Get to Know Jason Shachner

Get to Know Jason Shachner

Name: Jason Shachner
Office you’re seeking: Lakewood City Council Ward 2
Are you an incumbent? No
Age: 32
Facebook: @ShachnerforLakewood
Twitter: @jasonshachner
Tell us a little bit about yourself (i.e. where are you from, where’d you go to school, what you do for a living, etc.)
I grew up South Florida and attended Florida State University, where I first became interested in pursuing a path of public service. I graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science and Religious Studies and went on to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow. In this position, I worked to involve parents in their children’s education. I identified leaders in the community, started PTAs, and led parent leadership trainings.

After serving as a VISTA, I moved to Cleveland and worked with the community organizing branch of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People. I worked with neighborhood organizations and knocked on doors in Hough, Mount Pleasant, and Slavic Village to organize residents to advocate for their communities. I then pursued a law degree at Case Western
Reserve University School of Law, where I continued to seek positions where I could serve others. While at Case, I worked for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s Housing Practice Group, where I focused on helping low-income individuals and families secure and retain decent, affordable housing, and helped enforce tenants’ rights, by addressing issues such as housing conditions, evictions, and housing discrimination. I also served as a legal intern in Case Western’s Criminal Justice Clinic and worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division. I graduated cum laude and received a Certificate of Concentration in Criminal Law with Honors.

I now serve as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutors have an enormous amount of power, and I seek to use this power to uphold justice and serve as an advocate for victims to the best of my ability. I make every effort to ensure that no one faces an unjust prosecution. If I believe that a person was arrested and charged unjustly, I advocate to have the case dismissed or to ask the Grand Jury to return a no bill. I recommend that a defendant’s bond be reset to Own Recognizance for non-violent, low level felonies so the defendant does not have to pay bail to avoid jail. I also strive to fiercely advocate for victims, many of whom have experienced an untold amount of trauma

Why are you running for this office?
Lakewood is growing. We owe its growth and success to the residents that have invested in our schools, our businesses, and our neighborhoods; to those who call Lakewood home. I am running for City Council to ensure that we are all growing with our community. I want to serve the residents of Lakewood, to ensure that no one gets left behind or pushed away and that everyone’s voice is heard in City Hall.

What are the most important issues on your campaign?
Affordable, quality, and appropriate housing is limited in Lakewood. As our community continues to become a popular place to live, the cost to purchase or rent a home has increased drastically. We also have an aging population, who often face accessibility issues in our old Lakewood homes. I hope to address these issues by modifying the ordinances contained in the
Planning and Zoning code to: (1) allow for the creation of more affordable housing options, and (2) promote the ability for seniors to age in place. I also want to expand the financial capacity in the city for affordable housing construction and to pursue a Lakewood-specific adjustment to the low/moderate income thresholds with HUD.

I would also promote the creation and expansion of Block Clubs in the Ward. This would help foster communication, a greater sense of community, and assist me in identifying and solving neighborhood problems.

As one of the most densely populated cities in Ohio, Lakewood has traffic congestion and parking problems. I hope to implement alternative transportation options, like increasing bicycle
infrastructure and adding e-bikes to alleviate traffic congestion and parking issues. I will also support and advocate regionally for reliable, convenient, and appropriate public transportation.

Give us a fun fact about yourself.
I met my wife, Michelle, at law school orientation. One of the first things we did together was create a skit for “1L Games” that was entirely made up of cat puns. We won.

What’s your favorite thing about Ohio?
I have always loved the Midwest and its rich history, which is one of the reasons I moved to Cleveland. I chose to stay in Ohio and make it my home because of the people.

Which team is your favorite sports team? If there’s a fun reason why, tell us!
Growing up I was a huge fan of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. I have also come to love all the Cleveland teams, in times of trouble and triumph.

If you were a professional athlete what song would you choose to be your “walk out” song?
"Love Shack"

What TV show have you binge watched entirely too fast?

If you were an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
I’ve always loved playing basketball. I don’t think I would help much in winning a gold medal.

Most importantly, how can young Dems help in your campaign?
I would greatly appreciate any positive press the young dems can provide. Any suggestions or advice that you have would be greatly appreciated, too. Thank you for your support!


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