EDUCATION

Education drives opportunity. For too long, our leaders have failed to provide adequate educational options for our citizens and also failed to support the strong programs that do exist. It’s time to give EVERYONE opportunity. The city should facilitate ongoing education and development no matter what age you are or where you are in life. That will be my number one goal – educating and training every citizen.

Over 50% of our adults are functionally illiterate, which means they struggle to read a bus route or utility bill. Without an educated adult population, there will be limited progress. If we’re able to educate and train these individuals, crime will decrease, jobs will increase, property values will rise and most importantly, our children and youth will have a greater chance of succeeding. Focusing on adult literacy and job training is essential.

Every problem Cleveland faces ties back to education. This MUST be part of our new mindset. Real progress is made when each individual Clevelander can sustain him/herself. I will be a champion for education.

Action:

  1. Fund & scale programs that are currently succeeding (Within CMSD, Seeds of Literacy, Towards Employment, Breakthrough Schools, etc.)
  2. Decrease wasteful spending and increase fiscal responsibility.
  3. Foster stronger relationships between the city, the private sector, local foundations, religious organizations, and other non-profits in order to better focus funding and energy in areas where we see the best results.
  4. Improve the city’s relationship with the state in order to negotiate more funding.
  5. Expedite changes & improvements needed in the CMSD.
  6. Provide free citywide WIFI for all residents.
 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In Cleveland, we’re blessed to have private business owners and developers who have vision and are willing to invest in new projects. Because of these investments, there’s strong momentum and energy, but in order to have long lasting growth, we need a leader who also has vision. One-off projects and silver bullets are distractions and show a lack of strategy for Cleveland as a whole. Implementing a strategy to focus significant energy and resources in areas that have long been overlooked will help to strengthen our community.

Our immediate focus must be on human development. Human development is the core of economic development. Without a strong workforce, our opportunity for growth is limited. Providing our citizens with basic needs and training will have an immediate impact in our neighborhoods and also have a long lasting effect on our society.

Action:

  1. Remove 5,000 blighted properties (both residential and commercial).
  2. Streamline the process for doing business with the city by leveraging technology and eliminating red tape.
  3. Allocate more funds for workforce training. These funds will be used to scale existing successful programs.
  4. Recruit new capital from outside the region.
 

TRANSPORTATION

Cleveland has historically been divided into three main areas – east side, west side, and downtown. While our citizens take pride in being part of these communities, the divide makes it impossible for us to focus on advancing the city collectively. One of the main reasons for the divide is our lack of focus on quality public transportation. The RTA is underfunded, our infrastructure is failing, and our streets are not complete. Our citizens deserve better. We need streets without potholes, protected bike lanes throughout the entire city, and a public transit system that’s accessible for ALL residents and is frequent and reliable. When we strengthen our public transportation, we become a more unified city.

Giving each neighborhood access to reliable public transportation is key and makes the city a better place to live.

Action:

  1. Immediately create a City of Cleveland Department of Transportation.
  2. Immediately resurface all poor roads.
  3. Routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users (drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists).
  4. Improve the city’s relationship with the state and ODOT in order to negotiate more funding.
  5. Improve the city’s relationship with the Federal Transit Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation in order to negotiate more funding.
 

SAFETY

There can be no growth or stability in our community unless our residents feel safe. Our ability to feel safe is dependent on a strong relationship between our citizens and law enforcement. For years, our administration has failed to provide our safety forces the proper training, support and equipment needed. Morale is low and this extends into the community. Before we deploy more officers into our neighborhoods, we must make sure our current force is trained and equipped for the daily challenges they face. As they go through additional training and feel more prepared, I’ll work with local community leaders in order to build trust. Reform will happen through a strong partnership between the community, law enforcement and my administration.

Action:

  1. Adopt and enforce appropriate policies that are easy for law enforcement and the community to understand.
  2. Implement a more efficient process for reviewing and investigating cases so there’s more accountability and transparency.
  3. Allocate funds for new equipment including vehicles and technology.
  4. Focus on new training and effective community policing strategies.