Each week, Ohio Statehouse News profiles one of our state legislators. Representative Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) is our featured legislator this week.
Greenspan is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives. Prior to this, the legislator served on the Cuyahoga County Council. He represents the 16th Ohio House District, which includes the cities of Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake in Northeastern Ohio.
Why did you become involved in government?
My grandmother told me if you want to give something truly valuable, give of your time. Government service enables me to give back to the community. I’ve always had an interest in public policy. In 2010, I was encouraged to run for county government. Several years later, here I am serving at the state level.
What are your legislative policy priorities or goals for the upcoming session?
My priorities focus around local government, law enforcement, anti-bullying and anti-hazing, sports gaming, quality of life issues, mental health and deadly weapons due process protocol and government transparency.
What surprises/unexpected challenges did you encounter when you started?
We have a very diverse population in this state. One of the challenges is responding to the different sets of needs between the rural, suburban and urban areas. For example, in urban areas you’re dealing with things like food insecurity and public transportation. The suburban and rural areas have their own unique sets of challenges. You need to find a balance between what is important to your district, and what is important to the state as a whole
If you could change one thing with the state system, what would it be?
Something that stands out in my mind is that much of Ohio’s infrastructure dates back to World War II era. Aging infrastructure and water systems is a problem for communities across Ohio.
How do you stay in touch with your district?
If an individual reaches out, I call them back personally whenever possible. I also stay in touch with my constituents through a quarterly newsletter, social media, outreach events and town hall meetings. We have a monthly radio show, The Advocate on 1420 AM, in Cleveland.
What are some of the attractions or hotspots in your district?
We’re fortunate to have so many attractions and things to do. To name a few, there’s Huntington Beach on Lake Erie, which is very popular, Huntington Playhouse, Rocky River and Crocker Park in Westlake.
Ohio is so diverse … what are the primary challenges you’re facing?
Again the different needs of rural, suburban and Urban parts of the state.
What have you done to help your district?
I’ve been fortunate to have numerous bills passed that have benefitted, not only my district, but the state. In my district, Bay Village emergency response boathouse, funds to shore up historical buildings, to rebuild the Nature and Science Center, Bayarts, Fairview Park community center-Red Cross relief shelter, North Olmsted emergency services so that they can communicate more effectively, just to name a few.