A LETTER TO THE HON. ANTHONY J. RUSSO
May 12, 2021 | LETTER FROM ERICK WALKER
May 12, 2021
Dear Judge Russo,
Thank you for your email message extending the deadline for applications to replace our indicted councilman and noting to me and others running for the seat that we are eligible to apply. Attorney General Yost is correct that Ward 4 certainly deserves someone to represent us between now and the election in November. My logo has the phrase “Democracy by the People, Democracy 4 the People.” It is my hope that the residents of Ward 4 see my vision for the community and elect me to represent them in November, however if they chose to move forward with someone else I admit I will be disappointed but I strongly believe this is Democracy working the way it was intended. With that being said I will not apply for the interim position and strongly urge you to choose a non-candidate as placeholder position and let the residents of Ward 4 elect their City Council representative since we are so close to the election of our City representatives.
As you know, Cleveland City Council has a long history of City legislators appointing their replacements (most recently, Ward 5). It is notable that Cleveland City Council was bypassed when the Attorney General decided to replace Ken Johnson and appoint you to find that replacement. This was a good decision to avoid what the press has referred to as “succession planning” by City legislators.
The voters of Ward 4 are capable of choosing between the candidates presented on the ballot. To this end, I encourage you to appoint someone who is solely interested in the needs of our Ward and willing to step aside once the voters have spoken in November. The appointment should not tip the balance of our democratic process.
In summary, I want to become the next City Council member from Ward 4, but I want to do it the old-fashioned way and get elected by the People. Please appoint a caretaker for my Ward.
Erick B. Walker
NEWS IN THE WARD
Cleveland Ward 4 Council Candidate Erick Walker, in a letter to the Probate Judge charged with appointing a placeholder for indicted and suspended Council member Ken Johnson, declined the court’s email invitation to candidates to apply for the position. “I am a firm believer in a democracy by and for the people,” Walker wrote. “Giving an unfair advantage—and the power of incumbency—to any unelected candidate contradicts my core beliefs and my reasons for running in the first place.”
The Progressive Political Action Committee, A Better Cleveland for All, has endorsed Erick Walker for Cleveland City Council
On a sunny afternoon, Erick Walker was collecting signatures in the Shaker Square area seeking to get on the ballot as a candidate for the city council seat vacated when the Ohio Supreme Court removed Councilman Ken Johnson
Cleveland, Ohio governments to get big money as part of new federal stimulus plan. How will they spend it?
Cleveland is in line to get a huge amount of money — and the most by far of any city in the state — as part of the billions in funding coming to city and state governments through the through the new federal coronavirus relief bill that President Joe Biden signed on Thursday.
A longtime employee of the Cleveland Public Library has launched his candidacy for Cleveland City Council in Ward 4. Erick Walker, a Mt. Pleasant resident, will be one of at least a dozen candidates to replace multi-decade incumbent Ken Johnson, who was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges earlier this year but who retains his council seat — and who has pulled petitions for the current race — nevertheless. Read the full article at Cleveland Scene.
Erick Walker, a lifelong Clevelander and activist who has worked to promote community strength through grassroots organizing and voter participation, today announced that he is seeking the Ward 4 seat on Cleveland City Council. Walker expects to be a candidate on the ballot on September 14, 2021, when the city holds its primary election. The top two finishers in the primary will continue to the general election on November 2.
For too long Ward 4 has been without a forum for having conversations about our needs and wants. Under my leadership, community meetings will be held every month on a set date and time. During COVID they will necessarily be held virtually. As soon as we are able, however, we will meet in person.
I will collaborate with my east side colleagues to bridge the digital divide by establishing free, high speed wifi. Lack of access to technology is one of the defining inequities contributing to Cleveland being among the poorest large cities in America, and if not corrected, will keep our children at a disadvantage into the future.
Paid for by Friends of Erick Walker