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Monday, January 27, 2020

Cleveland City Councilwoman Dona Brady is Stepping Down

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 8:00 PM

click to enlarge EMANUEL WALLACE / SCENE
  • Emanuel Wallace / Scene
Cleveland City Councilwoman Dona Brady announced at Monday night's council meeting that she will step down from her Ward 11 seat. Brady has served on council since 1999 and represents portions of the west side neighborhoods of Edgewater, Cudell, West Boulevard, Jefferson and Bellaire-Puritas.

"I am grateful to have served my hometown as a public official," she said in brief remarks.

In recent months, Brady has been at the center of a controversy regarding shelter for the homeless in her ward. The nonprofit Metanoia Project partnered with the Denison Avenue United Church of Christ to provide emergency overnight shelter during the cold-weather months for those who are unable or unwilling to access other shelters.

On Christmas Eve, a "cease use" order was taped to the door of Denison UCC. Pastor Nozomi Ukuta has called the partnership with Metanoia a "protected and essential expression of our faith," and has appealed the "cease use" order. In early January, more than 100 supporters gathered at City Hall on the church's behalf, calling on city leaders to establish a sustainable cold-weather plan, and to show compassion for the city's most vulnerable populations.

Councilmen Kerry McCormack, Matt Zone and Basheer Jones met with homeless advocates in the wake of vocal public support. Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Chris Knestrick wrote in a op-ed that Brady had refused every invitation to discuss the issue.

It's not clear, however, that the Denison UCC controversy inspired Brady to step down. It has been suggested that she wanted out some years ago. (Why then, we wonder, did she run for re-election in 2017?)

She announced her decision at Monday's council meeting and said she would officially step down at the end of January. She did not announce the name of who she will appoint to replace here.

Brady's resignation comes only three months after another west side council member, Ward 17's Martin Keane, bowed out, only to get a juicy city appointment in the Department of Utilities. Brady, like Keane, will get to appoint a successor in Ward 11 while the voters will have no say in the matter. They'll wait nearly two full years (until the Nov. 2021 election) before they'll get to elect a representative for their ward. Along with her colleagues, Brady will continue to oppose the Tony-George-led council reduction measures. 

Brady currently serves as vice chairwoman of the Municipal Services & Properties Committee and also serves on the Finance, Workforce & Community Benefits, and Mayor's Appointments committees.

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