In a meeting organized by Tina Butts, founder of The Movement, mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner held a question and answer session with about a dozen Toledoans at the D.O.B., on Bancroft and Upton, to discuss community issues such as the recent spike in violence and the ongoing difficulties Black citizens encounter in their dealings with Toledo officials of all stripes.
“I need you to help put the right person in place and change our neighborhoods,” said Butts as she introduced Finkbeiner. “Help get this man back in charge. We have less than four weeks to change downtown.”
Butts went on to defend Finkbeiner’s actions in the past when, as mayor, he took actions to address crime and violence, noting that he spent time reaching out to the Black community for input and to advise them of his plans.
“If you don’t have much, you do what you need to do,” said Finkbeiner opening his comments. “The person who has nothing, needs something, needs to know he is part of the team, needs to increase his self-worth.”
Segueing into his past while working for the Equal Opportunity Planning Association when Wayman Palmer was his boss and mentor, Finkbeiner spoke of the lessons he gleaned from those early days.
“I want everyone to have equal fair opportunities to be successful and color should have nothing to do with that,” he said.
Finkbeiner informed his listeners of the way in which he had worked with Black advisors and colleagues as mayor in the past, such as Juanita Greene, Perlean Griffin, Theresa M. Gabriel, Pete Culp, Calvin Lawshe and Mike Bell. He also noted that typically his senior staff was usually 50/50 male female.
“I’m not proud of the Caucasian/White legacy in the United States,” he said of the centuries of oppression people of color – Native Americans and African Americans, among others – have faced.
Finkbeiner, who served three terms as Toledo mayor, spoke of his time out of office as well, describing how he alone among Toledo politicians, opposed the area’s efforts to sell the water plant for a mere fraction of what it was worth – a sale supported by such entities as the Chamber of Commerce.
As for Toledo’s youth, Finkbeiner said: “I would like to see more trading programs – like at the old Macomber Whitney, instead of sending kids to colleges and coming back full of debt that they can’t afford.”
In her follow-up remarks, Butts noted of Finkbeiner’s candidacy, “he is going to get the job done,” as she urged the attendees not only to vote, but also to get out in the community and bring others to the polls.