After weeks of heated budget hearings, Cleveland City Council has modified and approved a $1.8 billion city budget despite some voicing grave concerns that it could be too idealistic and ambitious for the city’s real world financial picture.
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In the multifaceted race to replace Cleveland’s status-quo mayor Frank Jackson, there may be no other candidate as passionate as Basheer Jones. The second youngest candidate after 34-year-old Justin Bibb, Jones has garnered a dedicated base of the majority Black Ward 7 with fervent religiosity and a youthful ambition. Such energy has spurred numerous development badges just as it has doubts from his critics.
With voter turnout down as low as 13 percent in some Cleveland wards, Bibb is vying to vault over the hurdles of the pandemic while also stoking participation where it’s been declining for years. His tactic, even at COVID-19’s close, seems to be old-fashioned retail politics: Show up (masked) where voters are at. Win them with a handshake and a smile. Repeat until the September primary.