I've worked in Cleveland at every level
On My Block
As a resident of Slavic Village, I'm a member of my block club and a frequent participant and volunteer for neighborhood events such as block parties and holiday gatherings.
When COVID-19 hit, I organized my block so that we could provide resources and support to neighbors that were harder hit. I am always inspired by neighbor-to-neighbor activism.
From repainting the local church to putting together craft supplies for kids during the holidays, the work I do in my neighborhood is some of what I'm most proud of.
In Ward 12
I am a member of the Ward 12 Democratic Club. In 2018 I ran for and won the position of Ward Leader. I worked hard to energize the club and reconnect our work to the CDCs that cover our neighborhoods. In 2020, I ran a program to get out the vote across Ward 12, from Old Brooklyn to Tremont, Brooklyn Centre, and Slavic Village. That work resulted in more than 8,000 voter contacts across the ward.
When necessary, I also haven't shied away from calling out problems with the local Democratic Party where I see them.
Across the City
As I talk about more below, my work on community engagement, lead-safe housing, and utilities has been recognized city-wide.
In addition to those projects, in 2017 I was part of the inaugural class of Stokes Leadership Fellows at the Cleveland Leadership Center, a program which recognized rising community leaders as part of the 50th anniversary of Mayor Carl Stokes' election.
I've built expertise I will use on City Council
Protecting Cleveland's Children from Lead Poisoning
Cleveland has lead poisoning rates 3x higher than in Flint, Michigan. I was a lawyer for a community coalition that helped push City Hall to pass ground-breaking legislation that protects our city's children from lead poisoning. The law is set to be implemented starting in 2021 and I'm uniquely well positioned to make sure that landlords and tenants alike are given the resources they need to keep kids safe.
Focusing on Issues of Racial Justice
I proudly support Black Lives Matter and I believe that having open, frank conversations about race is a necessary part of leading a ward as diverse as Ward 12. I try to live out those values in my daily life. I've also committed to implementing a racial justice lens professionally, such as in my work at Legal Aid and by serving as local counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's lawsuit alleging discrimination at Cleveland Water.
Making Sure Resident Voices are Heard at City Hall
My track record includes pushing for resident inclusion at all levels of city leadership. I have been outspoken about the lack of public comment at Council meetings. Additionally, I have called for resident inclusion when a large economic development meeting happened without public access. The Plain Dealer even published my editorial about City Hall's resistance to public participation.
Building Community Response to COVID-19
When COVID-19 changed what activism looked like, I stepped up to help my neighbors. I started a campaign that resulted in over $60,000 worth of stimulus money being pledged to local non-profits like the Food Bank and the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center. I also worked with local housing advocates to produce an approachable comic on basic housing rights that was distributed at food pantries and non-profits throughout Cleveland.