A Conversation With Daniel Budish
Daniel Budish is president of Gaslamp Capital, an historic tax credit investment fund which consults on and sources equity for renovation projects. Additionally, he specializes in consumer and elder law at Budish, Solomon Steiner & Peck and hosts a weekly Sunday morning TV show dedicated to senior issues titled Golden Opportunities.
Early Life and Education
After departing Hahn Loeser, Budish became an attorney specializing in consumer and elder law, hosting his weekly Sunday morning senior issues television program Golden Opportunities on Cleveland’s WKYC television station.
He and Amy, an accomplished real estate developer, remain actively involved in community politics and local business associations. Together they are major donors to the Democratic Party.
Budish has become an outspoken critic of Republican legislative proposals in recent years. He spearheaded an successful campaign against Senate Bill 5 which would restrict collective bargaining rights of state union employees and also blocked legislation to change how Ohio draws legislative districts. In 2011, after surviving a Republican leadership challenge and becoming House minority leader, his political profile declined; nonetheless he continued pushing progressive policies.
Budish is the founder and president of Gaslamp Capital, an historic tax credit investment fund and consulting company. He holds degrees in urban planning and city design from both Cornell University and the London School of Economics.
Budish has worked to jumpstart Ohio’s economy and promote regionalism among local governments in his state of Ohio. Additionally, he’s an outspoken proponent of universal health care – even proposing his own version called “Budishcare” during Ohio’s last two-year legislative session.
Budish used the same political playbook he developed for his speaker race to win county executive office: aggressively courting support from different political constituencies within the county. One of his strongest assets, however, appears to be his prodigious fundraising ability – having amassed over $1 Million so far (including a generous loan from attorney Armond Budish of Bascom, Budish & Ceman).
Achievement and Honors
Budish was recognized for his exceptional real estate finance work. His historic district revitalization projects attracted national recognition. To that end, he founded Gaslamp Capital; an organization using historic tax credit financing to restore old buildings.
Budish was supported in his speaker’s race by FitzGerald and Arnold Pinkney, two prominent black political power brokers who wield significant clout. Additionally, many Democratic leaders supported his candidacy including state Rep. Matt Szollosi who has strong links to organized labor.
Budish was instrumental in blocking legislation that would have reduced collective bargaining rights of state workers, wrote extensively and lectured nationally about Medicaid planning for elders, and has several books translated into foreign languages.
Budish spent much of his first term as state representative working on his pet project: crafting a state universal healthcare plan which would have expanded Medicaid eligibility, required all Ohioans to have health insurance and allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ plans as adult children. Although this proposal failed in the legislature, Budish used it as part of his campaign platform for becoming House Democratic leader.
He prevailed against strong union ties of rival Matt Szollosi from Toledo to attain this post.
Budish and co-developer Betsy Figgie are hard at work developing Studio West 117 in Lakewood – an ambitious $100 million complex between Hird and Detroit avenues that they hope will become a gathering place for Northeast Ohio LGBTQs reminiscent of Chueca in Madrid, Boystown in Chicago or San Francisco’s Castro District. They hope to attract major donors as well as foundation support.
Budish has built up a multimillion-dollar fortune through investing in historical renovation projects that benefit LGBTQ communities. Additionally, he consults and sources equity for projects using historic tax credits – state subsidies that incentivize restoration of historic buildings.
He and Figgie’s goal is to restore six interconnected venues and storefronts within the complex and attract tenants who are either LGBTQ-identified or strong allies of this cause. Their hope is that sponsorships and other forms of income may come through to sustain this facility which they hope can rival other larger gayborhoods such as Chueca in Madrid and San Francisco’s Castro district.
Before becoming involved in development, Budish practiced law at Hahn Loeser with an emphasis on consumer and elder law. Additionally, he hosted a weekly senior issues TV show on Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC each Sunday morning.