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Restaurateur, Activist and Mayoral Candidate Brandon Chrostowski Talks About Violence in Cleveland

photo of Brandon Chrostowski
Brandon Chrostowski, on the steps of City Hall

At his first press conference since announcing he's running for mayor of Cleveland, Brandon Chrostowski outlined a plan Wednesday to improve public safety – his top campaign priority. 

Chrostowski made a local and national name for himself as the founder of Edwin’s Leadership and Restaurant Institute.  The high-end French restaurant in Shaker Square trains formerly incarcerated men and women in culinary arts. 

At his first press conference Wednesday on the steps of City Hall, Chrostowski criticized Mayor Frank Jackson’s $2 million motorized dirt bike park planned for the Kinsman neighborhood. 

Chrostowski says the way to reach young people is through businesses like Edwin’s that bring in revenue rather than depending on tax dollars.

“It’s taking Edwin’s-like models throughout the neighborhoods and turning them into relatively break-even businesses that train in the services that you speak of – mechanics -- whether it’s cooking or whether it’s phlebotomy. It can be done. There’s a model that already exists. I created it.  That’s what I propose for half the price and it’s sustainable. I don’t see the dirt giving back.” 

Chrostowski says the current administration isn’t doing enough to address violence in the city, especially among young people. He wants to put more money toward law enforcement in neighborhoods, to give incentives for cops to live in communities where they work, and to focus on community policing.

“I also propose more cameras in high crime areas.  This is very important. But what’s more important is that we have police mini-stations with rapid response teams so that if something is seen, they can respond to it.  So when something goes down, they’re around.” 

Chrostowski says he supports the city’s Consent Decree with the US Justice Department but says reform in the police department is too slow going.  

Chrostowski says Edwin’s operates on a $1.3 million dollar annual budget and trains 100 people a year.