Saturday, February 21, 2009

Councilman Cummins Using the Web to Reach Out

Elected officials typically refrain from interacting with the public via message boards, forums, and blogs on the World Wide Web. However, Ward 15 Councilman Brian J. Cummins is not your typical elected official.

Councilman Cummins, who has spent more than a decade working to improve the Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods, has emerged on various websites to engage Cleveland residents, solicit new ideas, garner citizen feedback on pertinent issues, share important information about community projects, and be genuinely helpful to existing residents and others considering a move to Old Brooklyn.

On, a virtual community in which participants explore alternative solutions to problems plauging the Northeast Ohio region, Cummins has argued that a .25% sales tax increase in Cuyahoga County should not have been enacted without first having a site selected and that the proposed convention center should build upon the existing facility. Additionally, the councilman has initiated a dialogue on billboards in Cleveland and how Cleveland City Council should direct corresponding legislation. His work is often cross-posted on, a haven for individuals that sincerely love and support Cleveland and its neighborhoods, and Brewed Fresh Daily, which aggregates and encourages conversation about interesting blog topics and news topics of the day.

Most recently, Cummins has added comments to the Old Brooklyn forum on about the city's snow parking ban for a homebuyer considering a property without a driveway and short- and long-term uses for the site of the former Memphis School.

Councilman Cummins is even actively engaged in social networking on Facebook, and was the first member of Cleveland City Council to create a profile and begin connecting with like-minded individuals desiring to effect positive change in Cleveland.

So what does this convey about Councilman Brian Cummins? First, his level of engagement throughout the Northeast Ohio blogosphere is complementary to more traditional forms of contact. Additionally, his online presence indicates that he is accessible and receptive to constituents that may perceive communication with public officials to be daunting and intimidating. As evidenced in his writings, Cummins sincerely values and strongly takes into consideration the thoughts and opinions of members of the public when it comes to important local and regional issues, which makes him a true representative of the people.

Some of Councilman Brian Cummins' recent postings:
* Q’s – Medical Mart & Convention Facility
* Billboards in Cleveland & Akron

1 comment:

  1. All well and good Jeff, but Councilman Cummins also knows that he should be more transparent about his office's rezoning and planning efforts. Developers are made priority over residents and that is not right. The NRP fiasco on Denison needs examination and it will only see the light of day, after all the behind the scene machinations have been finalized.