Lakewood League Of Women Voters 100th Anniversary, 100 Pillars Spotlight: Cindy Marx
Cindy Marx has been a pillar of the Lakewood community since she and her husband, Jake, moved here in 1985. Born in Cleveland and raised in West Park and North Royalton, Cindy lived in a variety of area towns and suburbs. After a brief sojourn in Texas, she and Jake returned to Ohio and chose Lakewood as their permanent home. “We loved the feeling of community, the diversity, and the walkability of the city.”
A longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, in 2012 she became the Ward 4 Neighborhood Team Leader of Barack Obama for President. “I was introduced to the intricacies of running for office and met some wonderful people: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and Madeline Albright. Along the way, I realized I wanted to know more. My husband, long an advocate of women’s issues, suggested I join the League of Women Voters. Mary Louise Madigan, Mary Osborn and Pam Smith all helped me to look at the issues in new ways”
In 2013 Cindy decided to run for Lakewood City Council at Large and won her seat. Among her accomplishments she helped write and pass the Lakewood Human Rights Ordinance, expanding the city’s nondiscrimination policies for LGBTQ+ citizens, and wrote and introduced legislation that allows citizens to keep chickens in their backyards. But her four years on City Council were a contentious time for the city involving the closure of Lakewood Hospital. She lost her bid for reelection by just a few votes. “This triggered an automatic recount for which I was present. Two things stand out: every vote counts! And the Board of Elections makes sure that every vote is counted. They even used a magnifying glass to check smeary post marks on absentee ballots. And did you know that if you have mobility issues and have trouble accessing your polling place, the Board will send a Democrat and a Republican with your ballot to your car so you can vote. The same is true if you are in the hospital and want to vote.”
After leaving City Council, Cindy continued her work with the Lakewood Democratic Club, the League of Women Voters, the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, and served as a Vice-Chair to the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party under Shontel Brown. She is a board member of Cleveland Public Theater and the Lakewood Arts Festival, and participates in Beck Center for the Arts Community Engagement Committee. In June, City Council appointed Cindy Ward 4 representative replacing former City Council President Dan O’Malley who resigned this spring.
“It’s very different being Ward 4 representative as opposed to being At Large. I love the diversity in Ward 4. Ward 4 encompasses neighborhoods from the Gold Coast to Birdtown. I know we need more parking on the Gold Coast. I’d like to see us do more with recycling, and we need more affordable mixed use and senior housing. I’m very enthusiastic about the Studio West 117 project for the LGBTQ+ community with its renovated Phantasy Night Club, a sports complex, restaurants and arts center. I know that the League registers a lot of voters, but not all of them get to the polls. Why? I suspect that some of it has to do with being unfamiliar with the experience of voting. I’d like to see the League or Board of Elections place practice voting booths in libraries, so voters know what to expect when they show up at their precinct to vote. I have no plans to seek higher office. I just want to fairly represent this diverse and unique community as a council representative.”
The Lakewood Chapter tof the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland will be at The 45th Annual Lakewood Arts Festival on August 6th to register voters, check registration, help create voting plans for the November 8th General Election and practice voting in our 'imitation voting booths.' Please stop by to say hello.
Carol Thums is wordsmith and Secretary of the Lakewood Chapter of LWVGC.
Carol Thums is Secretary of the Lakewood Chapter of LWVGC and wordsmith.