On September 29, 2020, the Commission on Presidential Debates will be hosting the first presidential debate of the 2020 general election in Cleveland, Ohio. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) is hopeful that this debate brings attention to the real issues facing residents in Northeast Ohio. 
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is a 51-year-old non-profit providing innovative social enterprise job-training, civic engagement strategies and safety net services in the city of Cleveland and across Northeast Ohio. LMM seeks that people who are oppressed, forgotten, and hurting be empowered, valued, and healed by its unwavering commitment to addressing chronic needs, enabling people to self-sufficiency, and advocating for system change. In 2019, LMM served more than 7,000 individuals. 
  • LMM believes homelessness should be rare, brief and non-reoccurring, and that individuals who are experiencing homelessness be treated with dignity and respect. Individuals, families and youth experiencing homelessness should have access to safe shelter, behavioral health supports, and the social services necessary to move toward stability and when appropriate, independence.  
  • LMM believes in second chances and that once an individual has completed their sentence, their rights should be fully restored. By having full and fair access to employment, housing, health care, insurance, education and civic engagement, returning citizens are able to move toward stability and normalcy. 
  • LMM believes that senior citizens deserve to be treated with respect, and kindness, and provided access to high-quality and affordable health care and behavioral health care. This is especially important for those who have limited financial resources, and are aging with a severe mental illness, or dementia or Alzheimer’s. 
  • Finally, LMM believes that our nation’s legacy of racism and segregation continues to directly influence today’s policies related to housing, criminal justice and health care. To move our nation forward, we must first acknowledge our past, and craft policy solutions that both overcome this legacy of racism, and advance equitable solutions that benefit all citizens.  

To read the remainder of LMM's statement, including a set of questions for the candidates, click here.