Cameron hopes to bring "new blood" to UH council
“I think they need me”, says Pamela Cameron when asked what she thinks of the current University Heights City Council.
Cameron, a self-proclaimed “soccer mom,” currently works as a social worker for Murtis Taylor. She is actively involved in the PTA at Wiley Middle School, where her two children are enrolled. She is also a member of the group called Concerned Citizens of University Heights.
Cameron says she was inspired to run for council by her neighbors, who felt that she possessed the qualities and capabilities needed to make a difference in University Heights. Cameron cites going door-to-door to petition for her candidacy as one of the best experiences she has ever had.
“We’ve got some really talented people, really skilled, knowledgeable people” in University Heights, she says. “We are a rich community in more ways than one. We are very lucky to have the people that we have.”
She has a strong sense of pride in University Heights, which she calls “a unique and distinct city,” adding, “I’d be honored to serve the community and work with all the particular parties involved so we can continue the theme of the city of beautiful homes.”
In her 18 years of public service in child welfare at Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services, Cameron says she has gained valuable experience.
“As a social worker, you learn to take a few hits,” she says. “I think perhaps I might have more tolerance and a greater capacity to work through a collaborative process than others have either shown or demonstrated thus far.”
Because of her strong, practiced communication skills, Cameron feels that she will be able to act as a mediator between John Carroll University and council, hopefully improving the strained relationship that currently exists between the two.
“It’s essential that we learn to listen, to understand what each party wants to bring to discuss. I think we can work together to learn how to speak with each other and learn how to accomplish some of our mutual goals.”
At an all-candidates forum at John Carroll University on Oct. 4, Cameron gave her opinion on a few of the major issues facing the city. Though she said she was unaware of the collaboration between the city and the university on a First Offender program, before the forum, she did have an opinion about it.
“As a social worker I like the sound of anything that allows young people to correct their errors,” she said. Cameron also pledged her support of the school levy.
Cameron is running on a slate with longtime council member Adele Zucker and fellow newcomer Tom Cozzens.
Margaret Duffy-Friedman, campaign coordinator for the Zucker-Cozzens-Cameron slate, says Cameron is “a common-sense leader who utilizes practical approaches to solve everyday issues and problems under society’s present economic conditions.”
Zucker, who has served 26 years on council and nine as vice mayor, said the three candidates are “like minded,” and that it is “important to have new blood” on council. Cameron thinks she might just be the kind of new blood that council needs.
Ryllie Danylko is a John Carroll University student who is covering this candidate for her journalism class.