Bonus Discussion: former Cleveland, OH City Councilmember Merle Gordon

Rethinking with Alex Torpey
Rethinking with Alex Torpey
Bonus Discussion: former Cleveland, OH City Councilmember Merle Gordon

Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey for this bonus discussion with Merle Gordon as part of the Special Series: On Running for Public Office.

Merle is not just a fellow alum of Hampshire College, but she first joined the City Council in Cleveland Ohio in 1997 when she was only 27 years old! She served two terms on the City Council and has had a long career in and around government, and most recently served as Cleveland’s Director of Public Health.

In this conversation, Merle and I discuss a wide range of topics, from the challenge of women, young people and other under represented groups to run for office, mental health, why independence and self-determination in politics is so important, the consequences of reactive versus proactive governing, what issues she worked on in the City Council, why local government is such an exciting place to make change, and much more.

Check out the conversation, and don’t forget to like and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening or watching. Enjoy!

This is a special edition series from Rethinking. Based on the demand and interest right now from people who want to learn more about getting involved and becoming more influential, or a decision maker, in government, I decided to create this free, nonpartisan, totally open tutorial. This may be valuable for those who are thinking about running for office, but need a place to start or don’t have access to these sorts of resources already. There will be more episodes on other ways to get involved.

This series provides an overview in the following areas:

  1. Should you run for office?
  2. How to start your campaign from scratch
  3. Running your campaign
  4. GOTV and Election Day
  5. Win or lose – now what?

Each section provides an overview of helpful information. It is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it meant to be definitive – there are many ways to approach this, and there is lot more detail you can go into. But for those of you who may not have access to partisan resources, or wish to run outside the party/power structure (go you!), I hope this is a helpful starting point.

Do you wish I went into more detail in any area? Let me know on social media or by email at!

Hosted by
Alex Torpey

From serving as mayor (non party affiliated) of his hometown of South Orange at age 23, a municipal business administrator, founder of a digital consulting firm, an emergency management director and volunteer EMT, and as a graduate level adjunct professor, management consultant, mentor and speaker, Alex Torpey brings together his uniquely diverse experiences to help provide us a platform to rethink the future of our communities, our republic, and ourselves.

Instagram feed @alextorpey

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