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OLBC celebrates the start of Black History Month

February 1, 2022
Juanita O. Brent News

COLUMBUS– Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President Rep. Thomas E. West and OLBC First Vice President Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) today released the following statements on the first day of Black History Month:

“Black history is Ohio’s history. This month and year-round, we reflect on our past and celebrate the vibrant contributions Black Ohioans have made to our state’s history and culture,” said President West. “Black History Month also serves as a call to address Black health and wellness for our nearly 1.5 million constituents. From reducing racial health disparities, to equitably expanding economic opportunity, to tackling systemic racism in our criminal justice and law enforcement institutions, we are working every day to keep Ohio’s promise of better lives and brighter futures for Black Ohioans.”

“This Black History Month, let’s remember that racism is an infectious plague that continues to infect our country with inequalities towards African Americans every day. African American history is being targeted for removal from our education systems and replaced with fairy tales so those who whitewash history can sleep comfy at night. Let this Black History Month be a reality check that our country still has not made enough progress to destroy the infectious plague we call racism,” said Vice President Brent. 

Black History Month commemorates the accomplishments of Black history makers who have set a foundation in the past and are paving the way for the future. OLBC members have worked tirelessly to enrich and improve African American communities across Ohio through their legislative priorities, including the following bills:

·         HB 8 (Rep. West): Requires the recording of most custodial interrogations & will reduce the risk of forced confessions/wrongful. Signed into law May 2021;

·         HB 3 (Rep. Boyd): Aisha’s Law, which would provide added protection for domestic violence survivors;

·         SB 227 (Senator Williams): Establish a committee to study public assistance benefits cliffs in Ohio;

·         SB 67 (Senator Williams): Establish a committee to study the progress and challenges African Americans face in Ohio;

·         HB 511 (Rep. Humphrey): Provide a concrete opportunity for victims and other interested parties to request a transcription of any recorded Parole Board hearing as an opportunity to increase transparency and confidence in the decision-making process;

·         SB 48 (Senator Maharath): Require certain health care professionals to complete instruction in cultural competency;

·         SB 125 (Senator Maharath): Require hospitals and other birthing facilities to offer employees training on maternal health and pregnancy-related complications in order to improve standards of care and save lives;

·         HB 79 (Rep Boyd): Create refundable tax credit for caregiver expenses;

·         HB 491 (Rep. Boyd): Establish a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program;

·         HB 162 (Rep. Galonski): Remove derogatory disability terminology from the Revised Code;

·         HB 224 (Rep. Galonski): Create the Ohio Asian-American and Pacific Islander Affairs Commission;

·         HB 34 (Rep Ingram): Require public and chartered nonpublic schools to transmit a transferred student’s records upon the request of the district or school that the student is currently attending;

·         HB 148 (Rep. Brent): Designate Congressman John Lewis Voter Registration Day.