I believe Cleveland is a city working hard to rebuild itself.
In July, the Republican National Convention will gavel itself to order in Cleveland, not because it wants to give this Great Lakes city a break and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, but because the GOP sees a strength in Cleveland.
Cleveland has been through a period of several decades of ups and downs and back ups again. This latest resurgence is testimony to the public-private partnership of a city where generations ago one of every six millionaires in the world lived. That, in itself, is a startling fact, but at the turn of the 20th Century, many industrial giants made this Ohio city poised on Lake Erie their home.
When the Republican National Convention brings its delegates, political power brokers, and others to Cleveland as the party officially selects its nominee for the presidency of the United States, much of the world will watch. That is because many thousand in the world's news media will be here to record the ins and outs of American and Republican politics.
If Cleveland could not handle this convention and provide the kinds of facilities, hotels, restaurants, transportation, and other items needed for such a gathering, the party would not have chosen Cleveland.
As a news reporter, I have covered the good and bad of Cleveland for more than 35 years. As well, I am a product of the city,having grown up here and attended the city's school system. I have witnessed the ins and outs of political fighting, crime, and all the other aspects of any major American city. As well, I have witnessed the last two dozen years as Cleveland has roared back from the brink of a cliff.
The city is far from perfect, but it is climbing. As the Republican National Convention. It would not come here if it thought there was nothing in this city from which it could benefit. Cleveland is on the upswing. It is not utopia and will never be that. But it is a far cry from what it was when it was deeply troubled.
Cleveland is moving in the right direction.