EUCLID, Ohio—The U.S. Department of Justice has threatened to sue the city if officials don’t restructure the election process so black candidates have a better chance at holding public office.
The city is 30 percent black. However, no black person has been elected to any local seat.
At issue is the City Council voting system. Each of four wards elects a representative; four additional council members and the council president are elected citywide. In 2005, all five citywide office holders were from the same ward.
Kim, who heads up the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, suggests that black candidates would fare better if the city were split into eight wards, each electing its own council member.