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State Sens. Antonio and Russo, Ohio Dems push for more public hearings on redistricting and gerrymandering and denounce the current hearing, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Today, Co-Chair of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) released statements following the Ohio Redistricting Commission's first public hearing on redistricting and gerrymandering that was held  this morning at Deer Creek State Park in Mt. Sterling, Ohio.

"I'm thankful to the Ohioans who came and testified in favor of fair maps today, but it's unfortunate that so few were able to make it given the time of day, location and short notice," said Sen Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat who's 23rd state legislative district includes 14 of Cleveland's 17 wards. "As co-chair, I will make every effort to ensure more Ohioans get the time and opportunity to share their thoughts on the maps and this process."

Antonio said that the hearings are meant to be a vital part of the process, which gives the people a chance to be heard, and that  "the fact it was announced barely 24 hours ago and placed at a remote location at 10 a.m. when a majority of Ohioans are working shows you what the Republican-controlled commission thinks of hearing from the people. "

Russo was just as upset and said the process is rigged at best.

I'm disappointed, and the people of Ohio should be too," said  state Sen. Russo. "Hundreds of citizens took advantage of this opportunity last time the commission introduced maps. Politicians continue to rig the process against citizens with no regard for fair play or the constitution."

What is clear is that Democratic and Republican state legislative policymakers in Ohio are strongly divided on gerrymandering and redistricting as the 2024 presidential election nears and Ohio remains a pivotal state. 

The ORC has scheduled two more statewide meetings on what Democrats say are  flawed maps introduced by Republicans They are set for the following days:
  • 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 25 at Punderson Manor in NE Ohio
  • 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 26 in the Senate Finance Hearing Room at the Ohio Statehouse
Since the hearing on Monday, September 25 falls on Yom Kippur, a Jewish day of atonement, the ORC will seek to schedule an additional public hearing.

You can watch the hearings live on The Ohio Channel here.
Ohio Senate Contact:
Casey Rife, Minority Communications Director (614)-644-5533
Ohio House of Representatives Contact:
David Meyers, Minority Communications Director (614)-728-5295 and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 September 2023 23:44

Equal and Fair Districts Coalition in Ohio releases statement on GOP proposed statehouse maps....., Ohio's Black digital news leader

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Latest gerrymandering effort would grant Ohio Republicans super-majorities in both chambers

COLUMBUS, Ohio- Despite five rulings from the Ohio Supreme Court calling for fair maps, Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission proposed yet another set of gerrymandered statehouse maps which guarantees Republicans 23 seats (70%) in the Ohio Senate and 62 seats (62%) in the Ohio House. This would create a real possibility of Ohio Republicans controlling 73% of all Ohio General Assembly seats despite having won 54% of the votes in the last decade. 

"We are disappointed, but not surprised by the latest power-grab by Ohio politicians" said Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio speaking on behalf of Equal Districts. "Our elected officials had the opportunity to do the moral and right thing, but chose to fail the people of Ohio. And this is the sixth time they've failed us. It has become obvious that we must remove politicians from the process and give the power back to the people. It's time to take the pen away from them so that the fair maps can prevail."

The latest gerrymander maps cheat Ohio voters and candidates out of free and fair elections, creating an Ohio where less than 10% of elections are actually competitive. 

"The Ohio Constitution calls for fair representation in the Ohio Statehouse," said Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. "Instead, the politicians on the Commission have failed once again to give voters ample time and tools to analyze and comment on the maps. It's clear that their only goal is to continue to rig statehouse districts to guarantee their own reelection. Voters deserve better."

Equal and Fair Districts will keep fighting for the fair maps that we deserve. We deserve fair and constitutional legislative districts that will make sure our votes are counted and our preferred candidates are elected. 

We can no longer place our fate in the hands of greedy, power-hungry politicians scheming to tip the scales for their political pals. It's time to place the map-making process in the hands of Ohioans, who truly know what's best for their communities.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission is holding additional hearings over the next couple of days to receive last minute public input before adopting the gerrymandered maps. We encourage citizens to voice their opposition during the upcoming hearings:

Friday, September 22nd at 10:00AM
Deer Creek Lodge & Conference Center
22300 State Park Road 20
Mt. Sterling, Ohio 43143

Monday, September 25th at 10:00AM
Punderson Manor Lodge & Conference Center
11755 Kinsman Road
Newbury, Ohio 44065

Tuesday, September 26th at 10:00AM
Senate Finance Hearing Room
First Floor North – Senate Building
Ohio Statehouse
Columbus, Ohio 43215 and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 September 2023 15:39

Congresswoman Brown leads bill with Congresswoman Sykes to protect SNAP benefits during government shutdown....By, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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WASHINGTON, DC.-Today, Ohio Congresswoman Shontel Brown (OH-11)), a Warrensville Hts. Democrat who's 11th congressional district includes Cleveland, joined Congresswoman Emilia Sykes (OH-13)(both pictured), ban Akron Democrat and the youngest of Ohio's five member Democratic Congressional Delegation, in introducing The Feed Our Families During a Shutdown Act to ensure SNAP recipients can continue to access their benefits up to three months after a government shutdown occurs.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, commonly known as SNAP, provides food benefits, such as food stamps  cards and produce, to low-income families to supplement their grocery budget.

One of three Blacks in Congress from Ohio, Brown is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Agriculture's SNAP program.

More than 1.4 million people in Ohio receive SNAP benefits, including nearly one-in-four people in Ohio's 11th District that Brown leads. And a disproportionate number of them  are low-income Blacks and poor Blacks.

"We cannot play politics with people's food," said Brown. "Almost one in every four of people in Ohio's 11th Congressional District relies on SNAP. "

The congresswoman went on to say that " an extended shutdown is putting their benefits at risk, and increasing hunger for working families, children and the elderly."

"I am proud to co-lead this critical legislation with Congresswoman Sykes and will continue to urge the Speaker[Rep Kevin McCarthy] and his party [the Republican Party] to avoid a shutdown and fund the government," the congresswoman said.

A former state representative and minority leader of the Ohio House of Representatives, Sykes is just as concerned relative to the controversial public policy  issue.

"No American should ever go hungry because of the failure by Congress to fund SNAP," said Congresswoman Sykes. "The Feed Our Families During a Shutdown Act will ensure millions of Americans, including thousands of constituents in Ohio's 13th Congressional District who rely on SNAP, will still be able to put food on their tables in the event of a government shutdown."

As a  government shutdown looms, House Republicans continue to embarrass McCarthy by blocking funding bills over demands for more spending cuts that Democrats oppose.

The bill, appropriately dubbed Feed Our Families During a Shutdown Act, would prevent a potentially devastating funding cliff that will imperil the more than 40 million Americans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Because SNAP requires an annual appropriation made by Congress, millions of Americans are made vulnerable every time that Congress cannot fulfill its most basic duty – to fund the government. During the 2018-2019 shutdown, the Trump Administration was forced to exercise budgetary workarounds to ensure that SNAP recipients had access to their benefits. In 2023, USDA has noted that it has sufficient funding to maintain SNAP benefits for the month of October 2023, but that it does not have sufficient balance in its reserve fund to maintain SNAP benefits beyond that month.


The legislation would appropriate three months of funding into the SNAP reserve fund. USDA would be able to carry over that funding, reducing the outlays necessary to maintain SNAP benefits in subsequent appropriations bills.

Congresswoman Brown is also a cosponsor of The Pay Our Military Act, proposed legislation that would provide appropriations for pay and support for all members of the armed forces, civilian personnel at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and associated contractors during a government shutdown. and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 September 2023 20:15 and, Ohio's leader in Black digital news

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2023, 2022-212, 2021-266, 2020-280, 2019-176 , 2018-181, 2017-173, 2016-137, 2015-213, 2014-266, 2013-226, 2012-221, 2011-135, 2010-109, 2009-5 and the most read Black digital newspaper and blog in Ohio and in the Midwest Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 September 2023 21:12

Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio responds to companion death penalty legislation introduced in the Ohio House .... By, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) released the following statements in support of the press conference held on Sept. 6 by state Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland), in which they announced their legislation to abolish the death penalty in Ohio

The proposed legislation is similar to death penalty legislation dubbed Senate Bill 101 that Antonio and state sen Huffman introduced in March of this year.

Research shows that Black people have been over- represented on death row in the United States since its inception and that the death penalty does not necessarily deter heinous crimes.

"I commend both Representatives Miller and Schmidt for their leadership in the Ohio House and joining the bipartisan effort to end the death penalty in Ohio," said Antonio. "By continuing to allow capital punishment in Ohio, we are permitting an unjust, expensive, inhumane, and occasionally erroneous practice. It will take both chambers and continued bipartisan work to accomplish this momentous and much-needed change in the state of Ohio."

"I plan to continue to work diligently toward abolishing the death penalty in Ohio, as it lacks moral and financial justification in our current society," said Huffman. "Replacing the death penalty with life without parole is a terminal sentence. It provides a definitive answer with the assurance that a person convicted of the most heinous capital case will spend the rest of their natural life behind bars and die in prison."

Antonio's and Huffman's Senate Bill 101 is currently pending before  the Senate Judiciary Committee. and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 September 2023 22:39

Former Cleveland Judge Pinkey Carr gets probation in falsification case as Black activists want Cuyahoga Judge Nancy Fuerst prosecuted for violating the Civil Rights of indigent Blacks by denying them speedy trials, public trials, indigent counsel, etc...

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Pictured are former Cleveland judge Pinkey Carr and Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Nancy Fuerst

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in chief.....Investigative article below and

CLEVELAND, Ohio —Former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr, whom the Ohio Supreme Court disbarred and removed from the 13-member bench last year, has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of falsification and was handed four months probation by a visiting judge in the case.

Via a plea deal, Carr pleaded no contest to three counts of falsification on Wednesday, each a first-degree misdemeanor, and was subsequently found guilty by the visiting judge. She was sentenced to four months of probation and is required to pay court costs.

“When the judge acts like a jester, justice goes awry,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement. “Today’s criminal sentencing enforces that no one is above the law.”

Yost is a Republican and Carr, who is Black, a Democrat. Yost's office prosecuted the case against Carr upon referral and likely, say sources, because current County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley was once her indirect boss when she was an assistant county prosecutor, and Cleveland city prosecutors bowed out.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation detectives found Carr arraigned defendants without prosecutors present and that she also made false statements in the court’s records.

False statements are routine for Ohio judges seeking to interfere with prosecutions to help prosecutors win their cases and when defendants try to correct them after their attorneys of record refuse to stand up for them they are often threatened with contempt of court and jail.

Black community activists remain concerned that Carr may have been singled out for prosecution unlike other judges, White judges in particular, because she is intelligent, Black and outspoken, and she has said that there is a double standard for Black judges in Ohio, a pivotal state for presidential elections, sometimes.

Black on Black Crime activist Alfred Porter Jr.,, also a women's rights advocate, said that "activists are seeking criminal charges against corrupt White judges like seasoned Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Fuerst for blatantly interfering with the Civil Rights of poor Black and other criminal defendants who come before them."

In short, activists say she is a bully who will stop at nothing to get her way, illegal or legal.


The embattled judge is also accused of threatening defendants with jail for correcting her when she tries to corrupt the record at pretrials with falsehoods, and covering up fixed indictments where the prosecutor's office has colluded with the clerks of courts office to change grand jury indictments to their liking, including increasing criminal charges and acting as if the grand jury amended the indictment.

The county public defender's office says that prosecutors and clerks are changing indictments, according to court filings and motions made by former chief public defender Mark Stanton, a pro-cop public defender who covered up cop impropriety in cases involving maliciously prosecuted and innocent Blacks and has since retired.

Blacks and others have a constitutional right to a speedy trial, a a public trial and appointed counsel in serious cases if they are deemed indigent. They also have a statutory right under Ohio law to a speedy trial and to indigent counsel.

Porter went on to say that Fuerst seemingly believes she is above the law and that she has absolutely no respect for the rule of law, particularly when the defendants are Black and public corruption is at work that she seeks to cover up.

" Activists have sat in the courtroom of Judge Fuerst for years and witnessed her flagrantly violate the Civil Rights of maliciously prosecuted Blacks who come before her, and with the urging of unscrupulous assistant county prosecutors under the guidance of County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley," said Porter. " We have not seen such egregious behavior from a judge in years and we want Judge Fuerst disbarred, removed from the bench and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Porter said that activists never should have backed Mr O'Malley for prosecutor.


" Activists made a mistake in believing that Mike O'Malley would be better than Tim McGinty when he has proved to be just as bad," Porter said.

O'Malley was elected in 2016, ousting then county prosecutor Tim McGinty, who fell out with the Black community and Black leaders for protecting cops who aggressively gunned down unarmed Blacks from indictments and with the county Democratic Party for complaining on judges about their malfeasance in rambling letters or briefs to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Activists say that public records show that Judge Fuerst is colluding with the county prosecutor's office in erroneously denying Black defendants speedy trials, public trials and indigent counsel, among a host of other alleged illegal activity. She does not want public trials, they say, because she does not want the media and others to catch on to her wrongdoing at trials, which sources say is customary for the judge, who purportedly brags that she has protection by the Ohio Supreme Court to do as she pleases to people, right or wrong.

Data also show that the arrogant and angry Judge Fuerst is refusing to journalize trial dates by order and when Blacks fail to appear because they were not ordered to come she issues capius warrants and removes their indigent counsel saying poor Blacks who get warrants from her automatically lose their constitutional and statutory right to indigent counsel This is not true where the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969 in Tinker vs Des Moines made it clear that people do not so easily shed their constitutional rights , a case in which public high school students who were penalized and denied their free speech rights for wearing arm bands to protest the Vietnam war prevailed. In other words, Blacks and others do not shed their constitutional and statutory rights at the courthouse gate and activists say Judge Nancy Fuerst is a runaway, out of control judge whose arbitrary and capricious behavior merits an immediate investigation by authorities and subsequent criminal charges.

The Ohio Supreme Court decided 5-2 last year to indefinitely suspend Carr's law license, a serious action undertaken by the state's majority White and largely Republican high court that operated to immediately remove the Black judge from the largely Black municipal court bench.

On the bench since 2012 before her suspension, Carr, a former assistant county prosecutor who led the prosecution as to the convictions of the late serial killer Anthony Sowell, who strangled and murdered 11 Black women at his home on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland on the city's east side and later died on death row, can apply to the court for reinstatement of her law license in two years. Her attorney had requested progressive discipline that would have permitted Carr to stay on the bench and told the court that her client began having issues only in the past two years and that she accepted responsibility for her behavior.

Sources also say that the decision to remove Carr from the bench was "racist, sexist, and politically motivated."

Similarly situated White and male judges, data show , were not treated as harshly by the office of disciplinary counsel for the Ohio Supreme Court, which recommended a two year suspension rather than an indefinite suspension. ans few of the White judges who get in trouble are later prosecuted, research shows.

In getting disbarred or suspended indefinitely Carr was accused of violating the ethical and other provisions of the Judicial Code of Conduct and the Ohio Lawyer's Professional Code of Responsibility. In its 5-2 decision to strip Carr of her judgeship and law license, Republican Justices O'Connor and Fischer, and Justice Brunner, though a Democrat, voted to suspend her indefinitely as did the two stand-in judges for Democrats Johnb Donnelly and Melody Stewart, both former Cuyahoga County judges who recused themselves from the case for that reason, they claim.


Justices DeWine and Kennedy, now the chief justice of the court, dissented with Kennedy writing in her dissent that it was unfair to suspend Carr indefinitely based on the data before the court, and particularly since the office of disciplinary counsel for the court only recommended a two year suspension of her law license.

It is the second time the state's high court has suspended a Cleveland judge from the bench since the removal in 2014 of former judge Angela Stokes, a daughter of the late 11th congressional district congressman Louis Stokes and a niece of former Cleveland mayor Carl B Stokes, a late Black mayor and a former Cleveland municipal court judge himself. But Angela Stokes, who is older than Carr, was allowed to continue practicing law, and to draw upon her retirement where applicable, and she was not prosecuted by the city of Cleveland.

Carr stood accused in several complaints before the bar in past years of issuing illegal capias warrants, which is routine for municipal and county judges, dismissing cases without the approval of city prosecutors, carrying on court when Cleveland Administrative and Presiding Judge Michelle Earley thought she had closed court due to the pandemic, and of mistreating and being rude to defendants and attorneys who came before her. Still, say her supporters, and on condition of anonymity, "she did what White and other judges traditionally do and her biggest problem was being strong, Black and female, and angering White men in power." Others say Carr's style was harsh at times and that she was abrasive and sometimes had a prosecutorial demeanor.

The job of judge, whether a municipal or common pleas judge of Cuyahoga County, is no easy task as judges must juggle crowded case dockets, limited resources, unruly defendants who will literally curse you out, as well as anxious and sometimes arrogant criminal defense attorneys. Some of the judges are corrupt and unfair, data show, two of them formerly on the general division common pleas bench imprisoned and kicked off the bench via an ongoing county public corruption probe.

Carr had drawn the ire of Cleveland's mainstream media, which is routine when complaints are leveled against Black judges by prominent White men This time those of prominence who lodged complaints against her include then Chief Cuyahoga County Public Defender Mark Stanton, who has since retired, and well-known criminal defense attorney Ian Friedman, the former president of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

White male judges brought up on disciplinary charges like Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul, a judge who regularly hands Blacks excessive sentences, breaks the rues and often loses on appeal for murder convictions of Blacks that occur following suspect activity at trial in his courtroom, get off easy they are rarely even disciplined research shows.

A since removed Bedford Municipal Court judge, convicted Harry Jacob, who allegedly pimped women in his court, ran an outright brothel, and falsified court dockets and documents, and even after criminal convictions of crimes in office, still has his law license, compliments of the Ohio Supreme Court. Moreover, an investigation by and also reveals that Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell has stolen homes for JPMorgan Chase Bank from Blacks in illegal foreclosure cases before him coupled with using his power and influence to have Blacks who complained maliciously prosecuted and stalked by police at their homes and otherwise, police routinely breaking into their homes and stealing personal property include high- priced cars.

A Democrat and three time loser as to three unsuccessful bids for a Supreme Court seat O'Donnell, however, like Gaul, remains free of any discipline from the state's highest court. And there are so many more White judges, both men and women alike, who do as they please in Ohio without consequences, and to the detriment of so many innocent and poor Black people, and others.

Municipal court judges in Ohio handle cases bound over to the common pleas court for possible felony indictments and cases involving traffic, non-traffic misdemeanors, evictions and small civil claims (in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000.).

Cleveland is a largely Black major American city of some 372,000 people and a Democratic stronghold It is the largest city in Cuyahoga County, a 29 percent Black county, and also a Democratic stronghold. and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 September 2023 01:51

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