Melissa Yasinow - Cleveland Heights City Council Candidate
12485 Cedar Rd. #7 Cleveland Hts., OH 44106 Age: 28
Education: * CWRU Law School, Magna Cum Laude, 2011. * Mount Holyoke College, Magna Cum Laude, 2006. * Laurel School, 2002
Occupation: * Attorney, Kohrman, Jackson & Kravitz
Qualifications: *See other answers.
Community: * Cleveland Leadership Center Civic Engagement Boot Camp, 2012 * Anti-defamation League: - Board member, 2013 - present - Glass Leadership Institute, 2011-2012 * Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus: - Steering Committee, 2012 - present -Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: - 3 r's, 2012 - present - Law School Debt Task Force, 2012 - Present
QUESTIONS and RESPONSES:
1. Improve life: Cleveland Heights is a model city for diversity, sustainablility,walkability, the arts, local business development, and civic engagement. To improve our city, we must continue where we are strong, and enhance wherever possible. On City Council, I would focus on maintaining necessary services. Specifically, I would continue our support for our safety forces, maintain infrastucture, and keep our business districts vibrant, secure and comfortable to keep long-term residents, and attract new ones. Additionally, I would work with community leaders to develop initiatives to keep our senior citizens in their homes, and in Cleveland Heights.
2. School bond issue: I believe that our community is stronger for having good public schools, and meaningful private school choices. I have talked extensively with local leaders who are dedicated to the vitality of our public schools. Based upon these conversations I believe we need to renovate our facilities to avoid costly and inefficient band-aids in the future, and to provide our children a safe and supportive learning environment today. I support the 2013 school bond issue.
3. New development: I wholeheartedly support development in our community, and we must be proactive about fostering new development and re-developing existing spaces. Through new development and re-development, Cleveland Heights can remain strong and competitive. Development is a public-private enterprise, and I am proud of Cleveland Heights' success in working with private and public agencies. For example, Cleveland Heights recently won $3 million in state grants to renovate Cedar-Lee and Cedar Fairmount business districts, and I am excited for the upcoming streetscaping projects. On City Council I would work with local businesses and government entities to grow and develop Cleveland Heights.
4. Revenue: Cleveland Heights can increase revenue by supporting new development and redevelopment in our commercial districts, and by keeping Cleveland Heights attractive both for long-term and newer residents. There is no silver bullet to the state's egregious cuts to local government. However, we can increase revenue by making sure that Cleveland Heights is a vibrant place that tax-paying citizens and business want to call 'home'. As a member of City Council, I would focus our resources on keeping Cleveland Heights walkable, bikeable, sustainable, diverse, and safe to achieve this goal.
5. Housing market: I am proud that the city has proactively addressed the foreclosure crisis and sought government funding to acquire vacant lands. Where appropriate, the city has renovated and sold properties. In other instances, the city has demolished dangerous buildings and then either sold the land to neighboring owners, or kept the land for repurposing. As a member of City Council, I would continue these programs, and I would study how other cities have handled the foreclosure crisis - for example, Youngstown requires banks to post a $10,000 bond when foreclosing - to use what new ideas could work for Cleveland Heights.
6. Regionalism: Collaborating with other cities is good not just for Cleveland Heights, but for our entire region. Through inter-city collaboration we are able to enhance services for our residents and provide them at a lower cost. For example, because we work with University Heights and Shaker Heights to dispatch fire services, we are able to consolidate expenses, and guarantee quality fire coverage across Cleveland Heights. Similarly, because we also order and store street salt for University Heights, we are able to purchase salt at a better price. I support inter-city collaboration to keep our public services reliable, efficient and affordable.