Community groups plan elected-mayor public forum

FutureHeights, the community development corporation for Cleveland Heights, and Citizens for an Elected Mayor (CEM), the grassroots group that advocated for passage of Issue 26 in fall 2019, are co-sponsoring a public forum to help prepare voters to directly elect a mayor, for the first time, in 2021.

“Electing Our First Mayor: Moving Cleveland Heights Forward” will take place via Zoom, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 3.  

In preparation for the forum, the groups are asking citizens to complete an online survey to help identify the top issues that a new mayor will need to address in order to move Cleveland Heights forward. Visit to participate.

“Community input is an essential part of shaping what our first elected mayor's priorities should be,” said Tony Cuda of CEM. “We believe this will not only help candidates create their platforms, it will help citizens evaluate candidates and identify the qualities, experiences, and qualifications that a mayor would need to address the issues.”

In addition, the groups are asking members of the public to play an active role in the event by submitting a 15- to 30-second video clip expressing an important challenge for Cleveland Heights’ first elected mayor (see instructions below). Videos should be submitted no later than 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

The Feb. 3 forum will begin with a brief overview of the process for electing a mayor, and will revisit some of the qualities and qualifications that mayors from surrounding communities had emphasized at a previous forum. The groups will then present the results of the online survey and share video clips from residents as a jumping-off point for discussion of the issues. Participants will also have an opportunity to ask questions and comment during the forum.

“The forum will not be a place to register complaints or a soapbox for political candidates,” said Robert Brown, president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors. “Rather, our goal is to have productive discussions around the challenges and opportunities our city faces as we elect a mayor for the first time.”

"We hope that candidates considering the run for mayor will find this information helpful in designing their platform,” said Susan Efroymson, CEM member. “It is not our goal to tell them what that platform should be, or flesh out solutions to Cleveland Heights' many challenges in our 90-minute forum. We feel this will be robustly helpful to them in knowing what topics their constituents are looking to see addressed."

For more information and to RSVP for the forum, visit

The organizers invite residents to play an active role in this event. Share what you think is an important challenge for Cleveland Heights’ first elected mayor.

Here are a few details and requests for your video: 

  • Record your video by holding your phone horizontally (landscape orientation).
  • Make sure that your room is well lit with ample light in front of you, and try to eliminate all background noise.
  • Can’t decide what to wear?  Solids always work best on camera.
  • Be brief; a maximum of 30 seconds is ideal.
  • Once recorded, upload your video by going to Drag the video file into the website window, enter your e-mail address, and enter for the recipient e-mail address. If you prefer, you may use Dropbox or Google Drive, also using as the recipient address; and
  • Submit your video by Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 9 p.m.  
  • Questions? Contact us at or 216-320-1423.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 14, Issue 1, Posted 11:08 AM, 01.01.2021