They said they hope leaders will take this situation seriously and fight for the people in the community.
Some of the others on the guest list include: the EPA director, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Senator Matt Dolan and the county executive. None of them have RSVP’d to the event.
As it stands now, the EPA and Arco Recycling have agreed to clean up the dump, after Attorney General Mike DeWine sued the owners of the landfill.
Officials said it’ll take up to 180 days once cleanup starts.
"If she [Labon] could have lived about a month a half longer, she would have gotten the good news about this dump being removed,” McCoy said.
The picnic will begin at noon on Monday.
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