“Why are you running for City Council, Daddy?”

by Sam Melden

“Why are you running for City Council, Daddy?” That question, from my 7-year-old daughter, caught me off guard last weekend as I made a pot of coffee. We have talked about why I’m running for office, and why we spend so much time knocking on our neighbors’ doors to ask them about what concerns them. This is the same question voters are asking candidates about now. “Why you? Why now?”

Here’s the answer: Toledo is a great place to live, and I believe we’re all in this together. From our homes to our blocks, our neighborhoods, and our district, we all want District 5 to be strong now and in the future. That strength is best seen in our neighborhoods. Safe, strong, and sustainable neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods are the heart and soul of our city. We need downtown revitalization, of course, but when people go home to their neighborhoods, they should feel the same sense of pride. They need to feel safe, and know they have neighbors who care, and a government that is working for them.

I’m running for City Council to create a long-term plan for neighborhoods. A plan that promotes sustainable economic development, strong parks, and a sense of identity.

I’m running for City Council to work on core infrastructure needs. I will fight every day to take care of our streets and sidewalks. Access to safe travel for cars, bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, and scooters connect us all to opportunities, and to each other.

But, do you know what I tell my kids when they ask the “why” question? I’m running for city council because I love our city. When you love something you step up, you fight for it, and do whatever it takes to make it better.

I’m running for City Council to serve my neighbors and work hard on their behalf. To return their phone call, and address their concerns quickly and effectively. When we work together we can move Toledo forward, not only for our children, but for our grandchildren too. And that’s certainly something worth fighting for.