The Observer makes no political endorsements

The Heights Observer is published by FutureHeights, a community-building organization with 501(c)3 status, which means that the IRS recognizes it as not-for-profit/tax-exempt. As such, neither FutureHeights nor the Observer are permitted to endorse any individuals running for public office.

I mention it now because, with municipal elections coming early next month, this is the time when many civic-minded people and groups choose to express their opinions about candidates. The Observer, in its role as a forum for sharing information about the community, welcomes the opportunity to publish those opinions.

But we want to emphasize that any opinions you may read in this newspaper or on its websites reflect the views of the individual authors, not the organization.

It is important to repeat this from time to time because two years ago—during an election in which many local offices were contested—the Observer screwed up. At the time, we published a letter from a local group, Step It Up, that made candidate endorsements. The problem was that a few of the people involved with Step It Up were also involved with FutureHeights and, by extension, the Observer.

In some circles—mainly among the candidates who were not endorsed—I’m told that the letter was perceived as an effort by FutureHeights to skirt the legal restriction on endorsements. That is not how we meant it. The letter was submitted to the Observer, where it was treated the same as any other—published on the opinion page over the names of its authors.

In retrospect, however, it should have received some special treatment to avoid giving the appearance that Observer and FutureHeights were choosing sides. We regretted that, and are trying to ensure that it will not happen again.

If you see any political endorsements or recommendations in the Observer between now and the election, they reflect only the opinions of the authors, not FutureHeights or the newspaper. Here is the Observer's only editorial position on the elections: We hope you will educate yourself about the candidates and issues, and then vote on Nov. 8.

To express your opinion privately, e-mail Bob Rosenbaum at To express your opinion as a letter to the editor, register at the newspaper's Member Center (, and click on "Submit New Story" to contribute your letter.

Bob Rosenbaum, chairman of the newspaper's editorial advisory committee and FUtureHeights board member, writes this column to provide transsparency and undestanding about the Observer. 

Bob Rosenbaum

Bob Rosenbaum is a Cleveland Heights resident and chairman of the FutureHeights Observer committee.

Read More on Opening the Observer
Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 10:53 PM, 09.26.2011