BSBA John Carroll University
MBA Case Western Reserve University
Qualifications for office
I have lived in the ward for over 21 years and have raised my children here. I am embedded in this community and am well aware of the issues that we are facing. You may not know that I spent 21 years at Pepsi Cola on Chester Avenue in Cleveland and in Twinsburg. I managed prestigious customers like the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Rock Hall, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Cleveland State University, Saint Ignatius and Saint Edward and many other hotels, restaurants and retailers. I achieved my sales goals by exceeding customer expectations with excellent customer service. When a customer called with any issue, my job in the private sector was to solve the problem not give excuses about being understaffed due to a hiring freeze, product shortages from a lack of manufacturing materials or trucks out of service for repair. I worked across departments (Human Resources, Finance, Advertising, Accounting, Manufacturing, Operations, IT, Sales and Service) to solve problems.
The Cleveland Division of Police is still under a consent decree and I don't think we need another body to monitor or CPD. There are systems in place to discipline behavior that is unacceptable and no one's civil rights should ever be violated. To improve public safety we need to get staffing to the levels that the department is budgeted for. They need the proper staffing, equipment and training to do their jobs. Initiatives need to be in place to address crime, dirt bikes, noise complaints and other quality of life issues.
We need to continue testing and the paint program that Cleveland offers to give free paint to alleviate lead from older homes in Cleveland. We can expand this program and figure out other ways to work through this issue that according to the Ohio Department of Health affects 4000 children annually.
We need a comprehensive plan to distribute funds to the residents who need it most due to Covid. There should be public input in the budgeting process.
We need resources to keep our neighborhoods safe and as the make up communities changes we need to ensure the existing residents can stay in their homes.
I would continue newsletters that are in existence today and also would like to incorporate Town Halls and Safety Summits. I would like an office within the ward and be accessible to residents so they can have input and open communication with me. I would be responsive to residents issues and concerns.
B.A. Anthropology and International Studies, Miami University
M.P.A. Urban Economic Development, Cleveland State University
Qualifications for office
Location (Economic Development) Consultant, The Austin Company (Feb. 2017 to Nov. 2019)
Special Assistant to the Mayor for Regional Development, City of Cleveland (Dec. 2012 to Feb. 2017)
Intern for Special Projects, Dept. of Economic Development, City of Cleveland (Feb. 2012 to Nov. 2012)
Senior Editor for Govt Relations Data Management, Columbia Books & Information Services (July 2009 to Sept. 2011)
I am an urban planning and economic development professional with consequential experience in both the public and private sectors. Five years as an employee in City Hall gives me unrivaled insight into how municipal government does and does not function and where opportunities exist to improve city services and make local government more responsive to the needs of residents.
In my 20 months as councilperson, I have prioritized open communication and have been both a visible and vocal representative of the ward.
I am not supportive of this ballot initiative, as I believe it would shift accountability from elected representatives to appointed board members who would serve at the pleasure of the mayor. Additionally, shifting an advisory board (as devised by the Department of Justice) to a judicial body and compelling the City of Cleveland to terminate employees exposes the City to costly wrongful-termination lawsuits.
The Division of Police's budget is a reflection of Cleveland's high violent crime rate. I support the introduction of non-police alternatives to calls for service (e.g. mental health responders), yet the funding of these alternatives must not come at the expense of public safety. More specifically, violent crime in Cleveland is a symptom of regional disinvestment and abandonment of the urban core. Cleveland cannot resolve this societal issue alone and through its finite budget. I support using regional, state, and federal monies to fund these public safety improvements.
I am a supporter of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition and have worked with property owners as Ward 17's two zip codes became subject to inspection and certification processes. Additionally, I support initiatives that help replace lead water lines that serve schools, daycares, and other buildings serving children. As a member of the Utilities committee, I have supported legislation that allows the Division of Water to prevent lead from entering water through pipe corrosion.
As required by the federal government, I support COVID economic recovery relief funds being used initially to reimburse the city of Cleveland for funds lost due to the COVID pandemic. With remaining funds, the city of Cleveland has a rare opportunity to invest in infrastructure and social programs aimed at resolving many of the city's systemic challenges.
I support an initial prioritization of infrastructure improvements with remaining COVID relief funds. Directing dollars to tangible projects will simultaneously address many of the deferred maintenance of the city's infrastructure and allow the city of Cleveland to access the second half of funds for a stronger emphasis on social programming.
However, the availability of one-time relief funds should not be characterized as a panacea.
Cleveland continues to lose population, particularly including from non-gentrifying areas. In order to retain residents, City Council should work to improve quality of life, city services, and public safety in order to retain residents.
Upon joining City Council, I developed a social media presence that had been absent among my predecessors. This tool has greatly increased direct communication with constituents. Additionally, I do and will continue to engage with residents through more traditional means like newsletters and in-person meetings.
Ward 17 has a growing population of non-English speakers from many parts of the world. Expanded language access to city services should be readily available in Spanish and bolstered in other languages, particularly in languages used by refugee communities (e.g. French, Bhutanese).