What leadership means to me
A mayoral campaign is all about leadership, this time within the context of the Cleveland Heights community. Effective city leadership involves a three-legged stool, and our city’s first elected mayor needs to have strengths in three areas—civic engagement, experience in city government, and executive finance and managerial skills.
Civic engagement: My years of involvement with Greater Cleveland Congregations Cleveland Heights Housing Committee includes direct engagement with the neighborhoods most affected by the housing crisis, and advocacy for housing equity and reform. A longtime supporter of Heights Friends of Immigrants, I have sponsored a Haitian immigrant who is now a working, productive member of our community. Serving as a board member and treasurer for the past three years, I have been a member of Cleveland Heights Democrats since 2005. I am also on the executive committee of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.
City government: When I was elected to city council in November 2019, I received the highest number of votes of any candidate. Prior to being elected, I attended Council Committee of the Whole and Council meetings weekly for over four years, with a particular interest in fiscal responsibility and housing issues. I developed and got legislation passed, putting more teeth in foreclosure bond legislation, out-of-county register, and vacant housing registry. I am well-known to city staff and my council peers for my ability to listen, collaborate and compromise, especially on tough issues.
Managerial skills: I work alongside my team. As mayor, I will get to know the strengths of our staff and maintain responsive communication with our residents. I will work with the council collaboratively, in the same way I have worked with developers, residents, and many others to obtain win-win solutions for our community.
My decision to run for mayor came after months of considering who else might be able to provide all three “legs of the stool” for our city’s future. When I didn’t see any other candidate who was ready to create that collaborative vision, I made the decision to run.
I am confident that, together, we can set the stage for another hundred years of success and progress—and I welcome the opportunity to talk with you directly about your vision for our city’s first mayor. To view my calendar of events and sign up for an in-person chat or phone call, visit melodyjoyhart.com.
Cleveland Heights City Council Member Melody Joy Hart has been active in the community and is running to become Cleveland Heights' first directly elected mayor.