Holly C. Brinda
Mayor of Elyria
Northeast Ohio, Local
Holly Brinda, a 5th generation resident of Elyria, has served as Elyria’s mayor for eight years. In her tenure, Mayor Brinda has already seen the positive impact of her investments in the community as both Mayor and as a member of the Elyria Board of Education, which recently created a program to address generational poverty in the community. If elected, in her next term Mayor Brinda would continue building momentum for private and public investments and would ensure residents continue to see the physical signs of these increased investments.
The responsibilities of the Mayor include:
- The Mayor is the city’s chief executive officer, official representative, and is responsible for the general management of the city.
- The appointment of the Safety Service Director and Assistant Director, department heads, and persons serving on boards and commissions.
- Enforce all laws and ordinances and establish and monitor an annual budget.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
Five generations of my family have lived in Elyria. After working for almost 30 years in leadership roles in other large organizations, I ran for Mayor because I wanted to give back to my community. Elyria needed my expertise in planning, resource development, organizational management and community engagement. Now running for my third term, I would like to complete some of the $400 million of public and private investment projects happening in our community.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My mother was a champion for her two daughters. She encouraged us to earn college educations and never be afraid to fail. Her experience was different, as she wanted to go to college, but her family discouraged her, but encouraged her brother – who never took advantage of the opportunity. In the end, I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, followed by my sister. It was because of our mother that we dared to achieve. I became a Mayor and my sister became an electrical engineer and division chief at NASA.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
Knowing what you don’t know, and understanding that being kind is sometimes more important than being right – are two life lessons that I have been taught in my 37 years of serving people. As I get older, I listen better, understand more, become more humble, and am amazed everyday by the resilience of people.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
My vision for the City of Elyria in 2028 is to:
- Have more women represented on city council (today there are 3 of 11)
- Have more women in leadership roles in the City (although Elyria may currently be the only city in Ohio with a female Mayor, Safety Service Director & Law Director)
- Continue to assist every Elyrian in reaching their full potential by: engaging all aspects of our community, creating a safe and nurturing environment, and creating economic opportunities for our residents.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
The two top issues the Elyria community currently faces are the opioid epidemic and generational poverty with a 22 percent poverty rate. The City of Elyria is committed to successfully addressing these issues through cross-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships that break cycles, provide remediation and supports, and provide opportunities.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
As a mother of four adult children in their 30s, I am excited about FINALLY becoming a first-time grandma at age 61, with my new grandson is due in early November. If only he didn’t live in Australia. I also enjoy traveling with my husband and our many pets including our St. Bernard mix Juno and my brood of cats.