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Akron City Council, Ward 4 representative

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Valerie Jackson vs. Russel Neal Jr. (incumbent)

Voters living in Akron’s Ward 4 will vote for one candidate for Akron City Council Ward 4 representative on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.


Russel Neal Jr. (incumbent)

Political affiliation: Democrat

Why are you running for Council?

“I am running for re-election to city council so that I can continue to serve my community and the city. The 4 years I have been on council I have been able to work with the residents of Ward 4, and the city, to lay the foundation for healthy community engagement

“Through the principle of collective work & responsibility, I have lead our community in the following initiatives:

“Housing: Worked with city and faith based community in Ward 4 to create partnerships to rehab vacant properties and provide affordable housing for families.

“Policy: Worked with neighborhood block clubs in Ward 4 & across the city to create the city’s policy concerning the removal of street memorials.

“Crime Prevention: Facilitated collaboration between Akron’s Grassroots Organizations, the city and county governments to develop community plan to address youth violence.

“Community Engagement: Created a ward website www.4westakron.groupsite.com in an effort to keep the residents of Ward 4 informed of ward meetings and on the different initiatives taking place in the ward.

“Through inclusive and transparent leadership I have created community forums and ward meetings that provide residents the opportunity to have input in shaping policies that impact our community.

“If re-elected I will continue to listen, work with and serve the residents of Ward 4 and the city of Akron to help make our ward and city the best it can be.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

  1. “Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Project — Working with the rest of council, the administration, and the citizens of Akron to determine the best way to manage the cost of the CSO Project; and, lessen the financial impact on citizens of Akron, and insure that Akron residents have first priority to the jobs related to working on the CSO Project.
  2. “Housing — I will continue to address the housing in Ward 4 that has been hard hit by foreclosures and most recently the severe repeated flooding throughout our ward.
  3. “Encourage and Develop Relationships — I will continue working with neighborhood block clubs, business districts, and faith based communities in the ward to develop stronger relationships and collaborations with in the ward and city. This is important because the ultimate answer to addressing issues- crime, education and sustaining strong vibrant communities revolve around us all working together.”


Valerie Jackson

Political affiliation: Independent

Why are you running for Council?

“If elected as 4th Ward City Council, I will listen to the issues that most concern our citizens, in the 4th Ward community. I want our citizens to feel safe in our neighborhood. I have volunteered with local faith based community, in planning events, helping children, and the elderly. I have been the Director of faith based Community choirs:  singing and praying for the elderly, in nursing homes. If elected as 4th Ward Council, I want to discuss with city officials, city councils, and Lebron James with celebrity friends: concerning ideas surrounding our youths. He has helped contribute and support Akron, Ohio. My goal is for the youths in our community to have ‘mentors’ and to have recreational centers rebuild, and enlarged. We, the Community as a whole should help join in the quest of mentoring our youths and encourage them to become active, and interested in new activities. I am concern with the high volume of gun violence with youths. Another issues, that I will like to address is Unemployment: and according to Current Employment Statistics Survey and Current Population Survey. In July of 2013, there were 328,400 jobs in Akron, Ohio. The CPS Survey of households showed for the month was 349,706 employed persons and for the month of July, 2013: Akron added 1,700 jobs. Source from website: www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/ohio/akron. I will strive to work diligently with city officials and city councils to help promote an increase with employment, in our wonderful city.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

“Housing: I want to help our citizens in the 4th Ward with affordable homes. I will work hard in asking for assistance with grants and aids with government, towards remodeling of homes: due to increase flow of rain, flooding, and weather catastrophes. If elected as 4th Ward City Council: I want to be known with the citizens in our community as a friend, and as someone that will help.

“Education: I spent a day in Columbus and spoke with Senator, addressing issues of reducing the cost of tuition, voters registration forum, and correction facilities: to reeducate and rehabilitate. I want to help lower cost in tuition and to help children with a brighter future, in education. A good education will build strong character, a good career, and pave the way for a stronger community.

“Recreational Centers: It is the corner stone for being the foundation of our society: To teach perseverance, inspire, encourage, and to build character. I will help promote our youths to get involved in community activities and to help stop gun violence: by getting our youths more involved with volunteer work and community activities.”

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