Keep Cheryl L. Stephens on County Council: She’s Working For Us
“Energetic. Smart. Hard-working. Loyal.” These are a few words used by Cheryl Stephens’ supporters to describe the Cuyahoga County Council representative who is eager to continue a second term serving the residents of Collinwood, East Cleveland, Glenville and the nearby Heights communities.
A former Cleveland Heights mayor and city council leader, Stephens sees her role on County Council as a way to serve all of Greater Cleveland. Like other first-ring suburbs, the city of Cleveland Heights has faced many challenges that she helped navigate with her signature traits of diligence, integrity, fiscal accountability and collaboration.
During the past year serving on County Council, Stephens has strengthened important relationships and laid the groundwork for progress on the issues that are important to residents in District 10, such as housing, community & economic development, safety, education, and protecting workers rights.
A self-proclaimed “housing nerd,” Stephens has spent her career focused on the issues that underscore many Cleveland residents’ concerns — as a leader first at the Cuyahoga Land Bank and currently as the President & CEO of the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation. Housing & economic development are her first loves, but Stephens’ priorities are often re-shaped through tireless information gathering around the district.
As vice-chair of County Council’s community development committee, Stephens is currently working hard with the County Treasurer’s office, the development department and Office of the County Executive to negotiate agreements with local banks that would require community reinvestment programs such as loans to families in low-moderate income census tracts, counseling for small businesses, and specialized loan pools for those businesses. The positive effects of such programs will be felt all across Cuyahoga County, according to Stephens.
Stephens’ experience tells her that communities are safer when economic development and quality education are prioritized by elected leaders, making her an outspoken supporter of the Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative, which is offered to six communities in the county. She also voices concern about the ongoing human rights violations at the Cuyahoga County jail and is working with the council’s committee Chair of Public Safety toward initiatives that will help re-define the culture of our criminal justice system, another example of how Stephens feels called to advocate on behalf of all County residents.
Stephens excitedly describes a three-step collaborative process for how she plans to financially empower East Cleveland in its search for a healthy, sustainable grocery store partnership. You can tell she thrives on the push and pull of community economic development, and she’s got over twenty years of direct experience and the negotiating skills to back it up. We need strong, honest and resident-focused leadership to advocate for us in Cuyahoga County, and a vote for Cheryl Stephens on the March 17 Democratic primary ballot is a vote for exactly that.
Pam Turos is a member of Team Cheryl Stephens, a group of community members and supporters who believe in moving Cuyahoga County District 10 forward.