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Northeast Ohio cities taken off France's most dangerous list

Three of Cleveland's inner-ring suburbs were among American cities listed by the French Ministry for travelers to avoid visiting

Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers
Courtesy of City of Lakewood
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In The Region:

City officials from Cleveland Heights, Euclid and Lakewood were shocked this week when they learned their cities were labeled as dangerous by the French Ministry’s travel bureau.

Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers said it’s ironic because crime in his city is decreasing. He said he was also surprised because the three cities have growing diverse populations.

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“One of the questions is how they might have singled out a place like Lakewood, Cleveland Heights or Euclid, and one thing that comes to mind is: We are all increasingly multicultural communities,” Summers said. “We happen to all consider that to be a strength. My guess is the French don’t.”

Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik invited the French Ministry to visit his city and see what it’s about.

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“We can have a little fun with it, we can all learn from it,” Cervenik said.
“I think what it ended up doing was causing a little more awareness as to how great the city of Euclid, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights are and what they mean to this whole region.”

Cervenik said he is proud of the people from Cleveland and the surrounding communities for sticking up for the cities and expressing how great they are.

The French Ministry has now removed the three Cleveland suburbs from the list.

Listener Comments:

As a past resident of the very integrated city of Lakewood I have fond memories of how the contributions by the ethnic communities within the city made it an exciting place to live-the restaurants, the religious and non-religious festivities and holidays, etc. I have also lived in the Middle East for 25 years and saw how ethnic communities were unable to blend in with the country's natives. This, I feel, is the problem in France. France, being the conquerors of Algeria, have allowed the Algerians to enter France but not to assimilate. Hopefully the French Ministry's visit to Lakewood, Euclid and Cleveland Heights has impressed upon them the cultural value of acceptance.

Posted by: Ernest Conklin (San Diego) on November 16, 2013 11:11AM
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