Stock holiday lights

South Euclid bested 15 other communities Nov. 10 to win a professionally designed holiday lights display from FirstEnergy for its commitment to diversity and equity, city and corporate officials said.

FirstEnergy chose South Euclid as the first winner of its Light Up Holiday Smiles with FirstEnergy competition because of “its strong commitment to fair housing and anti-discrimination laws, commitment to diversity and efforts to promote racial equity and social justice,” a Nov. 10 news release said.

The holiday lights will be located at the park on the northwest corner of Mayfield and South Green roads. There will be a lighting ceremony from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 1. The lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m.

Steven E. Strah, FirstEnergy president and CEO said in the release, “FirstEnergy is honored to recognize the efforts underway in South Euclid to ensure a vibrant and strong community through the ‘Light Up Holiday Smiles’ program, which supports togetherness and joy during the holiday season.”

South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo said this commitment is a point of pride for the city.

“In South Euclid our diversity is our strength and we are proud to be inclusive and welcoming to all who choose to live in and visit our community,” she said in the release.

Keith Benjamin, the city’s director of community services, agreed.

“South Euclid is proudly diverse and progressive,” he said in the release. “Our slogan ‘come together & thrive’ is truly reflective of our diverse constituency and our commitment to racial and social justice. South Euclid has one of the strongest fair housing and anti-discrimination laws in Northeast Ohio, and we are one of only five communities in Cuyahoga County with source of income laws to protect homeowners and renters.”

According to the release, in 2018 South Euclid became the 10th city in Ohio to pass comprehensive non-discrimination laws that protect members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination based on housing, public accommodation and employment.

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