About Ward 13
The Old Brooklyn area that includes Ward 13 was first settled as a fur trading post in 1790. The former hamlet of Brighton was settled in 1814 around the intersection of Broadview and Pearl Rds., carved out of Brooklyn Township. Later it rejoined Brooklyn Twp., but the area was later reorganized as the village of South Brooklyn in 1889. During the late 1880s, farmers in the area were among the first in the Midwest to use greenhouses to cultivate vegetables.
A market-gardening center, commercial gardening received a boost when public transportation came to the community's borders in 1869. By the 1920s the neighborhood was one of the nation's leading producers of greenhouse vegetables, with more than 100 acres under glass.
The ward stretches from the Brookside Reservation area, south to the border of the City of Parma. It is heavily residential and in recent years there has been a revitalization of retail businesses.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in the ward was created in 1907. (The Zoo began as Wade Park in 1882 but by 1907 Cleveland City Council had laid plans to build the Cleveland Museum of Art and decided to move the Zoo to its current location.) The Brookside Reservation nearby the zoo was one of the city of Cleveland's oldest neighborhood parks before its acquisition by Cleveland Metroparks in 1993. The land was purchased in 1894 and was named Brooklyn Park. It has been a center for recreation since the early 1900s. The 132-acre reservation serves as a refuge for diverse wildlife in an urban setting. This reservation, still a recreation hub, connects to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and an all-purpose trail connects neighborhoods. Nearby, a former landfill was transformed into Cleveland Metroparks Brighton Park, named after the old neighborhood name.
The ward also encompasses a small portion of the Stockyards neighborhood, which also started out as a part of Brooklyn Twp., and was initially inhabited by Hungarian and Czech immigrants. The neighborhood derives its name from the Cleveland Union Stockyards Co.
About Kris Harsh
Kristopher Harsh represents Ward 13, which includes Old Brooklyn and part of the Stockyard neighborhoods.
Prior to holding public office, Councilman Harsh worked as a housing specialist and community organizer for non-profit agencies, including Metro West Community Development Organization, where he was housing director since 2014.
He worked as an organizer for Ohio Organizing Collaborative, and was director of community organizing for Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), which focuses on giving residents, especially seniors, the education and tools to have financial wellness and housing stability.
Councilman Harsh served as representative for and testified on behalf of the community at City of Cleveland Housing Court, Board of Zoning, and Board of Building Standards. He also worked closely with the Cleveland Land Bank, CCLRC, Cleveland Housing Network, City Council members, Cleveland Housing Court specialists, and MetroHealth and Environmental Health Watch to address and resolve various issues pertaining to the city's housing stock.
He successfully advocated for and ushered in the demolition of dozens of blighted properties in the community, and assisted residents in side lot expansion applications, as well as piloted a lead abatement program to explore and test methods to reduce lead poisoning in owner occupied and rental units.
He attended the University of Akron and Kent State University and had been part of the local music scene, formerly hosting a show on WRUW called “Pure Denizen.”
He and his wife, Elizabeth, live on Merl Avenue with their three children, a cat and a dog.
Member – Health, Human Services & the Arts
Member – Utilities
Member – Mayor's Appointments