Shayla L. Davis
Mayor of Garfield Heights
Northeast Ohio, Local
Recognizing the crossroads that Garfield Heights is approaching, and through the lens as the sole woman on the city council, representing Ward 4, Shayla Davis is pursuing the goal of a booming economy in a 21st-century equitable city by becoming the next Mayor of Garfield Heights. With over 24 years of experience in city, county, and federal government, Davis is day one ready to serve her community through active engagement, public safety, social service protections, personnel, and budgetary matters. Her tireless work and efforts on the behalf of all City of Garfield Heights residents are only paralleled by her experience, knowledge, and passion for creating the best version of what Garfield Heights can be with Shayla Davis at the helm.Show Up for Shayla! Davis for Mayor
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
Hello beautiful beehive women. I decided to run for City Council in 2017 because I realized that my local government did not reflect the community it represented. After losing that race I was more determined than ever to run in the next election. I was successfully elected and become a councilwoman in 2019. Once on City Council, I saw first-hand how disconnected our local government was concerning our community. Not only was the leadership unaware of the community’s concerns and needs, but our government did not reflect us. There had not been a woman on the city council since 2013; for me, that was unacceptable.
Let me fast forward just a bit to explain how I decided to run for Mayor. During a global pandemic and civil unrest on the heels of the murder of George Floyd, I saw the inaptness of my local government. There was no one equipped to act on anything necessary to solve our community’s struggle. My city did not hold a Covid-19 testing clinic; so I did. My city did not want to discuss the peril many residents experienced after the exposure of our own police and citizen incident; so I held a community conversation with the community and police. The pandemic truly exposed how ill-equipped our government operations were. We lacked the ability to understand 21st Century technology and functionality. After refusing to simply use zoom to hold our “public council meetings” because no one else had the technology needed, I was creative and requested that some of the federal Covid-19 funding our city received to be used to purchase laptops for each councilmember and our clerk. As some elected officials announced they would be running for Mayor, as a citizen myself, my concern grew. I knew that my community deserved effective leadership that would be open to out-of-the-box ideas and determined to create a place where people could live, works, and play. I then realized that as a citizen I could not in good conscience just be a spectator. I needed to run to lead our city toward progress. I would need to participate more, display my passion for people and love for my city, by running for Mayor.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top two issues your community faces today and how do you plan to address them?
As I look at my city I must be honest, we lack so much, it’s difficult to land at the right two. One of the biggest concerns is the diminished truth of government from the community. The community continues to cry out for communication. So, I begin with transparency and communication. I want to work together to ensure the public trust is restored and to establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Government must be transparent. Openness will build trust and promote efficiency and effectiveness in our local government. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what the government is doing.
The next issue is economic development. Our city is brimming with potential. We have had a multitude of empty storefronts, abandoned properties, and a lack of services rendered by our government. I know one of the only ways to enhance services and fill empty storefronts is through economic development. An economically resilient city must adapt to changing conditions and even reinvent its economic bases if necessary. We must have an economic development strategy that way we can also see what our existing assets and distinct resources truly are.
What stands out in our values as most important to you and your experience (or expected experience) in public office? Our values are:
∙ Economic empowerment
∙ Equity and independence
∙ Dominion over our bodies
∙ Access to education
∙ Safe communities in which to live and raise our families
Equity and independence would be the most important that stands out to me. Throughout my career, I have fought for equity and the independence to do so. This is why I have served in public service for nearly 30 years.
What does a Matriots PAC endorsement mean to you and your campaign?
The endorsement of the Matriots PAC Democrats publicly demonstrates to there is a community of women, strong powerful who elevate one another to ensure that our voices are heard. My race is unique because women have routinely been rejected and bullied out of political spaces locally. This endorsement says that I am a woman a strong woman standing on the shoulders of other strong women. The PAC demonstrates that policy and practices in government must center on women. As women, we have fought tirelessly for equal rights. Equal rights are a part of my core values. that I want to serve and that equal rights are part of my core values. This endorsement says “ I am not alone” and when women lead, Ohio prosper, and everyone benefits. Quite frankly, I want people to know that a woman will win in Garfield Heights and she will lead this city to greatness because we, Matriots sting!