One of our challenges in achieving people-driven reform is reaching people more often than every four years. Recently, someone asked me what I have been doing since the 2016 election. I’m happy to say that I have been part of a local, grassroots reawakening that is already changing communities for the better.
As a leader in the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, I have helped organize people around regional, state and national issues which directly impact life in Lakewood.
- CCPC played a big part in the fight for a $15 minimum wage in Cleveland—where many Lakewood residents work—and we’re continuing this campaign for better pay. We also worked toward the welcome return of transit to Public Square, helping out commuters and restoring the safe traffic flow that left-turn travel around the square made needlessly riskier.
- We have lobbied Ohio’s legislature to increase transit, health and other local funding that has faced repeated cuts, hurting Lakewood and other cities. CCPC recently helped organize two buses’ worth of local residents to address legislators face to face in Columbus.
- Caucus members are working to stop county government from handing out more public money for Quicken Loans Arena, and to secure more funding for real priorities like mental health and addiction. Like other local communities, Lakewood has been hit hard by the opiate crisis.
- We support Representative Marcy Kaptur’s efforts for important, common-sense banking reforms.
- We joined organizations throughout Ohio to flood Senator Rob Portman’s office with calls, letters and personal visits, to protect Medicaid expansion and other healthcare reforms. Through local activism, voters successfully encouraged Portman and other legislators to distance themselves from Trumpcare.
- CCPC partnered with Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Center of Cleveland to provide tours at two local mosques. Over 1,000 people have attended so far, helping residents of Lakewood and other diversifying communities get to know one another.
The next step for CCPC and other reformers is to go beyond protesting and lobbying elected leaders, and to offer new options from the local level on up. Local governments have the most-direct impact on everyday people, and should be the most responsive. I’m running for Lakewood city council to deliver on that ideal.