OhioMBE Publisher’s Note: Advocate! Resist! Vote!

Advocate! Resist! Vote!
By Ronda Watson Barber – Publisher

Election season is upon us.  Folks are asking for your vote. These elected decision makers will have major influence in our daily lives.  They can raise our taxes, make departmental appointments, hire superintendents, etc.  In the past few issues of OhioMBE, I have printed questions for those seeking your vote.  It is imperative that the Black community make informed decisions. Just because a candidate has received an endorsement from a political party or labor union, doesn’t mean they are for you. Just because they look like you doesn’t mean they are for you.  Ask the tough questions. Do you your research. Are those asking for your vote acting in your business’ or community’s best interest or are they serving their donor base? How will you hold them accountable for failure or inaction?

I have been reading blogs and social media posts on the various political campaigns in Columbus.  I have attended political rallies and candidate nights. I have been surprised by the arrogance of incumbents running for the Columbus City Council and Columbus City Schools.  How do you act entitled to an elected position?  How do you get offended when a voter asks a question?   How do you openly disrespect a voter who asks a question?

There appears to be two Columbus’.  One is thriving and has many opportunities available.  The other has many social justice and economic issues that need addressed.  How would you grade your present city council members?  Are they providing opportunities for the disadvantaged?  Are they speaking up to the issues that affect Black men with some members of law enforcement?  There are currently more than two dozen civil rights complaints against the Columbus Police Department alleging law enforcement routinely violates citizens’ civil rights.  Many community members and advocates are concerned about police involved shootings.  Have the present city council provided solutions?  Are they receptive to criticism?

The Columbus School District, the largest public schools district in Ohio, has again received failing grades on the state report card.  Additionally, they have failed for the past five years to meet the board mandated purchasing goals with local disadvantaged businesses.   Is the current school board effective? Have they established policies that are benefiting 80 percent of students of color who attend the district? How long should a board member’s tenue be for failing results?

OhioMBE is pleased to endorse Amy Harkins and Erin Upchurch for the Columbus City School Board. They have impressive credentials and are willing to work with teachers and the community to improve the education and the district’s business practices.

The appointment process with the Democrats within City Council is unfair and suspect. How do these folks get appointed?  Who is giving them all this campaign money? Again, the present city council isn’t working for all citizens.  Perhaps it’s time for a change.  Your vote matters!

Just my thoughts…rwb

Published in OhioMBE – Nov. 1, 2017 – pdf