11th District: Republican Beverly Goldstein making ripples in first congressional race

By Genevieve Getsy

Beverly and Michael Goldstein on Sept. 4 at the Cleveland National Air Show

This election season is not only about the presidential candidates. There are numerous other election races, including the many for the House of Representatives. In District 11, which stretches from Cleveland to Akron, two candidates are running: the Democratic incumbent of the past eight years, Marcia Fudge, and her Republic challenger, Beverly A. Goldstein.

“Beverly Goldstein has been giving back to the Cleveland communities for decades. If you are in Ohio’s District 11, please consider voting for Beverly Goldstein. She is a refreshing ‘non-politician’ who is giving much of her energy, time and resources in her quest to represent the people of District 11 in Washington DC.!” says Olga Pouso Beirne, a realtor and technical translator from Hudson, Ohio, on the Goldstein campaign’s Facebook page. It is one of many tributes and messages from supporters.

During this election period Goldstein is calling herself the candidate to “care for people.” In our interview, Goldstein revealed that she has “been going into the city for the past 10 months and looking at the severity of the conditions of people, while we’re rehabbing the buildings and fixing the streets and making the transportation nice.”

Also over this time, she has sat down with many families in District 11, talking about their situations, their thoughts and their desires. Taking what the people have expressed to her, Goldstein is focusing on correcting the, at times, devastating difficulties faced by the residents of the inner-ring suburbs and inner-city neighborhoods in the district. According to Goldstein,

“You have two jobs when you go to Congress, representing 7,600 people, 32 cities and parts of two counties. You are going to Congress because your people have picked you as the one person to have their back in Washington. You need to make conditions for your people better.”

District 11 includes parts of the cities of Cleveland and Akron, plus 29 Northeast Ohio suburbs. Several of these areas have been affected by police violence, which has come to public attention in a series of controversial cases since 2012. When questioned about this issue Goldstein responded with a complex answer.

“It is complicated for four big reasons. One is, a very large percentage of black people really believe that the police categorically are out to kill black people. Number two, in the various police forces in each community, there may be still, or may have been in the past, some police officers who are very racially motivated people, which is an impediment to them doing their job fairly. Number three is that the police cannot walk around worrying about being accused of excessive force and being put on suspension. The police have to be as aggressive as necessary for the circumstance that they’re in, it’s called rules of engagement,” she explained.

“Our rules of engagement evidently are not clear enough. People who taunt and provoke the police are putting police officers in a situation where they have to figure out if it is a water gun—is it a toy gun? Is it a paint gun or is it a 38 and the person is going to kill me?

“People who are pretending to provoke the police need to understand that they are putting themselves in the view of the police as a dangerous person. No one knows you are kidding,” she said.

“A lot of these situations happen at night, so you see images of things, but you don’t really see what it is. Communities really need to get a real clear message that we support our police. They are what keeps the civil order in our society.”

Goldstein said she will confront these issues by drawing attention to the fact that “it will never be completely fixed, and that there are faults and accusations on both sides, and we must address them. Our citizens need protection, and the police have the responsibility to provide that protection. But our police cannot do their job properly without the cooperation and respect of the community.”

Goldstein explained, in the interview, what decisions led her to where she is today. She is a mother of three and said she understands the joy of having children and the struggles of raising a family. She also has more than 40 years of health care involvement in various situations, including teaching and mentoring at the clinics of Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University for 15 years, which she admitted was her favorite work.

She also started and directed a private audiology practice and went through the process of hiring qualified people to help provide audiology care. Her private practice goes beyond the office, she said, and includes hands-on assistance to families of children recently discovered to be experiencing hearing loss. Her practice also provides home-aid for elderly individuals with hearing difficulties and limited mobility.

Goldstein has been a resident of District 11 since 1971, she shared during a sit-down interview. She has seen what policies have worked and which ones have not accomplished what they promised or their desired outcome for the community. Goldstein reported that

“The poverty rate in Cleveland has increased dramatically since the 2000 census. So, Ms. Fudge became our congresswoman in 2008. The City of Cleveland’s child poverty rate for children aged (from) birth to 17 in 2000 was 38.97 percent. The estimates in 2012—which is four years after Ms. Fudge became our congresswoman—the poverty rate has risen to 50.81 percent. Ms. Fudge has been the congresswoman for 8 years, while the inside of the city is rotting away, people are struggling.”

Goldstein said she had “no choice” but to pull petitions and run against Fudge, who some say inherited the seat after Stephanie Tubbs Jones died—Fudge had been Tubbs Jones’ chief of staff. Since then, information on those running against Fudge has been sparse, which has helped Fudge to win reelection year after year.

Goldstein has run for public office once before. In 2012, she was a candidate for the Ohio State Board of Education, but lost that election.

She has also been active in party politics at the local and state levels. In 2010, she ran for the State Central Committee of the Republican Party in Ohio and lost. Since 2012, she has been the Beachwood Precinct D Leader and Beachwood City Leader for the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. In 2014, Goldstein was a Platform Committee member and co-author for the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County.

National security and international terrorism are topics of great interest to Goldstein. She said she became active on these issues after attending the 2005 Association of Former Intelligence Officers’ National Intelligence Symposium on Terrorism at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Mike, an AFIO member and 30-year intelligence community veteran. She began analyzing and communicating about national security, foreign policy and terrorism, in her blog as well as in speeches and programs she organized in the community and in schools.

Goldstein has won several awards in Ohio, including the Ohio Governor Voinovich Distinguished Service Award in 1990; the Attorney General Lee Fisher Certificate of Recognition in 1990; the Ohio House of Representatives Recognition Award in 1990; and the Ohio Senate Finest Citizen’s Award, in 1987 and 1990, according to her profile on VoteSmart.

Jobs are another key priority for Goldstein. When asked about the job situation in District 11, Goldstein responded, “Jobs create jobs.” There need to be more jobs in the cities, she said, for those who are not able to commute to a different location for financial reasons. This, she said, would be a quicker solution to fixing the unemployment problem.