ELECTIONS

Race-baiting Euclid residents scheme to stop Montgomery’s run for mayor

Majority black city has first real chance to elect a mayor who reflects the city's demographics and demand for police accountability

EUCLID, OH – College educator Richard Montgomery, Phd. had barely announced his plans to seek the city’s job as mayor when a group of residents who wanted to maintain the racial status quo joined a social media group’s conversation about splitting or “diverting” the black vote.  Their conversation was shared outside the group.  Euclid residents on both sides reacted angrily to the vote-splitting plan they were conceiving. 

A black participant was particularly scorned by other black residents for agreeing to help their vote-splitting scheme to create an “ebony and ivory” ticket with a “solid” candidate other than Montgomery.  A candidate for mayor demanding that police operate without the violence and racial profiling was deemed as “too black.”

Two of the Euclid social media group’s participants raised the “vote splitting” topic to diminish Dr. Richard Montgomery’s campaign for mayor.

The city of Euclid since the eastern European ethnics who reside there stripped White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASP) of political power in the 1960’s and 70’s has been a center of racial political strife in Cuyahoga County. 

Today the population of Euclid is over 55 percent black.  The 2020 U.S. Census is expected to see a black population of closer to 60 percent.

White ethnics are balkanized along the lines of their ancestry.  Most of the city’s white residents are German, Irish and Italian.  They’re followed by smaller groups of Czechs, Slovenians, Polish, Hungarians, Croatians and Serbians.   Politically, a unified black vote driven by a high turnout campaign would have seen blacks taking over the city’s political offices in the 1980’s and 90’s.

Euclid residents from eastern European nations like Hungary have for years adopted the mindset of their origins to keep the “Africans” out of their borders.

Like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban today complains about Africans immigrating to the nation’s borders, the Hungarians and other eastern Europeans of Euclid fought the growing presence of the city’s black residents like the WASP’s fought and tried to restrict their growth.  The Ku Klux Klan chapter in Youngstown had eastern Europeans in mind when they organized. 

Euclid city council even went as far in the 1970’s to purchase an entire apartment complex at E. 260th Street that was populated with African American and Russian immigrants.  They bought the property to demolish it. 

Montgomery told EJBNEWS during an interview how he saw some voters’ pre-occupation with the race of candidates instead of their qualifications as politically devastating for the city’s future.  

Montgomery said he’s not surprised by the reaction of the voters in the group. He sees among them the same type of divisive mindset that has stunted the city’s growth.    Development has been primarily along Lakeshore Boulevard near the Lake Erie shoreline instead of along Euclid Avenue where the majority of residents are African American.

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail’s mismanagement of the city’s police department has resulted in violence, deaths, racial profiling and expensive civil rights litigation that’s draining the city’s budget.

The city’s current mayor, Gail Kristen Holzheimer served on council but had no management background.  She’s a social worker.  He thinks Holzheimer’s lack of management experience has shown in how she handled controversies involving Euclid’s violent and constitutionally-abusive police.  Even now the city’s mayor and council are making the disastrous decision to turn its income tax collections over to the Regional Income Tax Authority. 

The same type of “RITA move” by East Cleveland’s recalled ex-mayor, Gary Norton, ended up costing the city its general fund.  City revenue and tax collections was cut in half from approximately $20 million in 2009 to approximately $10 million in 2019.  Montgomery said he thinks Euclid officials should slow down and study how a relationship with RITA has impacted tax collections in other cities.

Montgomery said he’s focusing on the “race” for mayor and not the race of the people he’s asking to elect him.    His concentration is on issues like RITA and how to build a free city hospital to care for Euclid’s residents.  He said safety is important but so are constitutionally-compliant police.  

Montgomery told EJBNEWS he has been pouring through the city’s records and governing documents to learn more of the details about about how the current mayor has managed the city.   He doesn’t trust the audit the city’s been getting from its paid private auditor and wants the “real” and elected state auditor to examine the books once he takes office.

The college educator said it’s his goal to hit the ground running.  He plans to be ahead instead of behind the learning curve for the job should he win in November. 

Euclid doesn’t have a mayoral primary.  It’s elections are “winner take all” in the general.

Eric Jonathan Brewer
Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more. Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings. As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national. Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year. Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar