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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.

 
 
Statewide awareness campaign kicks off, Senate to take action on End Demand Act
January 10, 2014
 

It was 50 years ago today that President Johnson declared a war on poverty in this nation. Still, many in our state are left to wonder whether the battle rages on in Ohio. Only six other states have more people in poverty, and over the past few years, our poverty rates have been higher than the national average.

Ohio’s median income dropped 11 percent over the past 12 years, meaning more Ohioans have likely slipped in their economic position and could be one mere emergency away from financial ruin. Families that were once middle and working class now  know the harsh consequences of living in a society that seems to continually edge out broad-based economic opportunity and, instead,  focuses on investing in the wealthiest among us.

24 percent of Ohio’s children are impoverished; yet the state has cut over $1B to public education in recent years.

18 percent of Ohio's women are living in poverty but the last state budget included sweeping prohibitions on women’s access to healthcare—especially for low-income females.

10 percent of senior citizens in Ohio are impoverished. The recent budget raised property taxes for seniors who are likely just outside the traditional definition of poverty, but that increase-- coupled with another 12.5 percent property tax increase and a 4.5 percent sales tax increase-- means Ohio’s seniors who are barely getting by are faced with policies that will eat away at their financial security.

134,000 Ohioans are now faced with the possibility of losing food benefits through restrictions imposed by Gov. Kasich. How can we expect poor Ohioans in need of basic necessities to find work when our state spent 1/3 of 2013 as a national leader in job loss?

The 24th largest economy in the world shouldn’t be a national leader in poverty or job loss. We need to find a new approach that addresses our shrinking middle class. Tax cuts aimed at put

 
 

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty initiative. The day serves as a stark reminder that there’s still plenty of fighting to do, especially in Ohio.