CLEVELAND (WJW) – The mayoral campaign of Dennis Kucinich said it has agreed to stop using the Cleveland script symbol in campaign materials after Destination Cleveland took issue with the campaign’s use of its trademarked logo.
Kucinich’s campaign announced in a press release last week that it sent a mailer to residents that included a doctored image of the Cleveland script logo depicting it covered in dripping blood and riddled with bullet holes.
“Script Cleveland is beautiful, but there’s a reality people live with in our city, which is a reality where they can’t even walk the streets without fear of being shot,” Kucinich said.
Kucinich said the image was meant to draw attention to crime issues in the city and his plan to hire 400 additional police officers and 100 crisis intervention specialists.
“We can’t put our hand in the sand about this, we can’t wish it away. We have to have a strong law enforcement police while at the same time a police department that respects civil rights. I think I can make that happen,” Kucinich said. “If we don’t address the crime issues that are going on, our city’s going to fall apart.”
Destination Cleveland has a trademark on the logo, which it introduced in 2014 and calls a cherished symbol of pride for the Cleveland community. Several Cleveland Script signs throughout the Cleveland area are popular attractions for tourists snapping photos in front of the city skyline.
The organization’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to the Kucinich campaign last week, demanding it stop using the trademark symbol that “constitutes infringement of DC’s intellectual property rights. The Committee’s depiction of the Mark is not protected under the First Amendment.”
Destination Cleveland said the campaign did not request licensing permission to use the symbol.
“While we respect the political process and candidates’ rights to express their views, we have asked the Committee to immediately halt further usage of the graphic,” Destination Cleveland President and CEO David Gilbert said in a statement provided to FOX 8 News.
While his campaign has agreed to stop using the image, Kucinich said he believes its use falls under free speech. He declined to say how many mailers were sent out.
“I want to make Cleveland a safe city, but we cannot pretend the level of violence people are experiencing does not exist,” Kucinich said.
He said his campaign will be issuing additional communications on crime issues in the coming days.