In support of mayoral candidate Hart
I am writing to vigorously support Melody Hart for our first [elected mayor]. This enthusiasm comes from my perspective and experience working with her on the Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) Cleveland Heights Housing Team for seven years.
[Others] who endorse Melody have spoken [of] her solid fiscal management skills, her executive skills set, and her contextual knowledge of Cleveland Heights. I am focusing on the way I know her best: As a person for others.
Melody is a person for neighborhoods. Long before this campaign, Melody walked every street in the Noble neighborhood. In doing this she demonstrated empathy for neighbors who were seeing their housing values deteriorate. She collaborated with neighbors [on a] badly neglected, vacant, investor-owned property that had been so since 2009. Her research efforts significantly led to resolving this case.
Melody is a person for leadership. Leaders not only write policy but also can implement policy. Melody worked with GCC to move heretofore stalled and opposed foreclosure bond policy to a council that embraced this legislative change that now greatly benefits our city. Melody accomplished this by collaboration with all stakeholders. I have witnessed this quiet strength over and over. She has leadership integrity that values the insights and contributions of others. She is a bridge builder who does not need fanfare. This will be a critical skill in the huge work ahead to move our city forward.
Melody is a person for others. Melody is a believer in social justice and racial equity. She lives her promises and commitment. In 2019 she worked with and housed a Haitian immigrant in her Cleveland Heights home. With two other council members, she co-sponsored the Racial Justice Task Force. Melody realizes that no one person can meet the needs of all citizens, but working collaboratively leads to better decisions. An example of this is when she worked with MetroHealth [at Severance] to minimize tree removal and at the same time promote much needed economic development.
Melody has done her homework. Please do yours. She knows what changes will move our city forward. I am confident that she is the best qualified person to be our first elected mayor of Cleveland Heights
S. Kay Dunlap is a Cleveland Heights resident.