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Issue Date: December 2001 Issue


I Promise'


Jane Campbell

Thank you for your faith and trust. I will work every day to earn that trust. Together, we have work to do to make our public schools thrive, to make our community safer and to increase our job opportunities.

I accept this extraordinary responsibility and Cleveland Magazine's invitation to print my promises to Cleveland.

Being elected the first female mayor in Cleveland's rich history is truly an honor, but with this honor comes the added responsibility to do a good job because we're breaking a barrier, setting an example and forging a new path. I have a family I love very much, and I pledge to balance my responsibility as mayor with my responsibility as Mom.

While campaigning, I was invited to a West Side elementary school where the students were swearing in their first student council. I talked with the little girl elected vice president, and I asked her, "What were your campaign promises?" She looked at me and said, "I promise to be truthful and I promise to do my best." You know what? Those are pretty good promises. My promise as mayor is to be honest, faithful and to do the best I can.

I promise to work with Barbara Byrd-Bennett and get her to stay here to make our Cleveland public schools thrive. My first meeting will be with Barbara Byrd-Bennett to talk to her about how valuable she is to Cleveland's children. Together, we will engage parents in the education of their children. We will work with Cuyahoga County's Early Childhood Initiative to invest in the vitality of our youngest children and their parents. We will engage parents in helping their children to succeed in school, especially in the early grades so that our children will read and learn. We will create a pre-apprenticeship program as part of the school-rebuilding plan so that our children can learn skilled trades by rebuilding our schools. We will structure quality training programs leading to good-paying, skilled jobs for high-schoolers not bound for college. I promise to give students a reason to stay in school and to help parents provide the support that their children need.

Sadly, some of our streets and neighborhoods are not safe; commercial areas especially are not well-lighted or very clean. As mayor, I promise to forge a new relationship between the mayor, the city safety forces and our residents so that we can create a safer community. After campaigning throughout the city, I learned that our residents know their neighborhoods, are ready to identify problem areas and are anxious to work together to rid our community of drug dealers and violence. The Campbell administration will work with residents, businesses, faith groups and police to strengthen our community so that we know each other and help each other.

The strength of our city relies on the ability of our citizens to work at good jobs, earning enough money to support their families. I promise to create within each of our local development corporations an economic-development specialist who will assist small and medium-sized neighborhood businesses in using all of the tools government provides. Our economic future depends not only on expanding local businesses, but also on fully engaging our traditional manufacturing industry with the tools of new technology. Finally, we must unleash the extraordinary energy of our medical community and our colleges and universities as we create a biomedical industry.

The end of this past century has brought the world technology beyond our wildest dreams. I promise to rethink government's functions involving the Internet. I envision using technology to spread City Hall to the neighborhoods. No longer do we have to be tied to downtown. With just a laptop computer, all of a sudden, boom!, you have a neighborhood office that can get residents the information they need.

All of my plans rely on a great transition team. We will be prepared to hit the ground running in January. One of the first things I will do when I take office is to get an understanding of our city's financial situation. I will bring good leadership to the finance department, and institute controls so we know how much money we have, how much money we owe and what is coming in. My promise is to tap the best talent for our city.

I shook a lot of hands to get here, and now more than ever we must reach our hands across the city and unite. Being mayor is not a singular job. I promise to put together the strongest team of managers I can find to run our city. It will be a team that mirrors our wonderful racial and ethnic diversity. These strong people will create a new openness at City Hall.

I promise to end the mentality of "Us vs. Those Guys in City Hall." I promise to listen, engage and inspire people to work together. I promise to make Cleveland the best city it can be!

Thank you for your trust.


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