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OLBC President Says Survey of Black Ohioans Shows A Community Seeking Options and Opportunities

March 4, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS—The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) president Rep. Stephanie Howse (D- Cleveland) reacted today to the results of the Black Ohio Survey, a joint project of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, that reveal issues, priorities and views of black Ohioans. This survey is the first-of-its-kind, Foundation members say, to look at a large sample of a minority community on a statewide level.

The survey was conducted by the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research in December 2019 and January 2020. A random sample of 1,500 black Ohioans were chosen for the survey. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points.

OLBC President Howse expressed appreciation for the work of the Foundation and the Bliss Institute in gathering this information.

“The results of this survey will help us as legislators better do our job to serve the 1.7 million black Ohioans and the unique challenges they face in their communities,” said Howse. “The results of the survey are not necessarily surprising. We hear often from our constituents the frustration that they work hard, yet still can’t get ahead. Of course the results of the survey confirm there is a social order problem in Ohio because nowhere is that more pronounced than in some of our black communities.”

Summary of key findings:

  • Social order problems like crime, drugs, safety and discrimination ranked as the most important issues to black Ohioans.
  • A large majority of black Ohioans believe police deployment in some communities is effective, while fewer think it is effective in all communities. Results show most agree that drug laws are not equally strict.
  • Large majorities of black Ohioans agree with protecting a woman’s right to abortion, society accepting homosexuality, and that immigrants strengthen society.
  • Black Ohioans want choices and government assistance to break the cycle of poverty. A majority agree that public assistance to the poor does more good than harm; that health insurance should be provided by a mix of public and private programs; and that public dollars should be spent on public schools as well as charter, religious or private schools.
  • When asked to choose between the government protecting the right of citizens to own guns and restricting that right, a small majority (53 percent), mostly younger men, favored protecting over restricting. The survey analysis states that self-protection may be one reason for this response.
  • A large majority believe that the best way to increase good jobs in Ohio is to provide job training programs, but 58% still believe that even if you do work hard in Ohio, you still cannot get ahead.
  • A majority of black Ohioans believe in the power of the ballot box and agree that voting gives black citizens a say in their own government.
  • An overwhelming majority feel that strict environmental laws are worth the cost for better health and quality of life.

To view the full results of the survey, go to olbcfoundation.org/poll.

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