Cleveland City Council president Kevin Kelley has confirmed that he is considering running for mayor’s office in 2021. But to get a better idea of what the Clevelanders want, he listens a bit before starting the campaign.
Yesterday, Tuesday, February 16, Kelley announced that he would be conducting for a month Neighborhood tour across the city of Cleveland – starting today, Wednesday, February 17, in Ward 13.
“Because I think we don’t spend a lot of time listening,” Kelley says of his tour. “Things are changing, and times have specifically changed during this time of the pandemic.”
Kelley begins this series to hear firsthand from members of the community what concerns they have, what problems they are facing, and what they think the city needs to do to avoid the social, physical, and economic impact of COVID -19 to recover.
“Cleveland has been hard hit by the pandemic, which has only exacerbated the social and economic challenges we have already faced,” Kelley said in a statement. “It is time we tread a new path – quickly. The best place to start is by listening to the Clevelanders and learning directly from them what they need. “
Kelley says he doesn’t want to tell residents what they need – he wants to find out what their concerns are instead. “Candidates often come up and tell you what they’re up to,” he explains, “instead of getting a basic understanding of it [residents] really need. “
Kelley wants to know what the problems and concerns are in each of Cleveland’s 17 wards. “Every region is different,” he says. “I want to know what the parks are like, if there is a grocery store you can use, and if you have access to fresh food. Do you know your neighbors, do you feel safe in your neighborhood? “
The first virtual meeting Tonight February 17th at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom is in Ward 13, Old Brooklyn. During the sessions, Kelley will start the discussion and answer as many questions as possible from the participants. Residents are encouraged to join in, have conversations, and have the opportunity to be heard on the topics that matter most to them.
It’s about building a sense of connectedness. “We have to look at what kind of community we’re building, and that starts with listening,” says Kelley.
Registration at every event is requested. All sessions start at 7:30 p.m.
The town hall plan is:
Station 13 Wednesday February 17th
Station 1 Thursday February 18th
Station 17 Tuesday February 23
Station 2 Wednesday February 24th
Station 16 Thursday February 25th
Station 3 Tuesday March 2nd
Station 15 Wednesday March 3rd
Station 5 Thursday March 4th
Station 14 Monday March 8th
Station 4 Tuesday March 9th
Station 6 Tuesday March 9th
Station 12 Wednesday March 10th
Station 7 Thursday March 11th
Station 11 Monday March 15th
Station 9 Tuesday March 16
Station 10 Thursday March 18th
Station 8 Tuesday March 23rd
“Cleveland is very busy addressing the problems we are facing, but the solutions are out there,” Kelley said in his statement. “And these conversations from neighbor to neighbor are only the first step that we can take together on the way forward.”