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The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Comes to Toledo

By Fletcher Word
Sojourner’s Truth Editor

A number of Ohio cities have local branches of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus – organizations assisting the Black Caucus in Columbus with issues of local concerns. On Wednesday, July 31, State Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson brought together about 20 local citizens with the purpose of forming such an organization in Toledo which has never hosted such a group.

“What I’ve seen in Columbus is that there’s a disconnect,” said Hicks Hudson, opening the meeting. What she explained as a disconnect is a penchant among elected and appointed officials in Columbus to assume they know what is best for the different locales in Ohio, even their own.

The purpose of the meeting, explained Hicks-Hudson, was to put together a group that could be informed on the issues affecting the black community that would help her, as a legislator in Columbus.

Chris Scott, the executive director of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, then addressed the attendees about how the Caucus’ local organizations function and what their main challenges are.

“How do we get people to know what we are fighting for?” he explained about issues that were raised during the restructuring of the Caucus. “And how do we develop better cohesion?”

With respect to Toledo, he recounted how Hicks-Hudson arrived in Columbus not very many months ago to begin her term and almost immediately said that such an off-shoot of the Caucus was needed in her home town. That concern, of course, sparked the Caucus focus on bringing an organization to Toledo.

As Scott further explained to the group, going forward their challenges would be “how are you organized and how are you using your collective strength?”

A discussion among the invitees followed, led by the guidance of Scott and Hicks-Hudson. Hicks-Hudson emphasized that the focus of the group should not be directed by partisan concerns. Some persons invited to the discussion, she noted, were not Democrats.

“The two operative words here are ‘legislative’ and ‘black,’” she said.

Hicks-Hudson closed the first session with an admonition to the group about the seriousness of their purpose.

“This group isn’t for everybody,” said Hicks-Hudson. “We need people who are committed and can check their egos at the door and can focus n the advancement of the African-American community. Don’t come in here thinking about yourselves or thinking of this as an addition to your resume – it should not be about you but about the benefit to this community. We have a serious opportunity to make a difference so – thank you.”



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/08/19 19:31:51 -0400.

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