Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cleveland — Epicenter of Sports, Battleground Politics, and more!

Today’s post is a mixed bag. We begin with a nod to one of the most memorable days in local sports history, one that likely eclipsed the wildest dreams of the powers that be when they snookered county voters into passing what may prove to be an eternal sin tax to build the Gateway sports complex with the lie about 28,000 new jobs. We also talk a little politics and note some upcoming events. Finally, we highlight a pair of short videos made from different vantages but that are distinctly yoked.

We wrote yesterday about the emotional resonance of sports in American life, and how it grabs hold of youngsters with a strong primacy effect. Ok, that’s not necessarily what we were thinking when we wrote it, but, to quote Frank Jackson, the man who may soon announce his intent to become the longest-serving mayor in Cleveland history, “It is what it is.”

What it was undoubtedly was a pretty special day to be a Cleveland fan. The Cavaliers hoisted their first-ever NBA Championship banner to the rafters at Quicken Loans Arena at the first game of the 2016-17 season. 

2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers
Championship Ring
Just a short dash across Gateway Plaza, the Indians were getting off to a fast start both on the mound and at bat to grab the opening game of the World Series. Both home teams finished with impressive victories that augur well for continued success.

In a break from their regular beat, the noted political data analysts over at Five Thirty Eight took a look at how last night’s results shifted the World Series odds for the Cubs and Indians. Have a look here.

Cuyahoga County is epicenter for politics as well as sports these days

Moses Boyd started Show Your Power
to help drive voter turnout nationwide
Our Vote Matters! bus stopped at
Cleveland Urban League last Friday
Slow growth in our region and state compared to the rest of the country means that we are gradually ceding our importance as a battleground. But that’s not happening just yet. Both presidential candidates were here in person last week and Hillary’s campaign in particular is working overtime to get out the vote in these parts. A big Democratic margin in Cuyahoga County can overcome a Republican advantage downstate. This is why the Urban League’s national president, Marc Morial spent last weekend here as part of a well-coordinated GOTV drive in northeast Ohio. I was delighted to see at the kick-off press conference last Friday morning the presence of a strong coalition of unsung African Americans leaders funding a significant GOTV effort at their own expense. The Our Vote Matters coalition was all over Northeast Ohio via custom bus to awaken citizens and spur them to the polls. I saw their bus both downtown in the morning and later in the day in University Circle.

Chelsea Clinton returns to the Cleveland area once again to campaign for her mother. She is scheduled to appear at the Solon Community Center, 35000 Portz Pkwy Solon, OH 44139 for a 3:30p event after earlier stops in Cincinnati and Columbus. Tomorrow, Hillary’s running mate, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine will appear at 12:15 pm at Lorain High School in Lorain, joined by Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken.
To punctuate this effort, Jay-Z will be performing at a free concert on Friday, Nov. 4 to rally support for the Clinton-Kaine ticket. Details, including time and place, have not yet been announced but those wishing free tickets may sign up here.

A World Series Game Seven is scheduled for Cleveland on Nov. 2, so if the series goes that far, hopefully things will get crazy around here with a victory party that would likely dwarf the 1.3 million fans who showed up following the Cavs’ NBA championship.

Cleveland Calendar: Area fundraisers on the horizon

But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves, besides being someone’s job to worry about. And of course, the Cavs’ celebration is not really over, especially if you ask local DJ Steph Floss of WENZ/107.9, who serves as the team’s official DJ. Floss, who has garnered acclaim as Cleveland’s Best Club DJ, started a foundation in 2014 to encourage better health and financial literacy for area citizens. To aid in bringing awareness and raising money to support these initiatives, the Steph Floss Foundation is presenting a host of activities starting tomorrow and running through the weekend.

This year's second DJ Steph Floss Weekend [Oct. 27-30] includes nightly parties hosted by celebrity DJs, a surprise assembly with performances to reward a high school for their scholastic achievements, a paint & sip led by a celebrity artist, a ‘Run With the Winners’ 5K run that includes prizes, a renown card game show, a bowling tournament, and more. Full event details including info on weekend passes can be found here. Proceeds go to the Steph Floss Foundation to fund its initiatives.  Element13 LLC Marketing and Management is coordinating activities for the weekend.

Less limber or adventurous folk may wish to attend tomorrow’s 14th annual Famicos Foundation fundraiser, “Growing Glenville: The Homecoming”. the 14th Annual Fundraising, which starts at 4:30pm at MOCA Cleveland, 11400 Euclid Ave. Famicos, the community development corporation for the Glenville neighborhood, has recently completed a master plan for neighborhood revitalization that secured input from more than 500 residents. Tomorrow’s event will highlight some of the plan’s initiatives. Call Amy Eiben at 216.791.6476 ext. 249 for more information.

The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation will take place Saturday, November 5 at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive in Mayfield Hts., where Dr. Alex Johnson, president of Cuyahoga Community College, will be honored as Black Professional of the Year. For more information, call Marcella Brown at 216.229.7110 or visit

Last on this post’s calendar but certainly not least, The Association for the African American Cultural Gardens hosts its second annual fundraising dinner on Nov. 19 at the Tudor Arms Doubletree Hotel, 10660 Carnegie Ave. The event will feature dinner, dancing, live entertainment and a silent auction. The Association has done yeoman’s work in supporting the establishment of the long-overdue African American Cultural Garden. Phase One is now complete. Funds raised at this event will be used to support Phase Two. For more information, call AAACG at 216.509.6427 or write

We promised you two videos; we are giving you three.

Intriguingly, they are all related to civic involvement. For us they illustrate [1] what we are up against here in Cleveland, [2] what we can and should do about it as a minimum, and [3] the utter instability and hypocrisy of a certain candidate in his own words, recorded and preserved before the decision to run for public office was made.

Our longtime good friend Leon Bibb of WEWS/TV5 sent us the first after he read this post on Glenville, and contains scenes many of you will recognize. Our new good friend, Cat Gund of Aubin Pictures, shared the second video, which is part of a larger project, and features local Clevelanders familiar to many. And the third video, well, let’s just say it needs no introduction. 

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Yesterday, some of our emails contained a link gone awry due to an editing error. {Does that sound a poltician's apology? How's this? I screwed up.] This is the correct link.

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