Seren should be CH's first elected mayor

Kahlil Seren wants every street in Cleveland Heights to see the street sweepers, not just the ones lined with mansions. 

The mayoral candidate unveiled this “radical” position at a backyard meet-and-greet, after an attendee noted disparities in street services between affluent and less-affluent neighborhoods. She wanted to know what he would do about it if elected mayor.

Kahlil had an answer. He almost always has a well-thought-out answer, and when he doesn’t, he is ready to listen and learn. 

Kahlil honed a simple strategy for governance at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, at Policy Matters Ohio, as an advisor to Cuyahoga County Council, and serving on Cleveland Heights City Council. First: collect data. Are street services parceled out differently in neighborhoods across Cleveland Heights? That’s step one. If the answer is yes, then figure out why, and how to fix it.

Another example: Now that the city has data regarding disparities in police stops by race, Kahlil said, we can create and implement a plan to address it. He praised Police Chief Mecklenburg for gathering and publishing the information, which he sees as the first step to real change, not window dressing. 

He doesn’t talk like a politician, because he isn’t a politician. He is a problem-solver. That’s why he’s been endorsed by The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com, Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, North Shore AFL-CIO, Our Revolution Ohio, Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council, Young Democrats of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, #VoteProChoice, and Primary Ohio.

During the candidates’ meeting with The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com editorial board, others on the ballot promised 48-hour response times to phone calls, and a direct line for residents to speak with the mayor. The endorsement noted that “Seren emphasized the importance in engaging with the citizens at the beginning of decisions and debates, rather than waiting until decisions are already made and dealing with the fallout.”

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have a mayor who has done the research on policy problems and solutions, and solicits input from residents before making major decisions, than one whose time is eaten [away] by phone calls from every NextDoor complainer. 

If Kahlil Seren is our first elected mayor in Cleveland Heights, our city will be one of the best-managed places in all of Ohio, and beyond. 

Lynn Tramonte

Lynn Tramonte is president of Anacaona, LLC, and director of the Ohio Immigrant Alliance. She lives in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.09.2021