Justin Bibb declares victory in Cleveland mayoral election

Justin Bibb
Posted at 10:45 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 09:25:30-04

CLEVELAND — On Tuesday night, Cleveland voters jolted the city’s political establishment, making Justin Bibb Cleveland's next mayor.

Bibb and his opponent, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley, who conceded moments before Bibb declared victory, fought a highly contested race.

"Don't tell me that young people can't roll up their sleeves and make change in this city," the 34-year-old Bibb said.

This is Bibb’s first elected office, having previously worked in government and as a nonprofit executive. He will succeed Frank Jackson, who served four terms and was elected in 2005. Jackson endorsed Kelley in the race.

During his concession on Tuesday night, Kelley had the following message for Bibb.

“To Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb, let’s make the city great together," Kelley said.

RELATED: Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley concedes to mayor-elect Justin Bibb

Here’s where Bibb stands on the issues:

Renter issues and evictions

Bibb endorsed "pay to stay" legislation that would force landlords to accept late payments. He also called for cracking down on out-of-state predatory landlords and improving the housing department.

COVID-19 vaccination

Bibb laid out plans to go to churches, community centers, libraries and barbershops to make the vaccines more readily available.

Public Safety

In Bibb's vision, he would redeploy the police force so 70% of officers were walking the beat and visible in the community. Bibb would add officers to fill vacancies in the police force but would "do a better job with the existing resources that we currently have. "

He would add a fourth option around 911 so social workers and mental health professionals can respond to non-violent calls. He says the consent decree could be a national model for reform and accountability. He would also support a Cleveland Police Oversight Commission.

Bibb said he would replace Chief Calvin Williams and initiate both a local and national search for the next police chief.

Bringing Jobs to Cleveland

He said we need to invest in education and affordable workforce housing to "create a better middle class."

He said Cleveland has a reputation as being "one of the hardest cities in America to do business with." To fix this, he would partner with the county to create a regional economic development cabinet to serve as a "one-stop shop and one concerted effort to make sure we have a distinct value proposition to attract good quality jobs in our community."

RELATED: Justin Bibb, Kevin Kelley win Cleveland mayoral primary, head to General Election, unofficial results show