Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelly discusses plans to move city forward

“We’re going to change things. We’re moving forward.”
Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley on economic equality
Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley on economic equality
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Kevin Kelley’s name is associated with Cleveland.

He’s a native of the city and has been in Cleveland politics for over 15 years, the last seven as council President.

Opponents say that length of time is connected to the present city administration, which could be “business as usual” at city hall if he’s elected.

But Kelley said his run for mayor is Forging a New Path.

“I don’t want to go back to the Cleveland that was pre-COVID, or whatever, we have to envision a great community and we have to chart the path to get there.”

Kevin J. Kelley, 53, is a sixth-generation Clevelander who grew up in the Westpark neighborhood and currently serves as Ward 13 councilman.

Kelley said getting into politics was motivated by his grassroots work.

“I was a social worker for many years, and I was a community activist. And what I realized is that the decisions that really affect community programing and what people can do on the ground are made by people in elected positions and policy decisions.”

“In order to be the most impactful, to the most people... if you really want to effect change, the best way that I can do that would be through an elected position.”

Kelley said the number one agenda that has to happen on day one if he is elected mayor is tackling the criminal element.

“We have to deal with this crime issue, especially the rise in violent crime that we’ve seen recently. If we do not get safety right, nothing else really matters and people don’t feel safe in their homes.”

Turmoil within the Cleveland police department has been another issue that Kelley said needs to be fixed.

“We have a Consent Decree, we have Fourth Amendment and we have parameters. If you stay within those parameters, I’m going to support you. If you step outside, you will be held accountable.”

Kelley’s endorsement from Mayor Frank Jackson was big news for his campaign.

His opponent thinks Jackson’s backing is a sign that things will remain the same if Kelley is elected.

Kelley said that won’t be the case.

“I’m not stopping my forward momentum at all. I’m not going in there and just assume that everything is already there. We’re going to change things. We’re moving forward.”

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