If you go back through our history (and, if you've got the time, I'd encourage you to do that), you'll find a number of moments that truly stand out--moments when we make history, or moments that, when viewed through the lens of history, provide a sense of just how important The City Club is. There was the month in 1971, when Mayor Carl Stokes delivered his last City Club address while in office to be followed by a young city councilman delivering his first--Dennis Kucinich. Or the moment in March 2003 when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia refused to allow the recording of his complete remarks. We just logged another one in March of this year.
Kerry Kennedy came to the City Club to speak about human rights and the plight of refugees. Her appearance was inspired by CityMusic Cleveland, whose recent important work shed considerable light on refugees in our own community. Kennedy, if you don't know, is one the Robert F. Kennedy's daughters and has carried on his legacy through the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and her journey in that post (and with Amnesty International early on) was most of what she spoke of.
But here was the really cool part…
Asking the question is Rick Taft. His father was Seth Taft, a Republican who ran against and lost to Carl Stokes in the 1967 race for Mayor of Cleveland. Seth was a stand up civic leader, refusing to play the race card in a race where that would have been easy and expected. Rick's great grandfather was President William Howard Taft. So what we had was the great grandson of a U.S. President asking a question of the niece of another, a question, as it turns out, about her mother, John F. Kennedy's sister-in-law.
Like I said, only at the City Club.