New Left Radio
New Left Radio
Aug 24, 2021
Politics Full Circle - Interview w/ Dennis Kucinich
Play • 34 min

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Dennis Kucinich’s career has been the epitome of the unexpected. Beginning with his election as mayor of Cleveland in 1977 at the age of 31 and dubbed ‘the Boy Mayor,’ Kucinich has had a long career that has taken him fro the halls of power to the grips of poverty and back again, from the halls of Congress to the campaign trail for president and governor, and now back to where it all began in a campaign for mayor of Cleveland. We sit down with Dennis to discuss his career, his roots, his new book, and how he manages to stay grounded in fighting for what he believes against all odds and in the face of attacks from everyone from mafia hit men to the general public.

Links

Dennis Kucinich for Mayor

Cleveland’s abc 5 Coverage of the campaign

The saga of Dennis Kucinich: When one man stood up to corporate power - review at salon.com

The Division of Light & Power - Get the book

Dennis’ Bio from kucinich.com

Dennis Kucinich's roots are in Cleveland, and his priorities have always been for the love and betterment of a city that gave him a life he never thought possible. His father was a truck driver, his mother a homemaker, and Dennis led as the eldest of seven siblings in a household that knew the struggle not uncommon to the average Clevelander today.

Even today, Dennis can hear the meager pennies clinking across the kitchen table and the muffled voices of his parents toiling over the next month's rent. Having lived in seventeen different locations in Cleveland, even living out of the family car, Dennis intimately understands the experience of poverty too many citizens of Cleveland live through today.

Dennis worked many jobs to finance his way through college. Dennis earned his Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree at Case Western Reserve University with hard work and determination.

Elected to Cleveland City Council in 1969 and then elected Mayor in 1977, Dennis was known as “The Boy Mayor '' and the youngest person elected mayor of a large city in the United States. In his time as Mayor, Dennis fought against corruption, corporate interests, and assassination attempts to deliver the rights, needs, and expectations that residents deserved. 

Despite his commitment to the people, he was cast out by the banks and corporate interests in the 1979 election. Years later, Cleveland City Council would recognize Dennis for his work as Mayor and how he fought to keep Muny Light, now known as Cleveland Public Power, in the hands of the people of Cleveland, saving the city over 195 million dollars in taxes, utility rates, and preserved hundreds of local union jobs.

Leaving public life for a time, Dennis went on a spiritual journey to rediscover himself and grow from his time as mayor.

In 1996 Dennis was given a chance to serve the people once again when he was elected to the U.S House of Representatives for Ohio's 10th Congressional District, where he served for 16 years, bringing his people-first policies front and center in the halls of Congress. Then, in 2004 and 2008, taking those same policies on the campaign trail in the race for President of the United States. He championed many of the beliefs that encompass some of the most popular policies today on those campaigns.

Now, all these years later, Dennis is returning to where his life of public service began. He has answered the call because he sees the city he loves struggling with many of the same issues that it has always faced. 

Cleveland, like many cities, has its issues. The ravaging of the Covid-19 pandemic revealed a city steeped with a pay-to-play environment, with a lack of vision for Cleveland. A new vision will once again make Cleveland THE BEST LOCATION IN THE NATION.

The background of Dennis Kucinich has shaped his life and led him into the arena one more time to better the lives of everyday residents of Cleveland, guiding him into the 2021 CLEVELAND MAYORAL RACE.

Cleveland and Cleveland leadership can no longer operate on the mentality of East Side or West Side. It must act as ONE Cleveland, united in building a city for all. To have leadership that works to represent those with the deepest needs and not simply those with the deepest pockets—helping foster leadership and community engagement that can bring about economic and social growth to the city.

It will take a steady, experienced, healing hand to lead Cleveland above and beyond.

To achieve all this and more, it will take a people-powered movement that will be able to LIGHT UP CLEVELAND and bring a BETTER AND BRIGHTER future to the city of Cleveland!

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