Ward 4 Candidate Rejects Probate Court’s Courting of Ward 4 Candidates to Succeed Ken Johnson
May 13, 2021 | PRESS RELEASE
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.”
Probate Judge Anthony Russo, pursuant to Ohio law, was tapped to fill the now vacant Ward 4 Council seat. In an email dated May 11, 2021, his office issued an invitation to the 15 public candidates in the Ward 4 race to apply for the appointment. The invitation also extended the application deadline from May 7 to May 21.
Walker believes appointing a probate judge, to name Johnson’s placeholder until elections are held in November, is a good compromise to avoid the historical practice of “succession planning” by City legislators that excludes voters. However, in his letter to Russo, Walker declined to apply for the temporary role and urged Russo not to tip the balance in the upcoming primary election—encouraging him 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.”
Recently endorsed by A Better Cleveland—an organization advocating for a progressive city agenda—Walker is running on a platform of transparency and accountability. “I want to become the next City Council member from Ward 4,” Walker stated. “But I want to do it the old-fashioned way—I want to get elected.”
NEWS IN THE WARD
From ideastream – Public comment will soon be incorporated into Cleveland City Council meetings. Two amendments to council rules allowing people to speak passed Wednesday afternoon.
Saturday July 24, 2021
Register for the event or watch online
1 pm – Doors open to meet and greet the candidates.
2-4 pm – Candidate Forum.
A letter from Erick Walker to the Hon. Anthony J. Russo regarding the appointment of a councilperson in Ward 4.
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
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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