The Republican National Convention is set to begin in Cleveland, Ohio, next Monday. In expectation of massive protests, police have already begun ramping up their presence. This has included a campaign of knocking on the doors of known activists in the area and subjecting them to questioning. Ahead of the convention, we have conducted a series of interviews with Cleveland residents about their thoughts and expectations for the coming RNC.

 

Sarah Rodda
Photographer

How do you feel about the Republican National Convention coming to Cleveland?

The only positive thing about having the RNC in Cleveland is the money that will come into the city and the opportunity for Cleveland to be in the national spotlight.

How has this year’s political climate and the presidential campaign made you feel towards the Republican Party?

This political climate has never been seen before in U.S. history, which has definitely changed my views about the Republican Party, mainly because of the “ideas and values” that they stand for. They are the ones that would not create social and economic justice for everyone. It’s detrimental to the continuation of our society as its morals and views evolve; the social inequalities slip through cracks of the GOP platform. This party reinforces institutional racism for the betterment of the few. That is a platform that no one should stand for.

As a Clevelander, how has the city changed in preparation for the RNC?

The city of Cleveland has done a lot to revitalize Downtown Cleveland but it’s all to pander to the Republican Party. It doesn’t help the Cleveland economy in the long run by establishing businesses or jobs for the convention only to close up right afterwards. It’s a huge a misallocation of resources that will cause a great burden for Clevelanders.

In a city where 70% of the population consists of minorities, do you think Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the GOP’s platform belong in Cleveland?

Donald Trump’s rhetoric is a product of the institutionalized racism and social inequality, which is within America’s system. It really doesn’t belong anywhere in society. With his fear mongering messages he only reinforces stereotypes of minorities, which does not help support and strengthen beautiful cultures. His presence in Cleveland, if anything, is a proverbial “slap in the face” to those of different ethnicities. Donald Trump should not have access to a bully pulpit where he can spread his lack of au fait of people who actually represent Cleveland.  

Do you intend on protesting during the RNC?

No, I will be working, as I’m covering the RNC for a few publications.

Are you doing anything to prepare for possible turmoil or unrest during the convention?

Nope. I don’t think there will be much turmoil. If there is, all you can do is be prepared.

Who will you be voting for in November? How do you feel about that choice?

I’m still on the fence with voting in November, but I’m leaning toward yes, as I can’t stomach the idea of Trump being the next president.