State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today released the following statement after being gaveled down and having her microphone cut* while giving an impassioned speech on the consequences Stand Your Ground legislation has had on minority communities:
“Black voices will not be silenced. We belong here and we deserve to be heard and have a seat at the table. Republicans have been unwilling to have an honest conversation about race and the disproportionate affects their extreme policies have had on minority communities across Ohio, and sadly, we saw that playout firsthand in the ‘People’s House.’
“Disparities in health, employment, education and within the criminal justice system have stacked the deck against black and brown Ohioans. Instead of coming together to face these challenges and to hear the perspective of marginalized communities, the Speaker decided to double down on the same tactics that have left minority communities on the sidelines for too long.
“We live in a diverse state, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at our state legislature. I will continue to invite my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, white and black, men and women, to come together to truly have an honest conversation about race, and to listen to the experiences of the millions of minority Ohioans that simply want the tools for a better life for themselves and their families.”
*Visit public media partner www.Ohiochannel.org and click on House Session archives to view today’s exchange after session concludes.