Delores Gray, a neighborhood activist in the city’s Central neighborhood, was appointed at today’s Council Meeting to fill the council seat of Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland who announced last week she is stepping down.
Ward 5 includes the neighborhoods of Central and Kinsman, and part of Midtown, Downtown and North Broadway/Slavic Village. Councilwoman Gray will be finishing out Councilwoman Cleveland’s current term which expires January 1, 2022. She will have to run for election in November 2021 for a full four-year term.
Councilwoman Gray is a graduate of East Tech High School and has stayed active as an East Tech Alumni Board member for more than 30 years. The alumni association raises money to award college scholarships to students.
A Central Neighborhood resident, she has been active on boards and initiatives aimed at improving the neighborhood. She has been a community engagement coordinator for the last five years for Care Alliance, a federally qualified health clinic that expanded its services a few years ago to a new center, offering medical and dental services in the Central Neighborhood.
Until her appointment, Councilwoman Gray served on the board of Burten, Bell, Carr Community Development Corp., the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (CMHA) Board of Commissioners and its Progressive Action Council (PAC). The PAC works closely and collaborates with CMHA Administration, providing the residents’ perspective on new opportunities and modifications to existing procedures, including the Agency’s Annual Plan and Capital Fund programs.
She is also a former Community Board member for Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and a former member of the board of governors for The Friendly Inn, a community settlement organization that for 145 years has offered services and programs for children and families.
She will continue to be involved with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s “right-to-counsel” initiative. Council passed legislation last year to ensure free legal services to residents facing eviction.
She was also active in the foundation’s work in the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, a collective network of residents, organizations and educators focused on improving health and education outcomes for families and children in Central.
Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Gray’s family moved to Cleveland when she was a child. She has one son, is a grandmother and great grandmother.