We’ve all seen the headlines regarding voter turnout in Cleveland. In September 2021, Cleveland’s primary election saw voter turnout increase from 2017 numbers, but still ran below a 20% turnout. Voting turnout was also alarmingly low for the latest 2020 Presidential Election. By the time we engage for this forum, Cleveland will have decided on a new mayor for the first time in 16 years—and the turnout will understandably spark more debate over the civic health of Cleveland.
Erika Anthony is the co-founder of Cleveland VOTES and in 2019 became the Executive Director of the Ohio Transformation Fund. Erika has been at the forefront of civic engagement in Northeast Ohio for years. Her most recent work centers around developing relationships with trusted stakeholders that are most proximate to historically disenfranchised and marginalized residents and grounding those relationships in the realities of our social fabric. While some of the election related data may lead us to question whether Cleveland voters are apathic – recently commissioned research actually elevates that Cleveland voters are not apathic. In fact, they care deeply about their community and believe that collective power needs to be amplified and equitably distributed to affect change.
So, what exactly is needed in this moment? How might we all reimagine the future of equitable civic engagement and democracy building? And how we collectively work towards increasing voter engagement in future elections and beyond?
Join us, in-person at the City Club as Erika Anthony describes how we can create a culture that supports democracy in all Cleveland communities.
The livestream will be available beginning at 12:30p.m. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.
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Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.