Moore's supporters deserve similar representation
Years before climate change, environmental justice, and Vision Zero became mainstream concepts, Mary Dunbar, former Cleveland Heights council member, recognized that the environment and the health of the community are inextricably interconnected. She became an advocate for a greener and healthier Cleveland Heights.
After Ms. Dunbar’s untimely resignation from council, Josie Moore stepped in to fill the vacated seat with a passion and clarity that was reassuring and energizing. She brought fresh energy and a platform befitting a city that perceives itself as progressive and welcoming. She offered a vision for a holistic and collaborative approach to decision-making that considered the potential impact of policies and projects on the economy, housing, social equity, and the environment. She recognized the severe and immediate threat that climate change poses to human society and the natural world, and she presented sound and actionable steps to not only mitigate the impact of a warming climate but build a resilient, thriving, and equitable community.
One year later, [with Moore's resignation from council,] those of us who voted for Ms. Moore and her vision in November 2021 are left to wonder what could have been. Moore’s progressive agenda was ambitious and a direct challenge to the status quo; but with a new council and new form of government in place, her timing felt right.
Ms. Moore deserves gratitude and recognition for her efforts to effect progressive change in Cleveland Heights. She was a steadfast champion of the issues that mattered to the constituents who voted for her.
As council members sift through 20-plus applications for the vacated seat, it is important [that they] keep in mind that Ms. Moore’s constituency deserves to be represented by a council member who is willing and able to approach decision-making and policy-making with an understanding that economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental health are interconnected and mutually dependent. [We need] a strong advocate for a more sustainable Cleveland Heights, willing to lead with urgency and determination; a person who understands that failure to act will only exacerbate the existing problems and make [them] more difficult and more expensive to address in the future.
Catalina Wagers is an eight-year resident of the Fairfax neighborhood. She is actively involved with several local organizations, supporting causes and programs focused on better access to education, policy advocacy, and environmental protection. She is co-founder of Cleveland Heights Green Team.