Publisher’s Note: Advocate! Resist! Questions to ask those seeking elected office

Advocate! Resist!
By Ronda Watson Barber – Publisher

The events of recent days should have definitely inspired you to get involved. Now is the time to play your part in making a positive difference. Consider joining your local NAACP.  The Columbus Branch is actively engaged and working to provide opportunities for Black businesses.  They can be reached at

The Klan, Nazis and other white supremacist groups are organized and making their crazy notions of how America should be known.  It is crystal clear how many in this country feel about diversity, inclusion and people of color.  I printed Congressman John Lewis’ epic speech from the August 1963 March on Washington in this issue. Read it.  Share it.  Ironically, many of the issues he discussed are still happening 54 years later.  It’s time to mobilize and act to create a legacy of wealth and equity for our children.  Nobody wins when the family feuds.

There are less than 100 days until the November elections.  It is imperative that Black businesses and the Black community exercise their right to cast a ballot.  Many challenges and barriers have been erected to stifle the vote.  Voting must be important because some in our state and across the country are going to extreme measures to prevent some of us from doing it.    Don’t let that deter you.  Their efforts to prevent you from voting should make you even more determined to get the required identification and stand in line to vote.  You are not too busy.  As we commemorate legacy and the struggles from Freedom Summer, it is our obligation to participate in our democracy. The Freedom Fighters were not too busy.  They make sacrifices. We have no excuses.

Business is political. It is critical to the continued growth and development of Black businesses that we engage in the political process.  Are the lawmakers acting in your businesses’ best interest?  Are laws being enacted that hamper or grow your business? Have your voiced your displeasure on how your tax dollars are spent?  Are your elected officials engaged in the community or do they simply take their marching orders from powerful PACs that provide the majority of financing to their campaigns?  OhioMBE encourages you to be an informed voter.  Elected officials must be held accountable for their votes they cast.  During the campaign season, many politicians will say whatever is necessary to get elected. The important questions are what they will do when they are in office and how do we make them keep their promises? Are they looking out for us? As small and black business owners consider asking the following questions to those seeking public office and your precious vote.


  1. What have you done for Black & minority businesses during your career?
  2. What do you promise to do for Black & minority businesses if elected?
  3. What Black & minority business do you regularly purchase products for services from?
  4. Why should Black & minority business owners vote for you?
  5. How important is Black & minority business development to the overall Ohio economy?
  6. Are minority business set-asides and goals in city/county/state government still important and why?
  7. Is the entity you are seeking office, engaged in including Black businesses in its purchasing scheme?
  8. What can the city/county/state do to improve its purchasing with Black & minority businesses?
  9. What should Black & minority owned businesses do to get city/county/state contracts?
  10. Is there anything else, aside from contracting that the city/county/state can do to assist MBE’s?
  11. Who are the major contributors to your campaign?
  12. How do we hold you accountable?

Advocate! Resist! Vote!

Just my thoughts…

Printed OhioMBE – August 15, 2017