Plain Press City Council Survey – Ward 12
General Election, November 2013
Candidate Anthony Brancatelli
1. Please introduce yourself to the Plain Press audience and describe the skills, resources and experience that will help you to address some of the pressing concerns of the City of Cleveland as a City Council Representative from Ward 12. (Please limit answer to 200 words or less)
WARD 12 COUNCILMAN
WARD MAPPUBLICATIONSRECENT NEWSBIO
“Prayers and persistence are pretty much all Brancatelli had to go on these days,” – New York Times Magazine, March 3, 2009.
Today, Cleveland City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli continues to employ prayer and persistence in the city’s foreclosure crisis. He is the point person on the 19-member Cleveland City Council addressing the massive foreclosure crisis, which devastated the city of Cleveland.
Brancatelli is Chairman of Cleveland Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee, which works with various partners to build strong communities and bring new businesses and development to Cleveland’s neighborhoods and downtown. For the first time in years, Cleveland is enjoying new investments, including a medical mart/ convention center, a casino, new residential and academic buildings for Cleveland State University, an unprecedented hospital expansion being led by the world-class Cleveland Clinic, new hotels and restaurants downtown. Neighborhoods are experiencing exciting new development from a vibrant University Circle to a reenergized Kamms Corners and Old Brooklyn to first class food destinations in Tremont and Ohio City.
As the newly elected Chair of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, better known as the County Land Bank, Brancatelli is leading the charge to address the foreclosure crisis that has hit all of Cuyahoga County. The suburban communities have not been spared the devastation of the crisis. The county land bank has torn down thousands of vacant and nuisance properties including clearing out blocks in East Cleveland. The Land Bank has successfully turned urban acreage into urban gardens to be cultivated and enjoyed by neighbors. The Land Bank has also bought and rehabilitated commercial and residential properties that it sells through brokers or can be purchased directly for housing and job creation.
The county land bank has won national praise as a model program, and is now being widely duplicated. The Ohio General Assembly was so pleased with the work of the Cuyahoga County land bank that it expanded the program to other Ohio cities facing similar challenges.
As a lifelong resident of the Slavic Village area and the grandson of Polish and Italian immigrants Councilman Brancatelli devoted his professional life to his community and to the city of Cleveland. Slavic Village is an ethnically diverse community in Southeast Cleveland that once had over 70,000 residents in a thriving industrial neighborhood of tidy homes and working class families. Brancatelli served as executive director of the Slavic Village Development Corporation for 17 years. Among his accomplishments was construction of 500 new homes, and rehabilitation of 1000 homes.
Today, Councilman Brancatelli, in a community of 25,000 residents is dealing head on with the after effects of Wall Street’s financial practices that have had a negative impact on Cleveland. He has fought the foreclosure crisis on many different fronts, from walking city blocks to working to bring predatory lenders to justice and expose financial fraud. He was instrumental in the conviction of Raymond Delacruz, who was responsible for a flipping scam that racked up to $4.8 million in inflated mortgages. The Delacruz conviction was the first real estate flipping conviction in Ohio. He has also assisted in other investigations and convictions of mortgage fraud.
Brancatelli was instrumental in projects benefiting his ward, such as the Millcreek Park and housing development, the Bessemer Avenue Extension, MetroHealth Hospital Broadway complex and the Morgana Run Trail, the first urban Rails to Trails project. He calls upon his knowledge of development and non-profit agencies to help his ward continue to recover from the recession and the foreclosure crisis and helping reshape and “Re-Imagine” his community.
Councilman Brancatelli has received numerous awards and honors, including the “Preservation Award” from the Cleveland Restoration Society; Agra “Community Achievement Award”; Villa Montessori “Guardian Angel”; University Settlements 2011 Outstanding Service Award; Community Shares “Leadership in Social Justice” award, the “Four Eagles Award” from the Shine Church of St. Stanislaus and the Community Shares Award; the Housing Research and Advocacy “Fair Housing Advocate Award.”
Other City Council committees he serves on include Finance, Legislation and Public Parks, Recreation and Properties Committees. He also serves on the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), Cleveland Landmarks Commission, Neighborhood Progress Inc., and Cleveland Citywide Development Corporation.
Councilman Brancatelli lives in Slavic Village in a restored “near” century home with his wife, Gail Glamm, and son Jack.
2. Describe an important issue facing residents or stakeholders in Ward 12 and how you would address that issue as a City Council Representative (500 words or less).
One of the most important issue facing Ward 12 will be dealing with the many landfills in our community such as Bradley Road landfill, Harshaw chemical, Henninger Landfill and W.C. Reed Field. I will continue to pass the legislation to prevent further erosion of land uses and also lobby the state to help bring in more resources and to raise more money and awareness to the demand.
3. Describe the 3 most important challenges facing the City of Cleveland. (100 words or less)
Critically important to the health of our community is stabilizing our housing market and strengthening and supporting the markets that are healthy. Through the elimination of blighted and nuisance conditions, along with creative and innovative housing programs, we are making strides toward progress.
We need to continue to be creative in re-imagining our communities as we look to the future. Through yard expansion, gardens, urban farming, land assembly for job creation, and commercial and industrial land banking we have found opportunities to grow our economy and stabilize our communities.
We need to continue to support and grow our educational opportunities working with our public and quality private schools. We need to continue to advocate for additional infra-structure improvements for our roads and bridges with a fix-it first approach, utilizing sustainable practices where practical.
Continue improving the safety of our residents and businesses through community policing.
4. Pick one of the three most important challenges that face the City of Cleveland and describe the legislation you would introduce to Cleveland City Council to help address that challenge. Explain why the legislation you propose would be the best option for addressing this issue (500 words or less).
We need to continue to look at opportunities to help create jobs and help businesses grow. Through good planning and land uses strategies we can impact many small businesses and watch them grow. We have an entire industrial valley in which we can capitalize on new larger businesses. Currently we worked with the city to help create a Job Ready that should leverage hundreds of new businesses. I will further support the City’s Industrial Land Bank City Landbank, which has been a model of success.