Since his arrest on corruption charges in February
, Ward 4 Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson has yet to resign or be forced to step down from his post. In fact, according to the 2021 candidates' list at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Johnson has pulled petitions and intends to run for the seat again. Unthinkable.
Twelve candidates have now pulled petitions to run in Ward 4, more than in any other Cleveland ward. One of them, Ashley Evans, is a lifelong resident of the ward who has worked for Policy Bridge and Ridall Green Partnership. She formally launched her campaign Thursday.
"I am running because I believe Ward 4 needs new and innovative servant leadership," she said, in materials sent to the press. "I know that Ward 4 deserves conscientious and active representation. We are a community in distress because of the neglectful actions of those who we trusted to be stewards of the area. I am committed to working with you, the individuals who make Ward 4 a community."
Evans attended Kent State University for her undergraduate degree and then both Cleveland State University's Levin College and Ashland University for graduate degrees, in urban studies and business administration, respectively.
She said that as a city council representative, she wants to ensure that all residents have access to reliable city services. She wants to improve health outcomes and make Ward 4, which includes portions of Buckeye-Shaker, Kinsman, Mt. Pleasant and Union-Miles, a more attractive area for commercial and residential development.
Among her policy priorities, she said, was ensuring that residents have opportunities to engage with City Hall via public comment at City Council meetings.
Without mentioning Ken Johnson's name or the alleged financial crimes which led to his recent arrest, Evans painted herself as the antithesis of the incumbent.
"I'm committed to lead our community with integrity, compassion, and faithfulness," she said. "Along my path, I have learned two things. First, the education I received in the classroom is second only to the lessons I learned growing up in Ward 4 and secondly, service is the most authentic example of love, and I genuinely love our home here in Ward 4."
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