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Ohio 2018: Meet the Candidates

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On Thursday, December 14th, we went to the City Club of Cleveland to see Mr. Richard Cordray, Ohio gubernatorial candidate, speak as part of the "Ohio 2018: Meet the Candidates" series.

Mr. Cordray, a democrat, has held several public offices in his tenure including Ohio Attorney General and most recently, Director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) a position which he held until November 24, 2017.

He devoted quite a lot of his speech to discussing how he helped create the CFPB (his assistance was requested by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren) and how he came to be named the Director of it. As we learned, his appointment was finally announced in the beginning of January, 2012 by President Obama when he spoke at Shaker Heights High School. See this link: http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20120104/obama-announces-cordray-appointment-at-shaker-heights-visit-with-videohttp://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20120104/obama-announces-cordray-appointment-at-shaker-heights-visit-with-video

Mr. Cordray then talked about what a challenging but rewarding job it was because he saved or restored to the consumers a tremendous amount of money as well as establishing guidelines for powerful entities (including banks and lending institutions) to uphold. He explained that his late entry into the governor's race was because there were at least two projects that he wanted to complete (including rules for payday lenders) before he resigned from his post.

If elected governor of Ohio, Mr. Cordray promised to focus on "kitchen table" issues that affect families in their day-to-day lives like meeting household expenditures, education, safety or things that we all have in common. He stressed that it was about helping people maintain their dignity just as it was their finances. As far as the economy, he indicated that he really favored small and medium sized businesses over large corporations because research has shown that they create more jobs and that people prefer working for them as opposed to larger firms.

He said that "we can think together to solve problems" which seemed to us to be the message he most wanted to convey. 

During the Q and A, we asked Mr. Cordray about what he would do to encourage more immigrants to settle in the state of Ohio because they have proven to be hard workers and innovators. Mr. Cordray replied by expressing great admiration for people who had the courage to pull up their roots and re-settle here in search of a better life. He reminded us that we were all descended from people who came to the United States either voluntarily or involuntarily. As a public/elected official he had enjoyed attending naturalization ceremonies where he could see how much finally becoming a U.S. citizen meant to these people and believed that we should be honored that these foreign-born individuals chose to undergo what they had to in order to come here.

(We want to thank Ms. Kimberly Kowalski who was acting as Mr. Cordray's assistant on this day because she told us that if we didn't get to ask our question then she would arrange a one-on-one for us with him afterwards so that we could ask him privately.)

Several notable people turned out to here what Mr. Cordray had to say including former U.S. Congressperson Dennis E. Eckart, former Ohio State Rep. Ed Jerse, former Cuyahoga Country Treasurer Jim Rokakis who is now doing wonderful work as Director of the "Western Reserve Land Conservancy" and Mr. David Karpinski, VP of Operations at "LeedCo".

Before our lunch we spoke with Mr. Russell Donda, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the "Lorain Community College Foundation" who has played a big part in the start-up of several companies that are now thriving. We also met Mr. Myron Stoll, a retired attorney who used to work with Mr. Cordray in the Ohio Attorney General's office and described him as a "very, very smart man and a substantive person".

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

 

 

 

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