By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online New Blog.Com, Ohio's No 1 and No 2 online Black news venues
CLEVELAND, Ohio-Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Ken Lanci, who announced earlier this month that he is in the race to try to unseat two-term mayor Frank Jackson this year, will participate in a community forum moderated by state Rep Bill Patmon (D-10) and sponsored by Cleveland Urban News.Com, Imperial Women, The Fairfax Business Association, and other community activists and advocates groups at 6 pm on Thursday, May 30 at Lil Africa, 6816 Superior Ave in Cleveland. The event is free and open to the public. Restaurant food by Lil Africa will be available at reasonable prices. For more information contact Imperial Women at 216-659-0473.
"I look forward to it," said Lanci about attending the inner city grassroots forum on the majority Black east side of the largely Black major metropolitan city.
The theme of the event is "Getting to Know Ken Lanci."
Ward 7 Councilman T.J. Dow is invited to give remarks since Lil Africa is in his ward.
Sponsors said the forum is not to take sides or endorse a candidate but to find out Lanci's position on City of Cleveland issues dear to community activists and other community affiliate groups. A subsequent forum will be held after the June 27 Cuyahoga County Board of Elections petitions filing deadline with both Jackson and Lanci invited to attend, activists said.
Lanci, 63, is a millionaire businessman who ran unsuccessfully for Cuyahoga County executive as a Independent in 2010. He is now a Democrat.
Lanci will face questions from a panel on various issues including education, city government, jobs and economics, and city contracts. Other questions from the panelists will address Cuyahoga County foreclosures, Cleveland police shootings and judicial justice matters. Whether Lanci will have a racially diverse law enforcement leadership team if he wins the mayor-ship, and issues relative to abduction, rape and murder in Cleveland of women and children across racial lines will be discussed too.
Questions from the audience will also be a part of the forum.
Community Activist Art McKoy will introduce Lanci and Community Activist Genevieve Mitchell, a member of both The Carl Stokes Brigade and the legal redress committee of the Cleveland NAACP, will do a 5 minute presentation on Cleveland schools from desegregation to now and on deadly police shootings of unarmed people such as Malissa Williams, Tim Russell, Daniel Ficker and Kenneth Smith (AKA Rapper Kenn Ball).
Community service awards will be presented by Imperial Women member Mary Seawright to state Rep. Patmon and Community Activists Valerie and Dr. Stewart Robinson.
Panelists include Greg Roberts, president of the Fairfax Business Association, Black on Black Crime Vice President Al Porter, Imperial Women Member and Ohio Family Rights President Roz McAllister, and Cleveland Urban News.Com and Imperial Women Leader Kathy Wray Coleman.
Members of the following organizations will also attend:
The Carl Stokes Brigade, Organize Ohio, The Imperial Women, Black on Black Crime Inc., The Northeast Ohio Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, People for the Imperial Act, The Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, Peace in the Hood, Audacity of Hope Foundation, The People's Forum, The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Network, The Task Force for Community Mobilization, The People' Fight Back Center, Revolution Books, Workers World, The Oppressed People's Nation, The Fairfax Business Association, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, The National Organization for Parental Equality and The Black Contractors Association of Cleveland.