Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Euclid is racist after all, federal judge rules

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2007 at 5:54 PM

A federal judge on Tuesday ended the years-long battle between the city of Euclid and the U.S. government, ruling that the city’s system for electing public officials is biased against black voters ["New Black City," November 8, 2006]. At the conclusion of the two-week trial, U.S. District Judge Kathleen O’Malley ordered the city to overhaul its election system, including the way Euclid draws council wards, which, the judge ruled, prevents black voters from forming a bloc. The system was drawn up in the ‘50s, when Euclid was whiter than a Mississippi tractor pull. Now the city is 30 percent black, yet not one African American has ever been elected to a public position. Out of the entire Euclid Police force, only one cop is black. Yet you can’t blame Euclid for putting up a fight. The city’s leaders spent more than half a million dollars in taxpayer money to defend the city from the government’s lawsuit, something they surely wouldn’t have done had they not thought they stood a chance of winning. Oh, wait, scratch that. They didn’t have a Slurpee's chance in Rachel Ray's kitchen. “This is not a case where it was a close call,” Judge O’Malley said after her decision. However, Councilman Ed Gudenas, who fought Mayor Bill Cervenik to challenge the Justice Department, still believes everything’s as peachy as it was in '56. “Most of us on council still believe that Euclid residents vote for the best candidate, regardless of age, religion, income or race,” he told the Plain Dealer. Officials swore they’ll be sure to have some a slew of black candidates on the ballot come November, as soon as they figure out a way to make high-school janitor an elected position. -- Jared Klaus

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation