As I kick off my campaign for City Council, I want to make you a promise:
I will not go negative on other candidates.
Instead, I will stay focused on sharing my vision and ideas for our city. I will talk about what I believe in and what I stand for. I’ll tell you about my experience and how it shapes how I work with others and my approach to governance.
I want to see a democracy in which candidates tell voters about themselves, and then voters decide which candidate they prefer. I’m tired of seeing elections devolve into feuds. I want better for Cleveland Heights.
Perhaps this exposes the idealist part of me, but I embrace my ideals. After all, if we have nothing that we’re reaching for, that’s when we sink, stagnate, and lose our way.
I am also making this pledge because part of my vision for our city is engaging our community and bringing our residents into our decision-making processes earlier and more often. Cleveland Heights has many challenges to address, and we will need all members of our City Council and our mayor to come together to work toward our collective goals. If the first thing our incoming government needs to do is bridge community divides created by a negative election season, this will obstruct the essential work to be done.
I may disagree with other candidates. After all, no two people agree on absolutely everything. But when I do, I won’t question anyone’s character. I’ll simply say, “I disagree,” and then I’ll tell you why. Disagreements are inevitable. What’s important is HOW we disagree. We can do so with civility and respect—and even kindness.
But what’s more, many times, it is through disagreement that we find clarity, innovation, and pathways to progress that we had not previously seen. But this can only happen if we focus on the larger issues, not on our own personal desire to win.
For me, if sowing division in our community is the cost of winning an election, that’s a price I’m not willing to pay. On the national level we’ve seen what happens when candidates stoke discord as a path to victory. Here in Cleveland Heights, we can and must do better.