The town hall began around 5:30 p.m. Mayor Jackson kicked off the event by announcing he will not be running for re-election. He served as the city’s mayor for four terms.
While he is not seeking re-election, Mayor Jackson says he will be fulfilling the remainder of his current term.
He touted some of his accomplishments in office such as balancing the budget during hard financial times, revitalizing the city and reforming the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
“For over 31 years, from being a city councilman of Ward 5, to being council president and now mayor, you, the people of the city of Cleveland have worked alongside me for change and to create a better quality of life for all of our citizens,” said Mayor Jackson. “Together we have accomplished many, many things.”
The mayor also answered questions from residents who were listening by phone and watching online.
One Clevelander asked Mayor Jackson who he is endorsing and he said he is not endorsing anyone at this time. He did indicate that he will closely watch the race and make a decision after evaluating the candidates.
Mayor Jackson is Cleveland’s longest-serving mayor, taking office in January 2006, after defeating Mayor Jane Campbell.
Before serving as mayor, he was the president of Cleveland City Council for five years. Jackson was elected to council in 1989 and represented the central neighborhood where he grew up.