Name: Jared Grandy
City of Residence: Dayton, Ohio
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Office Sought: Dayton City Commission
Why should you be elected?
I have spent my entire adult life as a public servant and community advocate. I hope to serve the city I love as your next Dayton City Commissioner because I believe Daytonians deserve high-quality representation. Daytonians deserve good jobs, safe neighborhoods, clean air and water, reliable transportation, and a city government they can trust with their tax dollars. Dayton’s families deserve hospitals and recreation centers in their neighborhoods. I want to build a city that my children can feel proud of, where they can have the same opportunities as children in other cities. In short, I am running for Dayton City Commission to make sure that working families like mine can go beyond survival and actually thrive in the Gem City.
Top Three Priorities:
1. Support Working Families
I have personally experienced the difference a good union job can make in a working person’s life. I worked miscellaneous jobs in grocery stores, a manufacturing plant, an industrial laundromat, a gas station, a couple of telemarketing firms, an international shipping company and a meat packing plant. The pattern was clear across those workplaces: when people have a union they can rely on to advocate for them, wages and working conditions improve. The ability to bargain collectively and strike when necessary allows working people to protect each other’s rights. If elected, Dayton’s City Commission would have one more vote in favor of stronger unions, and one less vote for so-called “right to work” laws and mandatory arbitration clauses. I will know my term as commissioner was successful if working people and their families have more power to stand up for themselves and each other. By the end of my four years, I want to see higher wages, better working conditions, and a stronger bargaining position for workers in Dayton.
The Dayton City Commission can strengthen worker power by:
Enacting policies that make sure new hires receive information and training regarding their rights as workers and the benefits of unionization.
Protecting union’s rights to communicate with members on the job site and through electronic means (a necessity in the Covid-19 era).
Supporting policies that help unions modernize dues collection and cut down on red tape.
Strengthening workers’ power at the bargaining table by allowing government employees to legally strike without fear of permanent striker replacements, as well as requiring mediation when negotiations extend past a fixed period.
Expanding unions’ ability to provide job training and other high-quality services that improve the lives of working people.
Government employees make up half of all union members today. As a member of the city government’s legislative branch, I would make sure that our priorities are aligned with those of the city workers who allow Dayton to function.
2. Improve Public Safety
Instead of a police-driven and offender-focused public safety strategy, I will work to shift Dayton to a collective impact approach to dismantle criminal infrastructures by focusing on the community and environmental factors that contribute to crime and violence.
I will draw on a broad range of disciplines and solicit input from the health, education, social services, criminal justice, policy and the private sectors. Collective action on the part of these stakeholders is essential to address the issues that threaten the health and safety of our community.
The collective impact model emphasizes data sharing to ensure residents most impacted receive the resources they need to live the healthiest, most productive lives possible. To that end, I would push for law enforcement to not be responsible for social service calls and instead would instead deploy the appropriate resource to meet the needs of the affected resident. For example, if a parent calls the police to help with a disobedient child, a social worker or family counselor will be dispatched, instead of a police officer, as long as the family isn’t in immediate danger.
This model frees police officers to build meaningful relationships with the residents they serve. Diversity and cultural competency training are built into this model, as is the elimination of policies that threaten positive community-police relations, such as no-knock warrants and pretextual stops.
I will call for increased engagement with the Community Police Council and the implementation of recommendations suggested by the community reform groups. As a commissioner I will hold the Dayton City Manager and Dayton Police Chief accountable to changing the culture within the Dayton Police Department. The bargaining agreement between the City of Dayton and the Fraternal Order of Police will match the priorities of the commission.
Finally, I will advocate that residents charged with minor misdemeanors adjudicated by the Dayton Municipal Courts receive restorative justice services. No one will receive jail time for minor drug offenses; instead, they will receive referrals to rehabilitation programs and other resources that will help them enhance their quality of life. The courts will help to restore suspended licenses and will work with residents to pay off fines and fees from driving and parking violations. Petty disputes and altercations with police officers will be referred to the Dayton Mediation Center for resolution before anyone is charged with a crime that will remain on their permanent record.
3. Environmental Justice
Montgomery County was given an “F” grade by the American Lung Association for the poor air quality days caused by ozone. Additionally, the city of Dayton is ranked the second most-challenging place to live in the country for a person with asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Pollution has contributed to poor air quality and disproportionality affects Dayton’s most vulnerable residents. As a commissioner, I will mobilize all city and county departments as well as community organizations and residents to curb littering, dumping and air pollution to improve the air quality and standard of living for all Dayton residents. I believe that Dayton should expand its green infrastructure and invest in parks, bike paths, community gardens, urban tree planting initiatives and walkways. Additional green infrastructure effectively reduces stormwater costs, mitigates air pollution and increases the city’s overall resilience to climate change. I believe that Dayton should also develop and increase access to our riverfronts to spur river tourism and economic activity — as well as engender an appreciation for our natural waterways. Not only will a greener, more environmentally friendly city increase our air quality, but also increase property value in various neighborhoods.
Furthermore, as I commissioner I will leverage federal, state, county and city dollars to transition all relevant city assets to electric or low-carbon emission vehicles and equipment over the next ten years. I will push the city to contract with environmentally conscious companies and for firms to report their plans to limit carbon emissions.
The City of Dayton is already exploring turning our former golf courses into solar energy parks. This is an excellent idea and I will urge Dayton’s sustainability manager to put this program into hyper-drive. As a city commissioner I will personally reach out to and work with Biden’s federal administration to explore federal supplemental funding as well as work with the state and county government to make Dayton the greenest city in Ohio.
I will also fight to protect Dayton’s most precious asset: our drinking water. Surrounding companies work with dangerous chemicals that are hazardous to our water, including Wright Patterson Air Force Base. I will work with these companies and the base to find a diplomatic solution that protects our drinking water without costing people their jobs. It is imperative that we keep our water clean.
Finally, I will work to transition the Dayton Police Department from three large Patrol Operating Districts (Central, East and West) to smaller precincts. This will limit the amount of driving the officers have to do, thus requiring less gas and fewer carbon emissions. This will also have the effect of creating “beat” cops that have deeper relationships with the communities they serve.
Jared Grandy was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and is a graduate of Meadowdale High School. Jared earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. He then received a Juris Doctor degree from Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law.
Jared is currently a consultant and writer. From 2016 to 2020, Jared served as the City of Dayton’s Community-Police Relations Coordinator at the Human Relations Council (HRC). There he created, managed and operated over sixteen different programs, initiatives and campaigns designed to bring awareness and give voice regarding various social issues. Before joining the HRC, Jared worked as a student clinician at the Ohio Justice and Police Center defending the rights of Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens. In 2015 Jared joined the Miami Valley Urban League as a Youth Counselor and Job Developer where he helped dozens of young people find jobs and get their lives on track. Jared has also served young people as a mock trial instructor and youth minister and program coordinator at Grace United Methodist Church.
Throughout his career Jared has worked with elected officials, police command staff and patrol officers, city and county leaders, clergy, activists, local media and the public at large. Jared has maintained and strengthened these relationships and expanded his network in an effort to advocate for progressive public policy.
Jared is an active member of the Dayton Young Black Professionals, Urban Citizens for Social Justice, Dayton Unit National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Criminal Justice Committee and a board member of both the House of Bread and the Wesley Community Center. Jared has spent his adult life as a public servant and community advocate. Now Jared hopes to serve the city he loves as your next Dayton City Commissioner.