Biography                                                                                                                         

Councilman Zack Reed has been a member of Cleveland City Council since 2001 representing the southeast side of the City of Cleveland. His ward includes Mt. Pleasant, Union Miles and the Mill Creek Falls neighborhoods. Councilman Reed has made improvements in public safety, economic development and the betterment of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District the primary focus of his legislative efforts.

Councilman Reed is a lifelong resident of the Mt. Pleasant community. He attended Robert Fulton Elementary, Alexander Hamilton Junior High and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School. He started his political career at John F. Kennedy High School by being elected President of the student body in 1979. Upon graduating from Kennedy, he went on to attend Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California. He returned to Cleveland, Ohio to attend Cleveland State University and work on the successful political campaigns of Governor Richard F. Celeste and State Senator Lee Fisher.

In 1985, he began working for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), where he hired and trained young people between the ages of 18-24 to work on conservation and beautification projects throughout the state of Ohio. ODNR was awarded a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to recruit young men and women from the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to be trained in the Conservation Corps. After six months of training, under Zack’s leadership, these young men and women began working on community projects to improve the quality of life for the residents of the CMHA estates.

In 1996, Zack was recruited by Ronnie Davis, interim Director of the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA), to administer the Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP) in San Francisco at the SFHA. There he oversaw a federal grant, which funded the hiring of youth from public housing into the San Francisco Conservation Corps.

After a successful period of working with the youth, Zack began working as the Intergovernmental Affairs Officer for the SFHA where he worked tirelessly to promote the ongoing improvements within the SFHA and to work with local trade unions, public and private agencies as well as public officials. This is where he forged a relationship with friend and mentor former San Francisco, Mayor Willie B. Brown.

During his tenure at the SFHA, Zack saw the housing authority go from being one of the worst housing authorities to becoming one of the most improved housing authorities in the nation. Among his achievements as the Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, Zack secured more than $40 million to help the SFHA in their ongoing improvements and renovation plans as well as an increase in subsidies for residents in the Section 8 voucher program.

He returned to Cleveland in 2000, where he worked for Director William “Bill” Denihan, former Director of Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. Zack’s duties were to decentralize employees and services within the Jane Edna Hunter Building, into neighborhood service centers throughout Cuyahoga County.

In January 2001, he was appointed to Cleveland City Council by former Councilwoman Odelia V. Robinson. Zack went on to win the seat in November 2001 and fulfill a life long dream of being the councilman of the neighborhood that he grew up in.

Since becoming councilman, Zack has served on the following committees: Public Service, Finance, City Planning, Health and Human Services, Public Safety, Legislation, Public Parks, Property and Recreation. Currently, he serves on the Municipal Services and Properties, Transportation, Workforce and Community Benefits committees. He has sponsored legislation to allow free parking downtown during the holiday season (Black Friday) and the day after Christmas. He authored critical legislation prohibiting texting while driving and co-sponsored legislation to restrict foods containing industrially produced trans-fat.

For the past 20 years Councilman Reed has partnered with the United States Marine Corps to provide funds and toys for needy families throughout Northeast Ohio by hosting the annual “Zack Reed & Friends Toys for Tots Fundraiser.” Since its inception this event has raised more than $10,000 and provided 20,000+ Christmas toys for children.

In 2004, Councilman Reed began the dream of hosting Family Unity In The Park; a free outdoor community health fair and concert for the residents of the City of Cleveland. This event has grown in size and scope and now draws thousands of people annually. Family Unity In The Park has hosted musical legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees such as the Average White Band (AWB), The O’Jays and George Clinton, at Luke Easter Park (the largest urban park in the state of Ohio) to perform.

Councilman Reed is a member of the Human Development (HD) Steering Committee for the National League of Cities (NLC); he is also a member of the Large Cities Committee for NLC. Reed sits on the Board of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) as well as being a member of the Policy Committee for NBC-LEO. Additionally, he is a member of the local chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Board. Councilman Reed is an alumnus of the American Swiss Young Leaders Foundation.

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