We closed out the day on Thursday by attending fundraisers for two local mayors who were Ms. Anne Marie Donegan of Olmsted Falls and Mr. Trevor Elkins of Newburgh Heights.
We first went to Mayor Donegan's fundraiser at Tony K's on West Bagley Road in Berea. We talked to her for a few minutes (we were the first ones there) about how things are going in Olmsted Falls and she said she believed that they have been doing very good in terms of economic development and the receiving of grants which have enabled the city to move forward with several much-needed projects. She was particularly glad about a recent deal in which the city's old library (which has been closed for years) was acquired by entrepreneurs who plan to convert it into a restaurant appropriately named "The Library."
We talked to Ms. Michelle Hawkins, who serves on the Planning Commission, who has known Mayor Donegan since 1999 and admires her a lot because she is genuinely concerned about the community and other people's concerns.
From there we hurried over to Skylight Financial on Lorain Avenue near the Westside Market to attend an affair for Mayor Trevor Elkins of Newburgh Heights who told us that some good things are going on there in terms of economic development and housing andthat the city is reviewing its "no felons hiring policy" to see if should be amended to give some people an opportunity for a second chance.
Several other local mayors turned out to support Mayor Elkins including Mayor Mike Byrne of Parma Heights, Mayor Chris Ronayne of University Circle, Mayor Richard P. Dell'Aquila of Seven Hills, Mayor Anthony L. Togliatti of Independence, and former Mayor Dean DePiero of Parma. Many other local elected officials were also there including Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Ohio State Rep. Nick Celebreeze, South Euclid Councilperson Marty Gelfand and State Board of Education Member Meryl Johnson.
Among those we spoke with were officials of Carpenters Local 435 concerning its number of foreign born members and we learned there are indeed a few of them and more would welcomed.
The special guest for the night was former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland who Mayor Elkins supported during his brief run for the U.S. Presidency in 2016. We recalled that the governor was a bold advocate of constructive immigration reform and we complimented him on his stand and he, in turn, told us that immigration and climate change were the issues that he espoused that really went down well with his young supporters.
Governor O'Malley spoke for a few minutes and admitted that that the first 100 days of the Trump administration have seemed more like 100 years. He termed President Trump "a carnival barker" and said that the measure a of good economy is how much it actually benefits working people which he didn't see happening under President Trump but he was quite optimistic because, as he saw it, the democratic party is now rebuilding itself and he believed a lot of compassionate new leaders like Mayor Elkins will soon be moving to the forefront.
Much like U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, he urged all of us to get to work and not to be discouraged because "it is not how low you go but how high you bounce."
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC