Akron’s new Ward 1, created when the City Council redrew ward boundaries following the census, promises to keep its new representative on his toes. The ward is diverse, including Highland Square, then extending into downtown and the University of Akron. No incumbents live within its boundaries. Its new representative must be prepared to meet the challenges of moving both the ward and city forward.
Fortunately, a five-way Democratic primary produced a candidate with the right skills and experience to mobilize a new ward. We strongly recommend the election of Rich Swirsky on Nov. 5.
What will serve him and his constituents well is a deep understanding of community problems and a demonstrated ability to work for solutions. A former regional director for Ohio Citizen Action, Swirsky knows well the critical responsibilities of a ward representative, including how to hold government accountable. His skills as a community activist will enable him to work with the many community groups in the Highland Square area.
Swirsky also sees the needs of the city as a whole. He has been involved in education for the past decade, most recently as a reading instructor at Firestone High School. He is anxious to see continued public-private collaborations, such as the biomedical corridor, to provide jobs for young people.
Anthony Karam, the Republican candidate, is a senior at the University of Akron studying corporate financial management. He owns his own small business, a real estate company, and is anxious to see the city operate more efficiently and budget more carefully.