Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (100 km) west of the Pennsylvania border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and became a manufacturing center owing to its location at the head of numerous canals and railroad lines. With the decline of heavy manufacturing, Cleveland's businesses have diversified into the service economy, including the financial services, insurance, and healthcare sectors, though the city's population has continued to decline. Cleveland is also noted for its association with rock music; the city is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As of the 2000 Census, the city proper had a total population of 478,403, and was then the 33rd largest city in the nation, (now estimated as the 40th largest due to declines in population) and the second largest city in Ohio. It is the center of Greater Cleveland, the largest metropolitan area in Ohio, which spans several counties and is defined in several different ways by the Census Bureau. The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor Metropolitan Statistical Area which in 2000 ranked as the 23rd largest in the United States with 2,250,871 people. Cleveland is also part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area, which in 2000 had a population of 2,945,831, and ranked as the country's 14th largest.
In studies conducted by The Economist in 2005, Cleveland and Pittsburgh were ranked as the most livable cities in the United States, and the city was ranked as the best city for business meetings in the continental U.S. The city faces continuing challenges, in particular from concentrated poverty in some neighborhoods and difficulties in the funding and delivery of high-quality public education.
Residents of Cleveland are usually referred to as "Clevelanders". Nicknames used for the city include "The Forest City," "The Cleve," "The Land," "Metropolis of the Western Reserve, "The New American City", "America's North Coast", "Sixth City", "Rock 'n' Roll Capital of the World" (because of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), and "C-Town".
In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved providential. The area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836.
In 1836, the city, then located only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two. Ohio City remained an independent municipality until it was annexed by Cleveland in 1854. The site flourished as a halfway point for iron ore from Minnesota shipped across the Great Lakes and other raw materials (coal) carried by rail from the south. Cleveland emerged as a major American manufacturing center, home to numerous major steel producers, as well as a number of carmakers, including gasoline cars Peerless, People's, Jordan, Winton (first car driven across the U.S.), steam car builders White and Gaeth, and electric car company Baker. By 1920, Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller had made his fortune and Cleveland had become the fifth largest city in the country. The city was a center for the national progressive movement, headed locally by Mayor Tom L. Johnson. Many Clevelanders of this era are buried in the historic Lake View Cemetery, along with James A. Garfield, the twentieth U.S. President.
In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June 1936 along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown. Conceived as a way to energize a city hit hard by the Great Depression, it drew 4 million visitors in its first season, and 7 million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937. The exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others.
Immediately after World War II, the city experienced a brief boom. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series and the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s. Businesses proclaimed that Cleveland was the "best location in the nation". The city's population reached its peak of 914,808, and in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. By the 1960s, however, heavy industries began to slump, and residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of white flight and urban sprawl. Like other major American cities, Cleveland also began witnessing racial unrest, culminating in the Hough Riots from July 18, 1966 – July 23, 1966 and the Glenville Shootout on July 23, 1968 – July 25, 1968. The city's nadir is often considered to be its default on its loans on December 15, 1978, when under Mayor Dennis Kucinich it became the first major American city to enter default since the Great Depression. National media began referring to Cleveland as "the mistake on the lake" around this time, in reference to the city's financial difficulties, a notorious 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River (where industrial waste on the river's surface caught on fire), and its struggling professional sports teams. The city has worked to shed this nickname ever since, though in recent times the national media have been much kinder to the city, using it as an exemplar for public-private partnerships, downtown revitalization, and urban renaissance.
The metropolitan area began recovery thereafter under Mayors George Voinovich and Michael R. White. Redevelopment within the city limits has been strongest in the downtown area near the Gateway complex—consisting of Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, and near North Coast Harbor—including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the Great Lakes Science Center. Although Cleveland was hailed by the media as the "Comeback City, many of the inner-city residential neighborhoods remain troubled, and the public school system continues to experience serious problems. Economic development, retention of young professionals, and capitalizing upon its waterfront are current municipal priorities. In 1999, Cleveland was identified as an emerging global city.
Violent crime from 2005 to 2006 was mostly unchanged nationwide, but increased more than 10% in Cleveland. The murder rate dropped 30% in Cleveland, but was still far above the national average. Property crime from 2005 to 2006 was virtually unchanged across the country and in Cleveland, with larceny-theft down by 7% but burglaries were up almost 14%.
Cleveland is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 82.4 square miles (213.5 km²), of which, 77.6 square miles (201.0 km²) is land and 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²) is water. The total area is 5.87% water.
The shore of Lake Erie is 569 feet (173 m) above sea level; however, the city lies on a series of irregular bluffs lying roughly parallel to the lake. In Cleveland these bluffs are cut principally by the Cuyahoga River, Big Creek, and Euclid Creek. The land rises quickly from the lakeshore. Public Square, less than a mile (2 km) inland, sits at an elevation of 650 feet (198 m), and Hopkins Airport, only five miles (8 km) inland from the lake, is at an elevation of 791 feet (241 m).
The all-time record high in Cleveland of 104 °F (40 °C) was established on June 25, 1988, and the all-time record low of −20 °F (−29 °C) was set on January 19, 1994. On average, July is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 71.9 °F (22.2 °C), and January, with a mean temperature of 25.7 °F (−3.5 °C), is the coldest. Normal yearly precipitation based on the 30-year average from 1971 to 2000 is 38.7 inches (930 mm).
Cleveland's downtown architecture is diverse. Many of the city's government and civic buildings, including City Hall, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the Cleveland Public Library, and Public Auditorium, are clustered around an open mall and share a common neoclassical architecture. Built in the early 20th century, they are the result of the 1903 Group Plan, and constitute one of the most complete examples of City Beautiful design in the United States. The Terminal Tower, dedicated in 1930, was the tallest building in the United States between New York City and Chicago until 1967 and the tallest in the city until 1991. It is a prototypical Beaux-Arts skyscraper. The two newer skyscrapers on Public Square, Key Tower (currently the tallest building in Ohio) and the BP Building, combine elements of Art Deco architecture with postmodern designs. Another of Cleveland's architectural treasures is The Arcade (sometimes called the Old Arcade), a five-story arcade built in 1890 and renovated in 2001 as a Hyatt Regency Hotel. Cleveland's landmark ecclesiastical architecture includes the historic Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland and the onion domed St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tremont.
Running east from Public Square through University Circle is Euclid Avenue, which was known for its prestige and elegance. In the late 1880s, writer Bayard Taylor described it as "the most beautiful street in the world. Known as "Millionaire's Row", Euclid Avenue was world-renowned as the home of such internationally-known names as Rockefeller, Hanna, and Hay.
Cleveland is home to four parks in the countywide Cleveland Metroparks system, the "Emerald Necklace" of Olmsted-inspired parks that encircles the region. In the Big Creek valley sits the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which contains the largest collection of primates of any zoo in the United States. The other three parks are Brookside Park and parts of the Rocky River and Washington Reservations. Apart from the Metroparks is Cleveland Lakefront State Park, which provides public access to Lake Erie. Among its six parks are Edgewater Park, located between the Shoreway and Lake Erie just west of downtown, and Euclid Beach Park and Gordon Park on the east side. The City of Cleveland's Rockefeller Park, with its many Cultural Gardens honoring the city's ethnic groups, follows Doan Brook across the city's east side.
Cleveland residents often define themselves in terms of whether they live on the east side or the west side of the Cuyahoga River. The east side comprises the following neighborhoods: Buckeye-Shaker Square, Central, Collinwood, Corlett, Euclid-Green, Fairfax, Forest Hills, Glenville, Payne/Goodrich-Kirtland Park, Hough, Kinsman, Lee Harvard/Seville-Miles, Mount Pleasant, Nottingham, St. Clair-Superior, Union-Miles Park, University Circle, Little Italy, and Woodland Hills. The west side of the city includes the following neighborhoods: Brooklyn Centre, Clark-Fulton, Detroit-Shoreway, Cudell, Edgewater, Ohio City, Old Brooklyn, Stockyards, West Boulevard, and the four neighborhoods colloquially known as West Park: Kamm's Corners, Jefferson, Puritas-Longmead, and Riverside. Three neighborhoods in the Cuyahoga Valley are sometimes referred to as the south side: Industrial Valley/Duck Island, Slavic Village (North and South Broadway), and Tremont.
Several inner-city neighborhoods have begun to gentrify in recent years. Areas on both the west side (Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit-Shoreway, and Edgewater) and the east side (Collinwood, Hough, Fairfax, and Little Italy) have been successful in attracting increasing numbers of creative class members, which in turn is spurring new residential development. Furthermore, a live-work zoning overlay for the city's near east side has facilitated the transformation of old industrial buildings into loft spaces for artists.
Cleveland is also home to the Cleveland Orchestra, widely considered one of the finest orchestras in the world, and often referred to as the finest in the United States. It is one of the "Big Five" major orchestras in the United States. The Orchestra plays in Severance Hall during the winter and at Blossom Music Center during the summer.
There are two main art museums in Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a major American art museum, with a collection that includes more than 40,000 works of art ranging over 6,000 years, from ancient masterpieces to contemporary pieces. Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland showcases established and emerging artists, particularly from the Cleveland area, through hosting and producing temporary exhibitions.
Because of its architecture, its proximity and its ease of access, locations in Cleveland are often used by filmmakers as a stand-in for other places. For example, a complex battle scene that was set in New York City in Spider-Man 3 was filmed in Cleveland in April 2006. Also, many of the external shots for the widely beloved holiday film A Christmas Story (1983), which was set in a small town in Indiana, were filmed in Cleveland.
On November 11, 2007, Cleveland chef Michael Symon helped brighten the spotlight on Cleveland's culinary scene when he was named "The Next Iron Chef" on the Food Network reality TV show by the same name. Anthony Bourdain highlighted the city's food scene on a 2007 episode of his Travel Channel show "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations".
Five miles (8 km) east of downtown Cleveland is University Circle, a concentration of cultural, educational, and medical institutions, including the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Severance Hall, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Western Reserve Historical Society. Cleveland is also home to the I. M. Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the Lake Erie waterfront at North Coast Harbor downtown. Neighboring attractions include Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Steamship Mather Museum, and the USS Cod, a World War II submarine.
Cleveland is home to many festivals throughout the year. Cultural festivals such as the annual Feast of the Assumption in the Little Italy neighborhood, the Greek Orthodox Festival in the Tremont neighborhood, and the Harvest Festival in the Slavic Village neighborhood are popular events. Vendors at the West Side Market in Ohio City offer many different ethnic foods for sale. Cleveland hosts an annual parade on Saint Patrick's Day that brings hundreds of thousands to the streets of downtown.
Fashion Week Cleveland, the city's annual fashion event, is one of the few internationally-recognized fashion industry happenings in North America. The show is considered by many to be the best in the Midwest—perhaps second only to New York for fashion weeks in the US.
In addition to the cultural festivals, Cleveland hosted the CMJ Rock Hall Music Fest, which featured national and local acts, including both established artists and up-and-coming acts, but the festival was discontinued in 2007 due to financial and manpower costs to the Rock Hall. The annual Ingenuity Festival and Notacon conference focus on the combination of art and technology. The Cleveland International Film Festival has been held annually since 1977, and its eleven day run drew a record 52,753 people in 2007. Cleveland also hosts an annual holiday display lighting and celebration, dubbed Winterfest, which is held downtown at the city's historic hub, Public Square.
The Cleveland Browns dominated the NFL from 1950 to 1955. The city's franchise is one of the most storied in football, though it last won an NFL championship in 1964 and has never appeared in the Super Bowl.
Cleveland's professional sports teams include the Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball), Cleveland Browns (National Football League), Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association), Cleveland City Stars (United Soccer Leagues), Lake Erie Monsters (American Hockey League), and the Cleveland Gladiators (Arena Football League). Annual sporting events held in Cleveland include the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland, the Cleveland Marathon, the Mid-American Conference college basketball tournament and the Ohio Classic college football game. The city hosted the Gravity Games, an extreme sports series, from 2002 to 2004, and the Dew Action Sports Tour Right Guard Open in 2007. Local sporting facilities include Progressive Field, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Quicken Loans Arena, and the CSU Wolstein Center.
The Cleveland Indians last reached the World Series in 1997, losing to the Florida Marlins, and have not won the series since 1948. Between 1995 and 2001, Jacobs Field sold out 455 consecutive games and held a Major League Baseball record until it was broken in 2008. The Cleveland Cavaliers are experiencing a renaissance with Cleveland fans due to LeBron James, a native of nearby Akron and the number one overall draft pick of 2003. The Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference in 2007, but were defeated in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs. The city's recent lack of success in sports has earned it a reputation of being a cursed sports city, which ESPN validated by proclaiming Cleveland as its "most tortured sports city" in 2004.
The tradition of professional hockey in Cleveland started with the original Cleveland Barons in 1937. Cleveland fielded an NHL team, also called the Cleveland Barons, from 1976 to 1978, which was later merged into the Minnesota North Stars. Cleveland's current hockey team is the minor-league Lake Erie Monsters, which began play in 2007. The city has had other major and minor-league hockey teams in the past including the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League and the Cleveland Crusaders of the WHA. Cleveland was also home to the Cleveland Rockers, one of the original eight teams in the WNBA in 1997. However, in 2003, the team folded after owner Gordon Gund dropped the team from operation.
In 2005, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced that Cleveland was one of several top areas in contention for an expansion team in 2007. Delays in securing a soccer-only stadium have now prevented any such team from beginning play until the 2009 season, but the Cleveland area is still a contender for expansion. The city's current soccer team, the Cleveland City Stars, play in the USL Second Division.
Cleveland also fielded two indoor soccer teams, the original Cleveland Force of the NPSL . This team folded in 1988. They were replaced by the Cleveland Crunch of the MISL, but the team ceased operations in 2005 after having won three league championships in the 90s.
Cleveland, combined with nearby Akron, was ranked in 2006–2007 as the 17th largest television market by Nielsen Media Research. The market is served by stations affiliated with major American networks including: WKYC-TV (channel 3, NBC), WEWS (channel 5, ABC), WJW-TV (channel 8, Fox), WOIO (channel 19, CBS), WUAB (channel 43, MNTV), and WBNX (channel 55, The CW). Cleveland is also served by WVPX (channel 23, ION) and Spanish-language channel WQHS-TV (channel 61, Univision). WVIZ (channel 25) and WEAO (channel 49) are members of PBS. A Cleveland first in television was The Morning Exchange program on WEWS, which defined the morning show format, and served as the inspiration for Good Morning America.
Cleveland's location on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie has been key to its growth. The Ohio and Erie Canal coupled with rail links helped establish the city as a major American manufacturing center. Steel and many other manufactured goods emerged as its industries.
The city has sought to diversify its economy to become less dependent on its struggling manufacturing sector. Cleveland is the corporate headquarters of many large companies such as Eaton Corporation, National City Corporation, American Greetings, Forest City Enterprises, Sherwin-Williams Company, KeyCorp, Parker-Hannifin Corporation, Progressive Auto Insurance, TravelCenters of America, and Aleris International. NASA maintains a facility in Cleveland, the Glenn Research Center. Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the world, traces its origins to Cleveland, and its Cleveland office remains the firm's largest.
However, in recent years, the Cleveland area has lost nearly a dozen corporate headquarters, including TRW, Office Max, BP, and Oglebay Norton, most through acquisitions or mergers. In 2005, Duke Realty Corp., one of the area's largest landlords, announced it was selling all of its property in the Cleveland area because of the stagnation of the market; however, the company continues to maintain a large office building portfolio in the southern suburbs. The commercial real estate market rebounded in 2007 as office properties were purchased at a record pace. From the beginning of July to the end of September, 2007, there was one residential foreclosure for every fifty-seven homes in the metropolitan area, and ten percent of the city's homes are now vacant, due in part to the rise in foreclosure filings.
Cleveland's largest employer, the Cleveland Clinic, ranks among America's best hospitals as tabulated by U.S. News & World Report. Cleveland's healthcare industry includes University Hospitals of Cleveland, a noted competitor which ranked twenty-fifth in cancer care, and MetroHealth medical center.
Cleveland is an emerging area for biotechnology and fuel cell research, led by Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Cleveland is among the top recipients of investment for biotech start-ups and research. Case Western Reserve, the Clinic, and University Hospitals have recently announced plans to build a large biotechnology research center and incubator on the site of the former Mt. Sinai Medical Center, creating a research campus to stimulate biotech startup companies that can be spun off from research conducted in the city.
City leaders stepped up efforts to cultivate a technology sector in its economy in the early 2000s. Former Mayor Jane L. Campbell appointed a "tech czar" whose job is to actively recruit tech companies to the downtown office market, offering connections to the high-speed fiber networks that run underneath downtown streets in several "high-tech offices" focused on the Euclid Avenue area. Cleveland State University hired a Technology Transfer Officer to work full time on cultivating technology transfers from CSU research to marketable ideas and companies in the Cleveland area, and appointed a Vice President for Economic Development to leverage the university's assets in expanding the city's economy. Case Western Reserve University participates in technology initiatives such as the OneCommunity project a high-speed fiber optic network linking the area's major research centers intended to stimulate growth. OneCommunity's work attracted the attention of Intel and in mid-2005, Cleveland was named an Intel "Worldwide Digital Community" along with Corpus Christi, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Taipei, Taiwan. This distinction added about $12 million for marketing to expand regional technology partnerships, create a city-wide WiFi network, and develop a tech economy. In addition to this Intel initiative, in January 2006 a New York-based think tank, the Intelligent Community Forum, selected Cleveland as the sole American city among its seven finalists for the "Intelligent Community of the Year" award. The group announced that it nominated the city for its OneCommunity network with potential broadband applications. The OneCommunity Network is collaborating with Cisco Systems to deploy a cutting-edge wireless network that could provide widespread access to the region. Cisco is testing new technologies in wireless "mesh" networking. OneCommunity and Cisco officially launched the first phase in September 2006, blanketing several square miles of University Circle with wireless connectivity. Additionally, Cisco Systems acquired the former Aironet Wireless Networks, which was based in the Greater Cleveland area, to form its wireless networking product lineup and maintain a facility in the region.
There were 190,638 households out of which 29.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.5% were married couples living together, 24.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.3% were nonfamilies. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.19. The population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,928, and the median income for a family was $30,286. Males had a median income of $30,610 versus $24,214 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,291. 26.3% of the population and 22.9% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 37.6% of those under the age of 18 and 16.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Cleveland was hit hard in the 1960s and early 1970s by white flight and suburbanization. While the city's total population declined, Cleveland Public Schools' enrollment had increased: 99,686 in 1950, and 134,765 in 1960, and 148,793 in 1963.. Cleveland Public Schools financially struggled with a growing student population, and a declining tax base due to regional industrial decline and depopulation of the metropolitan and urban areas in favor of the suburbs. After World War II, middle-class jobs and families migrated to the suburbs leaving behind predominantly low-income student enrollment in the Cleveland Public School system. On December 12, 1973, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Cleveland Chapter filed suit, Reed vs. Rhodes, against the Cleveland Board of Education in Cleveland's United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to racially integrate Cleveland Public Schools, claiming that the public schools were at least partly at fault for Cleveland's housing segregation into ethnic neighborhoods. Between August 31, 1976 and 1984, Chief United States District Judge Frank J. Battisti issued over 4,000 court orders including implementation of forced-busing of Cleveland Public Schools, the case was appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which by 23 Aug. 1979 upheld Battisti's earlier orders, and was later upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court of the United States. From 1970 to 1980, Cleveland experienced a 24% decline in population (from 751 thousand to 574 thousand),, which was part of a longer-term on-going trend from 1950 to 2000. Demographia estimates that Cleveland's 1980 population would have been 5% higher (606 thousand) without mandatory busing. Mandatory busing was one of several factors which sped up the migration from out of Cleveland by those who could afford to. The administrative and operational expense of complying with mandatory busing and other federal court orders caused a dramatic increase in overhead expenditures per student, while declining tax revenues resulted in lower expenditures on actually educating public school students. In 1996, Martin Hoke, Cleveland's 10th. District United States House Representative was quoted: "Children are now bused from a predominantly black school on the east side of town to a predominantly black school on the west side of town. More than half a billion dollars has been spent on desegregation activities since 1978-money that could have been used to buy textbooks, upgrade science laboratories or purchase new computers. When kids attend schools miles away from their homes, what working parent is able to attend sporting events, parent-teacher conferences, and home-room parties? Busing has contributed significantly to the decline of our urban centers. The combination of many factors resulted in declining enrollments. Before mandatory busing, in 1976, minority enrollment in Cleveland Public Schools was 58%, by 1994 it was 71%. By 1996, Cleveland Public Schools total enrollment was half of what it was pre-mandatory busing. In 1991, Ohio had a new proficiency test for 9th. grade students which the majority of Cleveland Public Schools students did not pass. By 1994, almost 50% of the system's students were failing to graduate from high school, and many graduates who did not qualify for entry-level jobs, with many employers increasingly requiring secondary or post-secondary degrees due to more information technology-related jobs and other changes in the overall economy. In March 1994, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Cleveland Chapter, Reed vs. Rhodes plaintiff, challenged the fairness of the Ohio 9th. grade proficiency test as an Ohio secondary school graduation requirement for African-American students; the subsequent federal court settlement agreement(s) left the 9th. grade secondary school graduation requirement intact and unchanged in 1994 and subsequently. Prior to mandatory busing, Cleveland Public Schools graduation rate was 75 percent, by 1996 it had dropped to 26.6 percent Although mandatory busing ended in the 1990s, Cleveland continued to slide into poverty, reaching a nadir in 2004 when it was named the poorest major city in the United States. Cleveland was again rated the poorest major city in the U.S. in 2006, with a poverty rate of 32.4%.
Cleveland's position as a center of manufacturing established it as a hotbed of union activity early in its history. This contributed to a political progressivism that has influenced Cleveland politics to the present. While other parts of Ohio, particularly Cincinnati and the southern portion of the state, have historically supported the Republican Party, Cleveland commonly breeds the strongest support in the state for the Democrats; Cleveland's representative in the House of Representatives is a Democrat: Dennis Kucinich, who represents the 10th District of Ohio, which includes most of western Cleveland. Democrat Stephanie Tubbs Jones represented the 11th District of Ohio, which encompasses most of downtown and eastern Cleveland, until her death in 2008 (The seat is currently vacant). During the 2004 Presidential election, although George W. Bush carried Ohio, John Kerry carried Cuyahoga County, which gave him the strongest support in the state.
The city of Cleveland operates on the mayor-council (strong mayor) form of government. The mayor is the chief executive of the city, and the office is held in 2008 by Frank G. Jackson. Previous mayors of Cleveland include progressive Democrat Tom L. Johnson, United States Supreme Court Justice Harold Hitz Burton, Republican Senator George V. Voinovich, two-time Democratic Ohio Governor and Senator Frank J. Lausche, and Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major American city.
Cleveland is home to a number of colleges and universities. Most prominent among these is Case Western Reserve University, a world-renowned research and teaching institution located in University Circle. A private university with several prominent graduate programs, Case was ranked 38th in the nation in 2007 by U.S. News & World Report. University Circle also contains Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. Cleveland State University (CSU), based in downtown Cleveland, is the city's public four-year university. In addition to CSU, downtown hosts the metropolitan campus of Cuyahoga Community College, the county's two-year higher education institution, as well as Myers University, a private four-year school that focuses on business education.
Ohio Technical College is based in Cleveland .
Cleveland hosts at least a couple inter-modal freight railroad terminals.
Akron Metro, Brunswick Transit Alternative, Laketran, Lorain County Transit, and Medina County Transit provide connecting bus service to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. Geauga County Transit and Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) also offer connecting bus service in their neighboring areas.
Cleveland is also served by two three-digit interstates,
Two other limited-access highways serve Cleveland.