Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Justin Bibb Formally Launches 2021 Cleveland Mayoral Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 1:38 PM

Citing an urgent need for a new generation of leaders at City Hall, 33-year-old nonprofit executive Justin Bibb formally launched his 2021 Cleveland Mayoral campaign Tuesday afternoon.

“From the streets to the boardroom, I’ll never stop fighting for Cleveland," Bibb said in his announcement materials. "I love this city and I believe we have the potential to become a model of revival and possibility. We have all the right assets to revitalize our city and we are uniquely positioned to lead America’s economic recovery.”

Bibb was born and raised in Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood and holds graduate degrees in law and business from Case Western Reserve University. He has been a corporate and nonprofit professional for at least the past decade, working for both Gallup and KeyBank. He now manages a portfolio of "cutting-edge" projects for the Tacoma, Washington-based nonprofit Urbanova, which attempts to find smart city solutions in midsize cities nationwide. He recently founded the nonprofit Cleveland Can't Wait, which focuses on building opportunities in underserved neighborhoods. 

With a professional background "at the intersection of government, business and the nonprofit sector," Bibb is billing himself as a "bold, dynamic and visionary leader" who can bring both his professional and lived experiences to bear on city government. He says he will deploy new strategies and technologies "to make neighborhoods safer, communities healthier and [the] economy stronger."

In a virtual launch Tuesday, he outlined a number of key campaign issues including public safety, (more officers on the streets, better enforcement of Consent Decree, new policing models); education (accelerating the pace of change at CMSD by investing in teachers and modernizing curricula); and economic development, (equitable economic policies centered on new jobs and higher wages).

He highlighted what he called a "back to basics" agenda for City Hall, saying that he wanted to deliver services more efficiently and make conducting business with the city easier. He said he wants to elevate residents' voices, making "democracy building" more than an election-year exercise. 

Throughout his career, Bibb said he'd had one primary focus: bringing people together. And he said as Mayor he would work to convene Clevelanders "from the grassroots to the grass tops."

"The next mayor must be unifier in chief, with the energy and insight to do things differently," he said. 

Bibb will be among several high-profile mayoral candidates in 2021. And despite his lack of experience in elected office, he has already raised significant funds which makes him one of the race's early heavy hitters. Scene reported last month that only three months after forming an exploratory committee, Bibb had raised more than $180,000 from local and non-local contributors. 

Bibb clearly has the resources to produce professional campaign materials. And he also has a well-regarded political operative at his side. Ryan Puente, who recently stepped down as the Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, where he was widely respected for his quiet, organized leadership, will manage Bibb's campaign. 

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation