Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘local opinion’ Category

Proud of Ward 14 Voters for Supporting Their Candidates

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After an Election Day there is always a lot of “armchair” quarterbacking, and I have to say that in our ward it is no different.  Many are saying that 68% of voters voted against our sitting councilman.  I disagree.  The dedicated voters of Ward 14 chose the candidates they believe should make it to the general election.

We exercised our “right to vote” and now we have the two candidates who will face each other in November.  This is the American way.  There is a reason for the primary system.  I am proud of the candidates and the voters in the wards in our city where there were more than two candidates, and therefore, those voters had a “choice” to make. 

I strongly believe that the voters who cast a ballot on Tuesday or before did so not to vote AGAINST someone but FOR someone.  We need to remember why we have primaries and what they are meant to do.  They are meant to give us a choice of who we think will be the BEST candidate to represent us in a general election.

In this day and age of where we talk more about what we DON’T want rather than what we DO want, it is hard to focus on why primaries are a necessary and required part of our voting process. How else will we choose the two best candidates to represent us in the fall? In fact, I am appalled at the two major parties who choose an incumbent or one challenger while trying to discourage any other person from running because contested primaries are “costly”.  In my opinion, this control by the party system is killing our democracy.

It becomes ever harder to find young people who want to enter politics when all they see is the bickering and gridlock at the federal level in the august bodies of Congress. With partisan politics overshadowing the good work that happens daily, it is hard to get young people to vote let a lone run for office. At the state level, governance is hardly the profession young people would aspire to be part of  when the news stories continue to show that corporate and special interests are pulling the strings. At the local level, news media continue to choose those candidates they find newsworthy and the stories usually have a taint of “scandal” to them. Analysis pieces in the newspaper choose frontrunners early for what may be good reason, but how discouraging for voters to be told their vote means little if anything.  I wish journalists would stick with more  reporting and less analyzing.   

I said this a few weeks ago and I will say it again,  Ward 14 had four candidates who showed an eagerness to learn, an enthusiasm to run, and a passion to serve.  I only wish that more voters had turned out to choose.  The sad reality is if we do not “get out to the vote” and we do not exercise our right to vote then, some day we will look around and find we have lost that right.

I know in Ward 14 with candidates like Nelson Cintron, Jr., Brian Cummins, Janet Garcia, and Brian Kazy we will continue to move forward.  In this mix, we have two strong Latino voices as well as two other voices experienced in community organizing and development.  Together, these leaders can unite our community to be a force of transformation.

We have a community that wants leaders who move us forward and put the “old ways” behind us.  We have one thousand voters who made sure their voices were heard on Election Day.  Do we need more voters? Absolutely. Did we go out and vote against someone?.  Absolutely not. We went out and voted because we believed in our candidate. Many of us had a candidate who didn’t make it to the finals, but we should be proud of ourselves because we know what having “a right to vote” means.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 11th, 2013 at 1:21 pm


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I Received the following from a friend of mine in Brooklyn Centre.  He is right. I have seldom if ever heard Bob speak his political views at a community meeting.  Therefore, I can only surmise that the incident must have been pretty reprehensible for Bob to send this missive to his email list.  I must concur that he is right this political season has had some of the most reprehensible and downright disgusting advertising I have seen in my lifetime.  And, yes, I have turned away and said nothing as so many, but where to start and how to end, but my friend speaks the truth.  We MUST fight back by not succumbing to their intimidation tactics and to use our own words to bring reason and sanity back to our political process.

Bob’s email:

I try to limit my political views, but I can only do so to a point. I was at a community meeting earlier this evening where a local public official noted that it’s good we’re going to see "change" during this election. He didn’t clarify however whether he was referring to just county offices (thank god were seeing change there) or to all levels of government. (state and national) Just that we’re "going to see change".

What the hell is going on in this country that so many people are sitting back, accepting and even believing the Republicans, Tea baggers and other right wing extremists as they continue with their distortions and the type of political philosophy that got this county in the economic mess we’re now in? Not to mention their troubling domestic and international policy agendas.

Make no mistake folks, the bulk of the American public lies closer to the middle, despite the efforts of the major media (Plain Dealer included) that naively struggles to bring "balance" to their readership by steering them towards the extreme right. I’m afraid due to their success and the lack of courage on the part of so many others, this country will take a drastic turn for the worse. Please everyone – many of you being public officials yourself – prove me wrong, speak-up and spread the word that we need to stand up to the extremists and stay, and even strengthen the course, before its too late.  
Feel free to forward this message.

Robert H. Gardin
Cleveland, Ohio 44109

My response:

Well said, Bob!  Besides being an educated voter and voting EVERY time, I think that as citizens we need to do what you do Bob and attend these meetings and voice our opinions.  Unfortunately, I see too many people –elected officials, government employees, private citizens who do not express their opinions in public, and therefore, we have no dialogue only demagoguery.  We need to allow for differences of approach and ideas in civic engagement, but too often there is no civility.  I believe we need to embrace freedom of speech and have "true" town hall meetings.  Too often, one side or the other takes the reins and shouts down everyone else, and therefore, our society as a whole is made poorer because we have not been enriched by many ideas and actions, but are governed by only a few, not because the plan was made by using best practices but the loudest. 

My friend Jill Miller Zimon  has been incensed by how many well-qualified women candidates have either been vilified or ignored  by so many citizen and mass media journalists. My apologies for the choice but the title is just so wonderful and it gets readers to where I wanted them to go.   She has also called out Josh Mandel and his ill-disguised attempt to use religious intolerance to capture “voting by fear”. my term not hers.  How sad to see how far we have fallen because of silence.  I am truly blessed to have friends like Bob and Jill.  They keep me centered.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 19th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Teardown Mentality Permeates Cleveland Since “The Early Days”

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Cleveland Area History posted this article today and I commented.  Decided to also post the comment here since it speaks to a question, situation, or attitude  that residents in our park neighborhood  by the zoo contemplate and discuss quite often.

Here is my comment:

Unfortunately, in this town, building and housing codes are not enforced as a matter of course for  keeping the housing stock safe and healthy but too often as a big stick to whack at people.  I believe this situation is caused by a complaint driven system.  There are no systematic policies in place and too often absentee landlords or banks are allowed to skate until violations "expire".  We have seen this happen time and again while other neighbors almost seem to be subjected to a personal vendetta type of handling.  Building and housing has to be one of the more dysfunctional departments in our fair city. Also when the Landmarks Commission was put under the umbrella of planning instead of a stand alone commission, more and more it was used as a big stick rather than the advisory capacity that was envisioned for it. Hence, we have a city that does not pride itself in its rich historic heritage but rather one which almost has a "disposable mentality" which reinforces newer, shinier, functional, and cheaper are words of the day.

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 11th, 2010 at 11:52 am

Live Blogging The Presidential Primary Debate-Cleveland

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Written by Gloria Ferris

February 26th, 2008 at 6:48 pm