Councilwoman for Cleveland's Ward 14

Cleveland’s Ward 14 encompasses the Stockyards, Clark-Fulton, and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods, as well as parts of Tremont. Like many areas in Cleveland’s near west side, Ward 14 is home to many Latino families. Jasmin’s family joined many other Puerto Rican families moving to Cleveland in the late 1960s when Cleveland needed workers for its booming steel industry.

Jasmin’s family faced many of the same barriers as other immigrants arriving in the United States. She grew up translating for her mother at doctor’s appointments, lacked educational opportunities, and her family faced continually increasing rent costs as neighborhoods were gentrified. Jasmin Santana was born in Ward 14 at MetroHealth Hospital and grew up going to Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools, graduating from Lincoln West High School.

When a close family friend was diagnosed with cancer and struggled with English, Jasmin helped her understand the diagnosis. Jasmin found herself passionate about supporting women in the community by helping to break down the cultural and language barriers that kept them from accessing health care.

Jasmin became a community organizer, working at MetroHealth to help develop its BREAST/Amigas program to help provide community outreach and education about breast cancer to women in the community. As she worked with more women and families on the near west side, Jasmin then joined the Hispanic Alliance as the Community Engagement Director where she focused on helping families affected by the lead crisis. 

After a trip to Washington, D.C. with the Jewish Federation and the Hispanic Alliance to understand problems with voter purging, Jasmin heard a story from former Congresswomen and current Secretary of Housing and Development Marcia Fudge, who said, “If you want to make a difference, you must have a seat at the table. You must run for office if you are to improve the policies that affect people’s lives.”

In 2017, Jasmin Santana ran for Cleveland City Council to represent her community in Ward 14, and won. Since then, she has worked tirelessly as an advocate for the people of Ward 14 to help ensure they have safe, affordable, and thriving neighborhoods to raise their families. Jasmin was named City Council Majority Whip in 2020 and is the only woman to currently serve in council leadership.


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