New Leadership Reboots The Citizens League

July 13, 2010

Review the press release.

The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland

P.O. Box 14702

Cleveland, Ohio 44114



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Jay Carson

(216) 570-0256



New Leadership Revives Venerable Institution to Encourage Citizen Involvement and Support Efficiency, Integrity and Transparency in Local and County Government


A group of Cleveland area young professionals announced today that they have re-formed The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland.  The organization’s goal is to promote greater efficiency, transparency, and integrity in county government through public education initiatives and candidate evaluations and endorsements. 

Jay Carson, spokesman for the group explained: “The fact that the citizens of Cuyahoga County overwhelming demanded change last November and that hundreds of citizens have since then committed their time and skills to assisting with the transition is a testament to the frustration with how county government has operated and the desire to have a government that works efficiently, honestly, and openly.  The time is right to bring The Citizens League back.”

The original Citizens League, founded in 1886, was a non-partisan organization composed of concerned citizens. At the time of its founding, machine politics flourished and the culture was one of corruption, patronage, and bitter partisanship. The Citizens League reviewed and endorsed candidates and served as a clearinghouse for information on public policy issues until it disbanded several years ago. 


 “For nearly a century, The Citizens League served as both the civic conscience of the region and a source of new ideas on how to make government more efficient and accountable to its citizens,” Carson said.  “We chose to revive the old organization because we wanted to honor that legacy.”

The Citizens League’s first priority is to create a non-partisan system for evaluating candidates for the new county offices, similar to the Judge4Yourself program created by the Cleveland Municipal Bar Association and other bar and civic organizations.  “Judge4Yourself has done a great community service in improving the integrity of judicial races by helping to replace the political ‘name-game’ with objective evaluations of competence,” Carson said.  “We want to do the same thing for other county races.”

Future initiatives will involve creating proposals to make county public records easily available online, providing ethics training for elected and appointed officials, and reviewing how the new county government can achieve cost savings by eliminating redundancies and promoting regional cooperation. 

            Membership in The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland is open to anyone of voting age who supports the group’s non-partisan mission. Those interested can obtain a membership form by sending an e-mail to or by calling 216-533-8447. “Our goal is to take the energy we’ve seen from across the political spectrum and from all demographic groups, and to focus it on ensuring that our new county government is open, efficient, and honest, and that the best ideas for county government are heard.” Carson said. “We’d like people who share that goal to get involved.”

Members of The Citizen League’s inaugural Executive Committee include Mr. Carson, of Lakewood, Edward Blakemore of South Euclid, Andrew Cox of Old Brooklyn, James Dixon of Shaker Heights, and Angela Kazi of Avon Lake. 


# # #


If you would like more information please contact Jay Carson at (216) 570-0256 or e-mail The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland at