Frank G. Jackson: Wikis


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Frank G. Jackson

Assumed office 
January 2, 2006
Preceded by Jane L. Campbell

Born October 4, 1946 (1946-10-04) (age 63)
Cleveland, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Residence Cleveland, Ohio
Alma mater Cleveland State University
Profession attorney

Frank George Jackson (born October 4, 1946) is the current mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. He was elected on November 8, 2005, unseating incumbent Jane Campbell and re-elected in 2009. He is the first sitting member of Cleveland City Council to become mayor since Stephen Buhrer in 1867.


Early life and education

Jackson grew up in the neighborhoods of Kinsman and Central. After graduating from Max S. Hayes High School, Jackson served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. After his discharge, Jackson attended Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Urban Studies and History, and a Master's Degree in Urban Affairs.

Early career

Jackson entered politics with the influence of former Cleveland councilman, Lonnie L. Burten. Jackson worked while putting himself through law school at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He passed the Ohio bar exam and started his legal career as an assistant city prosecutor. In 1989, Jackson won a seat on the Cleveland City Council for Ward 5. As Councilman, he spearheaded efforts to bring in approximately a half billion dollars of community investments, working hard to clean up and stabilize his ward. He fought for the redevelopment of Arbor Park Place, the construction of the only Home Ownership Zone in the city, and worked with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority as CMHA began to rebuild its estates. Jackson became an active critic of (then mayor) Michael R. White, who had vowed in his campaign to clean-up neighborhoods but had instead dedicated the bulk of his tenure to downtown development. Jackson's progress in Ward 5 aided his election to Council President in 2001, succeeding Michael D. Polensek.

2005 Cleveland mayoral election

Mayor Jackson gives his inaugural address.

As Council President, Jackson became increasingly frustrated with the leadership of Mayor Jane L. Campbell. As the 2005 mayoral election approached, Jackson announced his candidacy on April 7. During his campaign, Jackson said that if he "didn't restore hope to the ailing city within 200 days of taking office, [he] would consider himself a failure." He received endorsements from several notable Cleveland and Cuyahoga County politicians, including Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, County Auditor Frank Russo, County Treasurer Jim Rokakis, and most of his colleagues on City Council. In the October 4 mayoral primary, Jackson was the top vote-getter, ahead of the incumbent Campbell. Other candidates in the primary included former Cleveland Public Safety Director, James A. Draper; former Euclid Mayor and businessman David Lynch; former Cleveland Councilman Bill Patmon, and Municipal Court Judge Robert Triozzi, whom Jackson eventually asked to become his law director.

In the November 8, 2005 general election, he was elected mayor with 55% of the vote, while Campbell received 45%. At 11:25 p.m. (EST), she conceded to Jackson.

On January 2, 2006, Jackson was sworn in as Cleveland's 56th Mayor, at East Technical High School, on the city's East Side. Among those in attendance were Congresswoman Tubbs Jones and Bishop Anthony Pilla of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. In his inaugural address, Jackson vowed to make Cleveland a city where we are "one people, one community, living and working together, with respect, justice and equality." He also promised improvements in the city's school system and better relations with Cleveland's neighboring suburbs.

2009 Cleveland mayoral election

Frank Jackson in April 2009 announced his bid to run again for another term. In the September 2009 primary Jackson garnered the vote, in second place was former Cleveland City Council member Bill Patmon. On Election Day 2009, Jackson defeated Patmon by a huge vote. Jackson had 78% of the vote and Patmon had 22% of the vote.[1]

As mayor

On December 1, 2005, he announced that he would appoint the city's first point person for regional issues. On December 15, Jackson announced the appointment of his former opponent Triozzi as law director (under the city charter, the law director becomes mayor if the elected mayor is out of the city, resigns or becomes incapable of serving). From the former Campbell administration, Darnell Brown retained his position as the city’s chief operating officer. Valarie McCall, who had previously served as Clerk of City Council, was appointed chief of government affairs.

Shortly after his inauguration, Jackson began working with the Cleveland Police Department. He introduced a new use of force policy that clearly states what previous versions only implied: "Excessive force shall not be tolerated." Mayor Jackson has restored the Cleveland Police Aviation Unit (helicopters) and the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit (horses).

He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[2] a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance, along with help from Mayor Frank Jackson, created a Business Improvement District (BID) for Cleveland's central business district. The owners of buildings and businesses pay fees, which aid in funding the Clean & Safe Ambassadors, who clean the sidewalks and assist visitors when needed, security forces and other projects.

An advocate for regionalism for Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, Mayor Jackson, in his Election Day 2005 speech, said:

We are one Cleveland, we no longer have the luxury of city and suburbs separate.

He has been instrumental in a joint-tax sharing venture between the City of Cleveland and its suburbs. An example of how this agreement works: in July 2006, The Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they would move their practice facility from the Quicken Loans Arena to suburban Independence. In the past, Cleveland would have lost money, but now Cleveland shares revenue with Independence. The Mayors of both cities agreed to this arrangement. Mayor Jackson supports a no-poaching or stealing of businesses from one community to another. A similar agreement was reached with suburban Shaker Heights regarding a significant administrative office move by University Hospitals of Cleveland.



On January 18, the Ohio House passed a bill that will eliminate residency rules passed by local voters. This included the amendment to the Cleveland municipal charter that restricted city workers from living outside the city, approved by voters in 1982. Ohio Governor Bob Taft signed the bill by the House on January 31. In response, Mayor Jackson and law director Triozzi threaten to take the issue to court. Jackson contended that if the city's residency restrictions are overturned, Cleveland would suffer the ill effects of city workers fleeing the city, and its related effects on the economy and city safety. "This is about the issue of home rule," Jackson said at a City Hall news conference. "They are attempting to usurp our constitutional rights, and we are defending our rights." He then threatened to fire any city worker that attempted to move out of their district of employment. The Cleveland Fire Fighters Association Local 93 and four individual union members filed a complaint on January 30 with the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals to block any actions that Jackson, Triozzi, or the city might take on the matter. The police and fire unions are against the residency requirement, considering it a matter of personal choice.


  • The Plain Dealer, October 23, 2005. Though Private About Family, Jackson Says He Lives City's Ills by Olivera Perkins.
  • The Plain Dealer, October 25, 2005. Jackson's Lifelong Code Drives Run For City Hall by Olivera Perkins and Mark Naymik.
  • The Plain Dealer, November 9, 2005. Jackson Wins by Olivera Perkins.
  • The Plain Dealer, January 6, 2006. Jackson Tightens Police Use-Of-Force Policy by Gabriel Baird.
  • The Plain Dealer, January 13, 2006. Jackson Takes Part In Prostitution Sting by Joe Guillen.
  • The Plain Dealer, January 19, 2006. City Residency Rules In Peril by Reginald Fields.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael D. Polensek
President of Cleveland City Council
Succeeded by
Martin J. Sweeney
Preceded by
Jane L. Campbell
Mayor of Cleveland
Succeeded by


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