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Christina L. Shaw, a Graham Road resident, has announced her candidacy for Ward 3 Representative of Stow City Council in the Sept. 12 primary and Nov. 7 general elections.
The seat currently is held by Brian Lowdermilk, who has been a City Council member since 2012.
"After attending numerous City Council meetings, both in Stow and surrounding communities, and speaking with local government officials throughout the region, I decided that it was time for a fresh voice in Stow City Council," Shaw said. "I have the energy and desire to give back to my community and a strong belief that government should be a reflection of the citizens it represents. There are no women on Stow City Council, despite the city comprising 51.8 percent women."
"We have a wonderful community, one I'm happy to say I've lived in most of my life, but one that, like others, faces new challenges that require fresh ideas and the dedication to find solutions that help all of its citizens," she said.
Among the issues that Shaw says are at the top of her agenda:
Local programs that battle the opioid epidemic, from increased efforts to prevent use and addiction, treatment programs for victims and support for families of the addicted;
City planning that reflects the aging of Stow's population, with programs, facilities and mixed-use development that improves pedestrian access and the quality of life in Stow, increases property values and prevents blight in underused areas (the fastest growing age demographic in Stow is 55-64, with residents age 55 and up comprising 29.2 percent of the population);
Support of first responders who most often are at the forefront of the fight against illicit drug use and sales;
Legislative accountability and transparency, ensuring that the needs of citizens are heard, acknowledged and factored into city actions.
Shaw, a 1988 graduate of Stow-Munroe Falls High School, and a former fashion merchandising senior account executive with Donna Karan and Tom Ford, believes her 11-year battle with cancer has prepared her for the rigors of public service.
"Through no choice of my own, I became fully immersed in navigating the complexities of the medical industry and treatment for a life-threatening illness, and came out of it a stronger, more informed and better person," she said. "I've learned I can do anything I put my mind to, and I want to use this gift of time to benefit the community I live in and love."
Among Shaw's biggest supporters are her mother, Cheryl, and two children Jourdan Matos, 23, and Preston Matos, 21.
It is unfortunate that this candidate has chosen to play gender politics rather than deal with the issues facing the city. Not really unexpected as this is straight out of the democratic play book from the 2016 election.
Residents should vote for the most qualified candidates and not for reasons of gender.