Barbara Danforth announces candidacy for CH mayor
After much thought and 40 years of preparation, I am running to be mayor of Cleveland Heights. Between now and Election Day, I will share my vision and experience on a campaign platform I’m calling “Competence – Not Politics.”
I’m running because I love the Heights and I want to make a difference, which is the same philosophy that’s guided me over my entire career.
First, a little about me: Along with my husband, Obie Shelton, children, Hallie and Owen, and our dog, Onyx, I’ve lived on Bolton Road in Forest Hill for 16 years.
For 15 years, I served as CEO of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland. During that time, I created the Women’s Leadership Academy, and facilitated the creation of 22 single-occupancy apartments and a program providing life skills for teens aging out of foster care.
You may find it helpful to know I’m a non-practicing attorney, with a legal career that includes service as assistant attorney general for the state of Iowa, chief legal counsel for the Cuyahoga Department of Children’s Services, and chief prosecutor for the city of Cleveland.
My volunteer activities encompass the Forest Hill Home Owners association, the Cleveland Heights Racial Justice Task Force, United Way and the City Club of Cleveland.
Now to the vision: There’s always been a synergy between University Circle and Cleveland Heights. We must work harder to join us at that hip. Working hand-in-glove with city council, the planning director and director of economic development, I will bring a new, focused energy to economic development, the rehabilitation of our housing, and the attraction of new businesses.
Other areas of major concern to me: redeveloping Severance Town Center; creating homes with first-floor master bedrooms, to keep our seniors and empty-nesters in town; and issues of equity and inclusion.
This first term of a new mayor will set the foundation for residents, council members and city staff to interact and cooperate. Bottom line, the streets must be paved, the garbage must be picked up, the fire and police departments must be sensitive and responsive, and the budget needs to balance.
Running the city is very much like running a multi-million-dollar business, and I ask the voters of Cleveland Heights to elect a mayor who has demonstrable experience running big operations, making payrolls, and working by consensus—and I’ll do my darndest to make CH logo-branded clothing available 24/7 online!
Barbara Danforth is a 16-year resident of Cleveland Heights' Forest Hill Historical District. She is the former chief prosecutor, city of Cleveland; and former CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland. Currently, Danforth is an executive coach with focus on career coaching for emerging leaders.