Janice O. Davis
Akron City Council, Ward 4
Northeast Ohio, Local
Janice Davis is a retired healthcare information manager committed to the welfare and health of her community, and policies that improve early childhood education outcomes. Janice began her education and career at 45 and now holds an MBA and is a doctoral candidate. Janice approaches legislation through a systematic perspective and is keenly aware of how legislation impacts citizens and their everyday lives.
The responsibilities of city council members include:
- Establishing policies for effective delivery of municipal services like trash collection, water, and snow removal services.
- Adopting annual city budgets and legislation to address key issues in their community.
- Approving the use and sale of city owned property.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I decided to run for office because I believe the residents in Ward 4 need a representative who has experienced many of their own life constraints. As a single mother raising two children, life brought about many challenges, and as a woman, and a black woman, navigating a successful career path had its own challenges. Never the less, I persevered. I am more confident than ever that my purpose is to serve in a role that allows me the unique opportunity to advocate on behalf of all people, especially the most vulnerable, and serving as a ward councilwoman will provide that opportunity. I am not of the illusion that this will be an easy journey, but I am confident that I am prepared and ready to manage the challenge.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My father who passed suddenly in 1992 was my inspiration. Unfortunately, I was not fully aware of this during his life time, but will be eternally grateful to him for his love and firm guidance. My dad served in a supervisory capacity during a period in which it was uncommon for a black man, with no college education, to serve in a leadership role. I never realized the multitude of challenges he faced until after his death and my entering college. As I began to understand these challenges, I became more determined to acquire the education and knowledge that would position me not only to succeed professionally, but also to help others navigate difficult career paths. As I recall the testimonials from an array of individuals during my father’s memorial services, it was clear that he touched the lives of many from all walks of life, and his kindness and generosity, enabled many to sustain themselves during challenging times. That same spirit of caring and giving resides deeply within my own spirit.
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?
During my career as a healthcare professional I was blessed to be able to lead, teach, participate in community ventures and serve as a volunteer for multiple organizations. Each experience provided me with an opportunity to serve others and allowed me to understand that people generally want to do better, but may need help along life’s way.
Helping people gave me a sense of spiritual satisfaction and with each venture, I learned a new skill-set along the way.
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?
I envision a community in which all qualified citizens, especially women, are provided equal opportunity to serve in key leadership roles in government and board rooms. I strongly believe the 50% threshold can be met in Akron, Ohio if organizations such as The Matriots, and other committed men and women, continue to advocate for inclusion and diversity in leadership.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
The issues in Akron are economic development and a lack of livable wage jobs. Historically Akron was known as the rubber capital of the world and livable wage jobs were available to most anyone. These dynamics drastically changed during the last two decades. The major rubber companies relocated, and livable wage jobs drastically declined. Rebuilding and rebranding Akron will require political astuteness in understanding global forces that drive economic development and job creation. This can only be accomplished by having local politicians with the knowledge and skill-set necessary to navigate regulatory forces, assist leaders in attracting new businesses, and continuously providing residents with equal opportunities to resources that will assist them in achieving and sustaining a healthy and balanced quality of life.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I enjoy studying the neurosciences. I am fascinated with the human brain and how it shapes our mind, thoughts and everything we do. More so, it is fascinating to know that we can reshape our thought process when we understand the intricate workings of the brain. This information can be invaluable in crafting pathways to improving education outcomes as well as helping people to overcome mental illnesses. I find it all fascinating!