Councilperson Tristan Rader
Councilperson Tristan Rader

I am a northeast Ohio native, and proud to call Lakewood my home.

Born in Cleveland, I spent my early years in Ohio City. I attended Open Door Christian High School, after my family moved to Lorain, and earned associate’s degrees at Lorain County Community College. After graduation from LCCC I went on to complete further degrees at Kent State and Cleveland State.

In 2009 I performed mission work in East Africa. While there I found that aid is abundant, but often not the kind that’s needed. Afterward, I started a nonprofit project to help people advocate their communities’ own priorities, and spent six months providing communications training in Uganda.

From 2012 to 2016 I worked for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank as one of the first outreach staff. We pioneered new methods and went from assisting a few hundred people per month to thousands. Through my work at the Food Bank, I learned that many here in Northeast Ohio also feel shut out and powerless to change their situation.

I was inspired when Senator Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for president, and immediately put my experiences to work in grassroots organizing. As local field director, I’m proud that Lakewood was very supportive. After the primary ended, our team reorganized as the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, and Lakewood was a natural location for our office. As operations director during CCPC’s first year, I helped membership grow to nearly 3,000.

In addition to my work at the Food Bank, I have founded two startups, Creative Media Productions and Ohio Cleaning. I served as a deputy state director for during the 2016 election. I have also volunteered for local programs including The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program. I currently help people bring home the benefits of clean, renewable solar energy for their own homes.

My amazing wife, Caitlin, and I make our home just a short walk from downtown Lakewood.