Councilwoman Fannie M. Lewis of Ward 7 in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood has faced many problems in her lifetime that seemed to be insurmountable. She says that the key to overcoming her life's challenges was recognizing that God that was in her. She pledges the remainder of her life to following His cause. Ever since this understanding, her life has had a clearer direction as to what she needed to do to achieve satisfaction and fulfillment.

In her early years, Lewis learned to put her own problems aside and to place her energies into worthy causes, leading to her involvement in politics. Lewis became a representative to Community Action for Youth; the Hough Community Council; the League Park Center; the Ward 7 Club; and, she assisted Councilman Charlie Carr and Councilman Bell. In 1968, she became the Citizen Participation Director for the Model Cities program where she acquired her knowledge of funding and politics. She supervised the investment of $90 million into neighborhoods. Because of this experience, she became even more vigilant for increased government funding in her beloved Hough community.

It is impossible to chronicle all of the activities and deeds that comprise Lewis' life of public service. Lewis reflects on her innate sense of responsibility to others: "As a result of being on welfare, I have personally experienced the many pitfalls and the hurts that are felt at those times. The constant fear of being removed from public assistance and of not being able to stand without that crutch, forced me to dig deep inside and pull every ounce of fortitude just to survive. Surviving that experience has helped me to help others "get off the merry go round", to dig for dignity, and to feel comfortable in sharing their experiences. I came to do a job, and that job is with whomever and whatever my hands find to work with. I must take it and make whatever I need to move on in this life looking for a better world."

Councilwoman Lewis is a member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.







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