Official News from Ward 4

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.”


Erick Walker Pledges to Lead by Listening

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.

Erick Walker Announces Plan to Bridge Digital Divide

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.


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