Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz Bio
Wade Kapszukiewicz was elected mayor of Toledo, Ohio on November 7, 2017 and took the oath of office on January 2, 2018, becoming the 58th mayor of the city.
Creating a regional water system, increasing the size and diversity of the police force, restoring discipline to the city’s budget, improving educational opportunities for Toledo's youngest residents, and improving city services are among Mayor Kapszukiewicz's top goals.
Kapszukiewicz has presided over a period of strong economic growth in Toledo. In 2018, Site Selection Magazine ranked Toledo third in the nation for economic development among mid-sized cities, and in 2019 Kempler Industries ranked Toledo the fourth-best city in the United States for manufacturing jobs. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, Toledo was the fifth-fastest growing construction job market in the country from June 2018 to June 2019.
The former Treasurer of Lucas County, Kapszukiewicz helped turn a $3 million deficit two years before he took office into a $17.8 million surplus after his first year. This fiscal discipline gave Toledo the ability to withstand the negative budget impacts of the COVID-19 crisis without having to reduce city services.
Under the mayor’s leadership, the number of police officers on Toledo’s streets increased for the first time in over a decade, and his initiative to apply market pressure on gun manufacturers to prevent assault weapons from ending up in the hands of dangerous individuals was endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2019. In September 2020, he announced an initiative to treat gun violence as a public health crisis by investing in programs that combat the root causes of the problem.
Most notably, Kapszukiewicz's proposal to create a regional water system was approved by both City Council and the voters of Toledo, thereby ensuring long-term affordable water rates while sharing decision-making authority with suburban partners.Kapszukiewicz’s work to fight harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie has helped him emerge as a national leader in efforts to prevent pollution in our waterways and promote responsible environmental practices.
To watch Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s 2020 State of the City, click here.
To encourage greater transparency in city government, Mayor Kapszukiewicz launched a monthly "Wednesdays with Wade" public meetings series.
Kapszukiewicz was Lucas County Treasurer from 2005 until 2018. While treasurer, he worked to change state law in 2010 to allow for the creation of county land banks, founded the Lucas County Land Bank, and served as its chairman since August, 2010.
Kapszukiewicz served one term on the Lucas County Board of Education and was later a Toledo city councilman for nearly seven years. He was first elected to city council in 1999 and then re-elected in 2001 and 2003. When he began his service on Toledo City Council, at age 26, Mr. Kapszukiewicz had the distinction of being the youngest person to serve on the legislative body in 25 years.
Kapszukiewicz was recognized in 2006 as a “20 Under 40” community leader, and in 2010 ESOP gave him its “Above and Beyond” award. In 2012, the mayor was again honored by ESOP, this time earning its “Rooted in ESOP” award. The Toledo City Paper named him one of its “Big Idea Toledoans” in 2014 for his work creating and leading the Lucas County Land Bank, and again in 2018 for his commitment to pursue an ambitious agenda as mayor.
Kapszukiewicz received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Marquette University in 1994 and was named the valedictorian of the College of Communication, Journalism, and Performing Arts. He received a master's degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in 1996.
After receiving his master's degree, Mr. Kapszukiewicz worked for two years as the Policy Analysis and Research Director of the New Ohio Institute, a public policy research organization that studied issues affecting Ohio's urban areas. In April 1998 he accepted the position of Manager of Planning and Development at the Lucas County Mental Health Board, where he worked until he began serving on Toledo City Council. While on City Council, Mr. Kapszukiewicz taught a course in American Government at Owens Community College and also worked at COMPASS, a social service agency that works with people with drug and alcohol addictions.
Kapszukiewicz is an adjunct professor at Lourdes University, where he teaches a night course in urban policy. An avid baseball fan, Kapszukiewicz had his research published in the Spring 2016 edition of the Society for American Baseball Research journal.
Kapszukiewicz is a parishioner at Gesu Roman Catholic Church. A resident of Toledo since 1973, Mr. Kapszukiewicz was born in San Diego on October 30, 1972. He and his wife, Sarah, celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in 2020. They live in the Old Orchard neighborhood of Toledo and have two children, Emma and Will.