|Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson|
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and the Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog. Tel: 216-659-0473. Email: email@example.com. Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under five different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND, Ohio-Following a failed recall effort last month led by Cleveland Black Contractors Group Activist Norm Edwards and Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Nelson Sr., also an attorney for the now defunct Cleveland NAACP, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson may or may not be contemplating the pursuit in 2017 of an unprecedented fourth term.
According to a story by veteran the local mainstream television channel Cleveland 19 Action News Reporter Scott Taylor that the mainstream local television station ran last week, the three term Black mayor of the majority Black major American city purportedly told supporters at a recent dinner with some of his major corporate sponsors that he will seek a forth term.
The mayor's spokesperson, Dan Williams, did not return phone calls from Cleveland Urban News.Com seeking comment.
Other prospective Black candidates include former state senator Nina Turner, a Jackson ally, state Rep. Bill Patmon, and councilmen Zack Reed and Jeff Johnson. All of these projected mayoral wannabes, and the mayor himself, are Democrats.
Both Patmon and Turner, currently the director of political engagement for the Ohio Democratic Party, are former city council persons, and Johnson is a former state senator.
Patmon lost a non-partisan run off race for mayor against Jackson in 2009.
The mayor's foes say that it is time for a change in leadership. Others have said that Jackson, 68, would likely win reelection if he runs.
Whether a change is coming in the form of a new city mayor remains to be seen, particularly since Jackson is still relatively popular, and still enjoys public support from the 17-member Cleveland City Council, and White and Black leaders in general, including 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, one of two Blacks in Congress from Ohio.
Also the director for the American Center for Economic Equality, Edwards, and Nelson, both of whom are Black, began embarking upon the recall effort earlier this year, though both have refused to even publicly criticize Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who is White. And they have literally given McGinty, a former common pleas judge, a free pass, though McGinty, typically an overzealous prosecutor, some say, routinely lobbies county grand juries not to criminally indict police involved in excessive force fatal shootings involving Black people.
The mayor, says Edwards, has failed to provide the largely Black Cleveland schools students an adequate education, has overlooked police abuse, including excessive force killings, and has allocated a disproportionate amount of resources to beautify downtown Cleveland while the inner city neighborhoods continue to deteriorate. McGinty has done little to upset either of them, both of them told Cleveland Urban News.Com at an activist meeting on police brutality.
Jackson controls Cleveland schools under state law, and will lead the effort next year to try to convince voters to renew a 15-mil tax levy approved in 2012.
The subject of the mayor's stance on seeking an historic fourth term comes on the heels of controversial Cleveland police killings of unarmed Blacks, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Malissa Williams, Timothy Russell, and Kenneth Smith.
A court-monitored consent decree settlement on police reforms negotiated between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice was agreed upon by the parties on June 12.
The mayor was never bothered by the recall effort, at least not visibly, and said at the onset, "more power to em."
His nonchalant attitude may have proved to be beneficial.
Not only was the recall effort a failure, it was a complete failure.
More than 12,000 valid signatures, or 20 percent of the voters who cast ballots in Cleveland during the last regular mayoral election in November 2013, were required to get the recall initiative on the November ballot.
The group met the 30 day deadline from pulling petitions in May, and turned in petitions in June with a reported 12,887 signatures. But Cuyahoga County Board of Elections officials rejected more than 98 percent of them.
In total, 12,614 signatures were invalid, and only 273 were valid, board of elections officials said. An additional 20 days to collect additional signatures was allocated per the city charter
If Jackson runs and wins reelection in 2017, he would be the first Cleveland mayor to reach such a milestone.
Former mayor Michael R. White, Cleveland'S second Black mayor, served three terms and opted not to seek reelection in 2001. He was succeeded by one-term former Mayor Jane Campbell, whom Jackson, then president of city council, ousted.
Elected in 1967 when the city was majority White, the late Carl B. Stokes, the brother of retired congressman Louis Stokes, is the first Black mayor of Cleveland, and of a major American city.