In the weeks leading up to the general election, Bibb garnered the endorsements of labor unions and former Cleveland mayors Michael R. White and Jane Campbell. During the September primary, Bibb came in first place against opponent Kevin Kelley, who finished in second in the race.
“This mandate doesn’t happen with one candidate, it happens with a broad coalition,” Bibb said.
Political activist and community organizer Julian Khan agreed with Bibb’s sentiments of building a movement that is led by people and residents of the city. “I think Justin is committed to connecting people at the grassroots level and I saw that throughout the campaign,” Khan said. “I think he has some really ambitious ideas about better connecting people to the resources and the government and to me that is sort of everyday functionality that we need, and it’s a breath of fresh air.”
As mayor, one of Bibb’s first charges will include allocating and spending $511 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Cleveland was just one of eight cities in the country to have more than $500 million allocated through the initiative.
Bibb, who has frequently stated his support for Issue 24, which would give more power to a civilian review board to address police misconduct, was relieved to find it passed. “Come tomorrow we get to work to make sure we have real police accountability in this city,” Bibb said. “We’re going to show the nation that in Cleveland, we can have good and smart law enforcement, but also respect the rights of our residents.”
Issue 24 will significantly change how Cleveland’s police department operates by creating a Community Police Commission which, in conjunction with the Civilian Police Review Board, will oversee police conduct investigations and discipline. The bill will also allow a variety of community voices and oversight to be represented in policy changes.
Bibb closed his Tuesday night acceptance speech by acknowledging the faith Cleveland residents have in him and promising to serve the city with pride.