College senior endorses Danforth
Having been sent home from college in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had the opportunity to spend an unexpected amount of time in my hometown of Cleveland Heights. As a young adult, I have gained an increased appreciation for the unique offerings of this city: a diverse community; a vibrant arts scene (even in the time of pandemic); small businesses and restaurants within walking distance; and close proximity to big-city amenities at affordable prices, compared to what can be found in the areas surrounding Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Such factors are why I, at times, surprise those who ask the question, “Where will you live long-term following college graduation?” by answering that, although I hope to see the world outside of Ohio after 21 years in the state, I can easily imagine returning to Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, and continuing to call this city my home.
In her mayoral campaign, Barbara Danforth speaks to the factors which draw me back to my hometown. She has led community-based diversity discussions for over a decade, and has considered police-reform measures that will enhance police-community relations, such as specially trained teams that respond to calls involving mental health or domestic violence. Danforth is ready to hit the ground running with researched ideas to support entrepreneurship and revitalize areas suffering from economic blight within our city. Her goal is to stop the increasing tax burden on citizens, while maintaining strong funding for city services and our schools; something I care deeply about as a proud Heights alum.
Danforth has the experience necessary to guide our city through the transition from a city manager to an elected mayor, and she has a desire to deepen her understanding of our community. I was honored to be among the Heights alumni who sat down with Danforth to discuss our experience in the CH-UH district. We discussed the role of a mayor in supporting students, concerns about school funding at the state level, and what draws young people back to Cleveland Heights. I came out of the discussion impressed by Danforth’s ability to both lead and listen, and I am certain of her genuine desire to be a true public servant—something incredibly refreshing for this student of politics and economic policy! I am accordingly confident in Danforth’s ability to enact meaningful change for this city.
Hannah Gilson is a Heights High 2018 graduate and lifelong Cleveland Heights resident. She will graduate from Denision University in May 2022 with a B.A. in political science and economics, and is currently a research assistant for the Lugar Center in Washington, D.C.