Getting to know Ross DiBello, candidate for Cleveland Mayor

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland mayoral primary is in six days, and 19 News is committed to introducing you to the candidates.

Ross DiBello said he didn’t just wake up and decide to run for Mayor of Cleveland: he had motivation.

“I love Cleveland; I’m proud of Cleveland, but we have poor leadership and poor decision making, and we don’t have equity, and we’ve got some declining neighborhoods,” said DiBello.

The lifelong Clevelander grew up in Chesterland but has family throughout the area. He and his wife live in West Park. For years, he worked as an attorney for the felony Court of Common Pleas Downtown, where he got a different POV on how he’ll tackle crime, a growing concern in the city.

“I worked at the court for 8 years, watched felony case after case. It’s unacceptable, right? I think the other candidates are more traditional candidates like Mayor Jackson will tell you they’re tough on crime, 10 point plan, 3 prong plan, more officers, move the desk officers onto the streets, I’m trying to create fiscal equity, strengthen the public schools, strengthen our small businesses in our outer neighborhoods, stop wasting our tax dollars,” he said.

He tells 19 News, he knows not all of his ideas are popular ones, which he admits sets him apart from his opponents.

“I knew I could fight for the public bank, stopping the sports team handouts, things like that whereas other traditional political machine candidates they can’t, the tax abatements, they can’t really fight against that kind of stuff,” he said.

“Low-income individuals in this city have not been helped; in fact, they’ve been hurt. The wealth divide is what it is; we’re now #1 in the nation in child poverty and poverty, so I will negotiate harder on behalf of those tax-paying parents and kids. Put the focus back on the Lee-Harvards, West Parks, Slavic Villages because that’s where crime is taking up because there’s been no investment there and vacant, and all the things we know are happening in the city; of Cleveland.”

Win or lose, DiBello said he got the word out.

”I feel good that I did it, and I voted for the public bank; I fought to stop the handouts to the billionaires, give people an option to vote for that,” he said. “I’ve made my family very proud, but if I come up short, I won’t blame the other candidates; I’ll blame myself,” said DiBello.

Read more about DiBello’s platform here.

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