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Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosley plans to focus on public safety in bid for mayor

Tara Mosley  addresses a group of supporters at her official mayoral campaign launch event on Nov. 30, 2022.
Anna Huntsman
Ideastream Public Media
Tara Mosley addresses a group of supporters at her official mayoral campaign launch event.

Tara Mosley, a lifelong Akron resident and one of the more vocal members of city council, is the latest person to announce a bid to be Akron’s next mayor.

Mosley officially launched her campaign Wednesday at the Trailhead in Cascade Lofts, an event space in Ward 5 which she represents on city council.

Mosley joins four others who’ve already announced campaigns - her city council colleague Shammas Malik, who represents Ward 8, as well as Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs Marco Sommerville, former Summit County Councilman Jeff Wilhite, and resident Joshua Schaffer.

After Mayor Dan Horrigan announced he would not seek reelection back in October, Mosley told Ideastream Public Media she was considering a run for mayor.

She eventually decided to run after talking with her family and constituents, she said.

“Residents kept calling to me and saying to me, 'It’s your time. It’s your time, you’ve done the work,'” Mosley said. “I talked to my family about it, always want to make sure my family was centered in it and okay with it, and so, that really added to the push.”

If elected, Mosley would be the first woman to be mayor in the city’s history.

Anna Huntsman
Ideastream Public Media
Tara Mosley, a three-term city councilwoman and former bailiff at the Akron Municipal Court, poses at her mayoral campaign launch party.

Mosley is serving her third term on city council and previously worked as a bailiff at the Akron Municipal Court. She was also Dennis Kucinich’s running mate in his unsuccessful bid for Ohio governor in 2018.

Mosley attended Akron Public Schools, the University of Akron and the Academy of Court Reporting.

Mosley said her life experiences growing up in Akron shaped her personal and political goals. She gave birth to two children before graduating high school, she said.

“It shaped my thinking and it made me determined to create a brighter future for myself and my daughters, so I worked hard each and every day,” Mosley said.

If elected to the city’s highest leadership post, Mosley would focus on public safety, housing and economic development, she said.

“I just think our community really wants to feel safe,” Mosley said.

Mosley wants to make sure police are properly staffed and trained, particularly when it comes to responding to mental health crises, she said. She also wants to help strengthen relations between police and community members.

“Making sure that it’s very transparent between the community and the police, I think, is very important,” Mosley said.

Mosley has sponsored legislation supporting dash cameras and also supported the citizen police oversight board that voters approved in November.

She also wants to create more sustainable, affordable housing options in the city, she said.

It’s time for a change in Akron, she said, and citizens need to be put first.

“I just want Akronites to know that I’ve heard them, and I’ve listened, and I’ve done the work, and I just want to make sure I’m here, always with my door open, to put a seat at the table for all of the residents of Akron.”

The mayoral primary will take place May 2, 2023.

Anna Huntsman covers Akron and Canton for Ideastream Public Media.