Lakewood Democrats Endorse Four Women Candidates for the General Election
October 15, 2021
The members of Lakewood Democratic Club made history on September 30, 2021 when, for the first time dating back to the 1920s, they endorsed all women candidates for the 2021 General Election.
Of the 11 candidates who sought endorsement by the Club, these four women were endorsed when they received 60% or more of the vote: Sarah Kepple for City Council at-Large, Tess Neff for Municipal Court Judge, and Nora Katzenberger and Betsy Shaughnessy for School Board.
Club members reviewed extensive questionnaires from all 11 candidates and evaluated their responses to questioning at its monthly public meeting. Topics included important issues facing the city such as the affordable housing crisis, economic development, public safety, access to justice in our court, diversity and inclusion, and the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on students.
Councilperson at-Large Sarah Kepple, a small business tech entrepreneur and grassroots community organizer, was the only council candidate to receive endorsement. In her time on council, Kepple has worked to increase public participation in our local government by focusing on communication and accessibility. She has championed initiatives to help Lakewood businesses survive and thrive during the pandemic. Kepple has smart ideas to advance Lakewood’s environmental sustainability and holistically approach issues of public safety, and the collaborative style and strong work ethic to turn them into good policy for our city. We encourage Lakewood to keep Sarah Kepple on Council.
Ward 1 Councilperson Tess Neff was the Club’s choice to replace Judge Carroll on the bench. She has over 18 years of experience as a Judicial Magistrate and Acting Judge in Lakewood Municipal and Cuyahoga Juvenile Court where she decided thousands of cases. Neff wants Lakewood Municipal Court to collect and analyze more data to ensure fairness and equality, and increase transparency to build more trust in the court system while keeping our community safe. She is committed to increasing access to justice by implementing a night court option, electronic filing, and has plans for diversion programming and bail reform to keep nonviolent individuals in the community rather than confined. We encourage Lakewood to make Tess Neff its new Municipal Court Judge.
Nora Katzenberger and School Board President Betsy Shaughnessy won endorsement for the two Board of Education positions. Katzenberger, a parent of two Lakewood students, would bring a fresh perspective to the board. She worked hard as school levy campaign chair and has a strong grasp of the issues facing Lakewood schools. Shaughnessy would use her expertise and conscientiousness to continue promoting the interests of students, parents, staff, and the community. She keenly understands the importance of public education in maintaining our democracy and has been a strong leader confronting increased politicization of our schools by radical conspiracy theorists. We encourage Lakewood to elect Nora Katzenberg and re-elect Betsy Shaughnessy to School Board.
Since the 1920s, The Lakewood Democratic Club has promoted the ideals of the Democrats of Lakewood and the Democratic Party, by encouraging local involvement in political advocacy and activism, educating the public about policy through informative forums with expert speakers and public officials, and helping to elect and support Democratic candidates. Erik Meinhardt serves as President of the Lakewood Democratic Club.
Lakewood Democratic Club meetings are currently online in response to limits on in-person gatherings, and the closure of the Woman's Club Pavilion rentals.
Our meetings begin as scheduled at 7 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month. Please register ahead of time, and make sure you are ready to join, if you have not used Zoom before.
After registering, you should receive a link to attend the virtual conference from Zoom.
Do not share/forward the URL you received from zoom with others to attend the event. It is a unique link for you.
First time using Zoom? If so, you will need to download an application at zoom.us/download
Club meetings are on the LAST Thursday of the month
The Woman's Club Pavilion
14532 Lake Avenue
Doors Open - 6:30pm,
Program/Meeting - 7:00pm
The Lakewood Democratic Club works to identify issues important to our members, and to encourage, select and support Democratic candidates. Read more.