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Legislators introduce bill to name U.S. Route 20 after WWI Vets
January 23, 2014

State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and State Sen. Capri Cafaro (D-Hubbard) today announced a measure to honor local World War I veterans. The lawmakers recently introduced legislation to designate a portion of U.S. Route 20, between Ashtabula and North Kingsville, as the “World War I Veterans Highway.”

 
 

When my staff reminded me I was approaching the deadline to submit my thoughts on Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy this year, I was dry.  Weary. Heavy-hearted. What could I say?

The report is not good. We are losing ground in areas already won – and fewer people seem to be paying attention every year. Sometimes, it feels as if the clock is spinning backwards.

All the issues Dr. King fought so hard to improve for ALL people – education, wealth creation, voting rights – are now back on the battle field.

We have a generation of children who couldn’t even define the American Dream let alone aspire to it.

Too many forgotten invisible people.

Too many living a nightmare with no dreams to hope for.

I heard Dr. Cornell West speak last night and he suggests we wake up – that perpetual dreaming is an unnatural state. Interesting.

The only way the dream becomes reality is through power.

The irony is that in this democracy of ours, we-- the people --have the power.

The disenfranchised, disconnected, the disregarded.

Those are the power bearers and they simply don’t know it, or no longer believe it.

We can make the dream a reality in one election cycle by making sure you are properly registered RIGHT NOW, showing up on election day or whatever narrow window Secretary Husted decides to allow for early voting – AND VOTE.

Vote for people who care about you, know your issues have demonstrated some commitment to the community and its issues.

Pay attention to who keeps their word and who doesn’t. You determine term limits based on performance.

Show up at town hall meetings, council meetings and legislative committee hearings.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.

Trite maybe – but truly that simple.

Show up and change the world.

Do you think they would be trying so hard for so long

 
 

On Thursday, State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) received the 2014 Jack Wolfe Legislator of the Year Award from the Ohio Assoc. of Election Officials. The Ohio Association of Election Officials is a professional organization representing the members and employees of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections, their directors and deputy directors.  The OAEO is a bipartisan organization dedicated to ensuring fair and accurate elections for all Ohioans.  It offers educational programs and training courses for its membership and employees. Rep. Cera was on hand at Thursday’s event to personally receive his award. 

“It is an honor to be recognized by this bipartisan group because they strive to craft solutions that are good for the entire state. In fact, the OAEO does such a great job in working together that we need this organization to teach the legislature how to work in a bipartisan manner,” said Cera upon receiving the award.

 
 
Work remains on path towards racial equality
January 17, 2014
 
Few leaders have the courage to fight hate with love
January 17, 2014
 
Rep. Rogers' proposal would maximize workers' earning potential, give freedom to choose payment methods
January 15, 2014
Paycheck Freedom Gets Attention of House Labor Panel

State Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) will urge colleagues to support his Paycheck Freedom Act—House Bill 253—before the House Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee this afternoon. The bill would ensure Ohio workers have the freedom to choose their preferred from of compensation. Some businesses currently pay their workers with ATM-like debit cards that can generate latent fees and surcharges.

“Ohioans should have the freedom to choose how they receive their hard-earned wages,” said Rep. Rogers. “People should be able to decide how they budget and spend their wages without worrying about hidden fees. Many Ohioans cannot afford to lose more take-home pay.”

The Paycheck Freedom Act would ensure that workers have the ability to receive payment via direct deposit, standard paper check, or paycheck card by requiring that employers offer at least one alternative to paycheck debit cards. Eleven other legislators are cosponsors of HB 253, including four representatives from the Northeast Ohio area.

Numerous states have passed legislation addressing payroll debit cards including, Colo., Del., Kan., Maine, Md., Mich., Minn., Nev., N. H., N. J., N. D., Okla., Va., and W. Va. 

 
 
Announces special recognition at OLBC's Black History Day of Action
January 13, 2014

State Representative and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) released the following statement this afternoon in response to the passing of long-time political strategist Arnold Pinkney:

"Today we lost one of Ohio’s most influential political strategists, business pioneers and public servants, Arnold Pinkney. His influence in politics and community service stretched far beyond his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Arnold Pinkney was as a special advisor to the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and an advocate for minority businesses, voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans. We will continue to fight for these issues in honor of his legacy.”

Rep. Reece announced today that OLBC will have a special recognition of Arnold Pinkney’s legacy at their annual Black History Day of Action at the Statehouse on February 19, 2014.

 
 

Today, Former Speaker and Minority Leader State Rep. Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) mourned the passing of long-time civil rights advocate Arnold Pinkney.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Arnold’s family today,” said Rep. Budish.  “Mr. Pinkney was a dedicated leader and public servant not just to the African American community, but also to all of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.  His imprint on this region has been historic, and he will be sorely missed but not forgotten.”

Mr. Pinkney, who recently received the Cleveland NAACP’s highest award, Ambassador for Civil Rights, was a political activist who ran numerous successful campaigns in the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio.

 
 
To partake in historic constitutional ratification
January 13, 2014

State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) is in Egypt this week to serve as a monitor for the country’s first election since the July ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. In the election slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, Egyptians will be asked to take the first step in rebuilding the Egyptian government by ratifying a new national constitution.