Thursday, June 18, 2009

Citizens Agenda for Cleveland Heights

I recently received the following forwarded email from a community colleague of a call to action in Cleveland Heights. Its worthwhile here in the Heights as well as in communities elsewhere.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In anticipation of the upcoming Cleveland Heights City Council election, a group of concerned citizens, including me, came together to discuss how to promote strong leadership and citizen involvement. There are four seats up for election. Three incumbents are seeking reelection and approximately 7 others have indicated possible interest in running.

Over a period of weeks we developed a position statement we call the Citizen’s Agenda that reflects the need for fresh leadership to address the pressing issues facing our community. We hope this effort will attract a wide range of candidates—young and old, new and long-term residents, and people from across the rich ethnic and racial diversity of our community.

We see three purposes to this statement and hope you will pursue them with us:

1. Create a dialogue across Cleveland Heights about our future and the type of leadership we need at City Hall,
2. Identify strong candidates who reflect this statement and are willing to run for election,
3. Organize support for such candidates and ultimately get them elected.

We have named the group Step It Up with the tag line, Leadership for a great Cleveland Heights to express our intent. As a starter, would you please take the time to review the attached “Citizen’s Agenda” and consider adding your name as a supporter? If you're willing to have your name used publicly as a supporter, please indicate in a response to this email. Include your address and phone number, as well.

We need to complete our list of names by JUNE 25th in order to go public with the document and use it to generate even greater citizen interest and involvement in the upcoming election. As a first step, there will be an article introducing Step It Up in the next edition of the Heights Observer. The article will include the Agenda and the names of all signers to date, thus our June 25th deadline. We will also host a public forum, Thursday, July 16th to present the Agenda to the community and to invite discussion and broad participation. Details of location and time will follow. Other initiatives are planned. Stay tuned.

Finally, feel free to forward the Agenda to any other CH residents you feel would be interested. They can respond to you (for you to forward to me) or to me directly at mazie.adams at or by mail to 1285 Inglewood Drive, 44121, to indicate their wish to be listed as a supporter.




Step It Up

Leadership for a great Cleveland Heights

A Citizen’s Agenda for Elected Leadership in Cleveland Heights – Join Us!

As proud residents of Cleveland Heights we value our city government and the substantial contribution it makes to the quality of life in our community. The November 2009 city council election is an important opportunity for us, the citizens of Cleveland Heights, to shape our city’s future. We are looking for city council candidates who will seek out and embrace new ideas and carry out the changes necessary to ensure that Cleveland Heights is the best suburb in the nation.

Cleveland Heights needs leaders who will approach issues in ways that will:

* Capitalize on the ideas and expertise of our talented and diverse citizens, businesses and nonprofits to develop creative solutions to demanding issues.

* Work across city boundaries and regionally to confront shared challenges.

* Work in partnership with our public schools and neighborhoods to strengthen our city and guide it into the future.

Cleveland Heights needs leaders who will take on the tough issues and promote the big ideas that will lead to an exciting future. They must be willing to:

1. Establish a vision for our city as a 21st century suburb that includes financial and environmental sustainability.

2. Advocate for and actively promote the City's support of the CH-UH Schools as a major community asset and means to attract families to move to Cleveland Heights.

3. Set social and economic development goals for the next decade and formulate a strategic plan to achieve them.

4. Work collaboratively with all sectors of the community to create effective responses to the housing crisis that will convert vacant and deteriorating property into positive resources for our city.

5. Actively engage all residents and promote policies that continue and strengthen the rich diversity that we value in our community.

In summary, we are seeking city leaders who will genuinely engage our citizens to create new solutions and ignite our confidence in the possibilities that lie ahead for Cleveland Heights. We are looking for candidates to inspire, unite and mobilize our residents to shape an exceptional future.

Call to Action to the Citizens of Cleveland Heights:

If this citizen’s agenda resonates with you, we ask that you sign on as a supporter of our statement. The goal is to solicit broad citizen participation, then use this agenda to search for, support and elect candidates who will best meet the expectations set forth. Your involvement will help do that!

Signed: Mazie Adams, Russell Berusch, Lindy Burt, Gina Cheverine, Mark Chupp, Rev. Tricia Dykers Koenig, Sheldon Glave, Susie Kaeser, Jeff Smith, Diana Woodbridge