City of Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Forum for Returning Citizens

April 16, 2021

Adaora Schmiedl
Towards Employment
Director, Development and Marketing

Ken Brinkman
Center for Employment Opportunities
Job Developer / Business Account Manager

City of Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Forum for Returning Citizens
The Greater Cleveland Reentry Leadership Coalition and Community Partner
Hosting Candidate Forum for Returning Citizens: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland Reentry Leadership Coalition, The Center for Employment Opportunities, Towards Employment and Reentry Week community partners are hosting the City of Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Forum for Returning Citizens. The forum will give mayoral candidates an opportunity to share with Cleveland residents how they intend to support the returning citizen population and create a better and more sustainable future for people with criminal convictions. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

“This nonpartisan mayoral forum is a great way for returning citizens and other community residents to civically engage with prospective candidates running to lead the City of Cleveland,” said Rachel Durci, Site Director for the Center for Employment Opportunities. “With nearly one in six Cuyahoga County residents having a criminal conviction and over 7,300 residents committed to an Ohio state prison last year, it’s important that we uplift their voices and concerns. Candidates can speak to what they see as the most pressing issues and needs of this population and how they will work in partnership with them to address it.”

“We look forward to supporting this forum as an opportunity for future City leadership to hear directly from those impacted by the criminal justice system and who have the most at stake in informing reform efforts,” said Jill Rizika, Executive Director of Towards Employment. “By participating in the mayoral forum, community members can directly engage with their prospective leaders, hear their ideas of what initiatives they intend to support, and ask about their vision for supporting returning citizens.”

The Greater Cleveland Reentry Leadership Coalition is a reentry taskforce consisting of
representatives from the city, county, corrections, reentry and social service providers, faith- based organizations, and behavioral health, employment, and housing specialists. It was first established in 2007 to help lead reentry initiatives across the region and provide structured oversight and leadership to the many institutions and organizations that provide services to
returning citizens. Overall, its mission is to guarantee successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated people, reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

Individuals who are interested in joining the forum can register at Eventbrite or watch the live broadcast on the Towards Employment Facebook Page. Registrants can submit their questions online through the registration page or during the live event. For more information about this event please visit the Event Facebook Page.