“Money in Politics” Forum June 2020 edition Tuesday June 9, 2020 at 7pm edt

Money in Politics June 2020 edition
Tuesday June 9, 2020 at 7pm edt
“Following the Money: The History and Where We are Now”
In March, the US Supreme Court refused to hear a case called Doe v. Federal Election Commission, thus leaving in place a pro-disclosure ruling from a lower court. This move by the Court suggests that there is still strong support for more transparency in elections and against the use of straw donors.

Catherine Turcer, Exec Director, Common Cause Ohio will bring us up to date on one of the most critical areas of #democracy: Money in Politics in 2020

RSVP HERE:

Cosponsored by Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland

Gerrymandering and Ohio video forum Thursday May 28 at 7pm

Gerrymandering and Ohio video forum
Thursday May 28 at 7pm
w/Michael Li, Brennan Center For Justice
Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director, Common Cause US
Jen Miller, Exec Director LWV-Ohio
Catherine Turcer, Exec Director, Common Cause Ohio will moderate
Here is the video from the forum:

Here are the slides from the forum
In 2021, district lines will be redrawn. What can we expect in Ohio and nationally from the census delay and results, and their impact on #FairMaps. Watch national and local experts share their concerns and perspectives.
Cosponsored by Common Cause Ohio, Fair Districts Fair Elections Ohio and LWV-Greater Cleveland

Vote by Mail in Ohio: The Best Way to Do It a video forum on May 6, 2020 at 7pm

Vote by Mail in Ohio: The Best Way to Do It
A video forum with voting rights experts from Colorado, Oregon and Ohio
Wednesday May 6, 2020 at 7pm edt

Here’s the video:

With a massive vote by mail effort needed for the November 2020 election, how should Ohio proceed?

(The video starts about 5 minutes into the event)
 
The speakers in order of appearance:
 
Kate Titus, Executive Director, Common Cause Oregon
 
Camille Wimbish, Ohio Voter Rights Coalition
 
Jen Miller, Executive Director, League of Women Voters Ohio
 
Amanda Gonzalez Executive Director, Colorado Common Cause
 
Moderated by Catherine Turcer, Executive Director, Common Cause Ohio

 

The Crisis in Local News: Reinventing the Business of Journalism Video Forum 4/16/2020 at 7pm

The Crisis in Local News:
Reinventing the Business of Journalism
Video Forum on Thursday April 16 at 7 p.m.
Here’s the video

We hope you’ll tune in to listen to our panelists from Policy Matters Ohio , Common Cause Ohio, Eye on Ohio and The Devil Strip as they discuss business models that could save the future of local journalism.

with Panelists:
Caitlin Johnson-Policy Matters Ohio
Zach Schiller-Policy Matters Ohio
Lucia Walinchus-Eye on Ohio
Duane Pohlman-Eye on Ohio
Yosef Getachew-Common Cause
Chris Horne – The Devil Strip

Moderated by Angela Gartner, Editor
Northeast Ohio Parent magazine

Produced and Sponsored by Society of Professional Journalists-Cleveland Chapter
Cosponsored by Common Cause-Ohio, The Devil Strip, Eye on Ohio, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Policy Matters Ohio

Florence E. Allen, Cleveland’s Most Famous Woman Almost No Clevelanders Today Have Heard Of

Florence Allen 1921 KSU

FLORENCE E. ALLEN,
CLEVELAND’S MOST FAMOUS WOMAN
ALMOST NO CLEVELANDERS TODAY HAVE HEARD OF
By Marian J. Morton

The pdf is here

When the Plain Dealer’s Andrea Simakis discovered “the unstoppable Judge Florence Allen,” she marveled over Allen’s path-breaking career, her intellect, her perseverance, her “moxie.”  And yet,  Simakis mused, “… I had never heard of her… Neither had a lot of women I know.”  [1] But for much of Allen’s lifetime (1884-1966), almost everyone in Cleveland – at least everyone who read the newspapers – had heard of her.  She was Cleveland’s most famous woman,[2] not just because she was the “first lady of the law,”[3] not just because this local girl made very, very good, but because Allen herself made it happen.  A performer by both nature and nurture, Allen loved being center stage. She gave hundreds of speeches -on soapboxes, street corners, luncheons, and lecture halls – on topics ranging from opera to woman suffrage to outlawing war; she faced down hecklers and anti-suffragists; she led and marched in parades. These set the stage for successful runs for municipal judge and the Ohio Supreme Court and less successful runs for the U.S.  House of Representatives and Senate and a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Fiercely ambitious, she cultivated political allies from local precinct captains to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; fiercely competitive, she relished the challenges of being the first woman in a male role.  Her reward: fame, although fleeting.

FIRST ACTS: AMATEUR THEATER

One of Allen’s earliest memories was of her five-year-old self on a make-shift stage, dressed in costume, like her older sisters, in a performance that celebrated her father’s birthday.  Allen recited the Greek alphabet, which he had taught her. [4]

The family was living in Utah, where her father, Clarence Emil Allen, had gone to recover from tuberculosis. He was a graduate of Western Reserve College in Hudson, then became head of Western Reserve Academy, and then taught classics at the college until his health gave out.  His wife, Corinne Tuckerman Allen, and two small daughters, Esther and Helen, followed him to Salt Lake City.

He quickly entered public life.  He studied law, was admitted to the bar (no law school necessary in those days), and became county clerk. He was elected to the territorial legislature, and when Utah became a state in 1895, he became one of its first elected representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives.  He served only one term, and after his return from Washington D.C., made his living as an assayer for one of the mines of Liberty Holden, owner of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Corinne Allen “was always immersed in some public undertaking,” her daughter recalled.[5] Corinne had been admitted to the first class at Smith College in 1875, one of a tiny handful of women who attended college in the 1870s.   Although she dropped out of college to marry Clarence, she believed that her privileged education gave her special responsibilities to her community.  Florence was born in Utah, and Elizabeth, Clarence Emil Jr., and John followed.  Utah women had been enfranchised by the Utah territorial legislature in 1870, disenfranchised by Congress in 1887 in a dispute over the legality of polygamy, but continued to play public roles. An energetic participant in the woman’s club movement of the late nineteenth century, Corinne joined local, state, and national women’s clubs and helped found the Mothers’ Congress, later the P.T.A.  She was a vocal opponent of the Mormon practice of polygamy. Corinne became an organizer in 1900 for Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.[6]

Florence Allen attended high school in Salt Lake City, where she was most inspired by her piano teacher, and in 1900, at age 16, she entered the Women’s College of Western Reserve University. Although she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, she later recalled, “I do not seem to have been greatly interested in any special branch of learning,” except piano, which she practiced for hours.  She found time for politics, however, and was elected freshman class president.[7] She loved going to local operas, stage productions, and concerts; her college scrapbooks are full of playbills with lively comments in the margins. [8] She also greatly enjoyed “the dramatics that we produced on the campus,” proud of her role in which “I was stout, vigorous, shook my cane and swore enthusiastically.” [9]  No male actors being available, she – with a strong voice – also played the king in a Hindu play: “ I sweltered in the royal purple robe.” [10]These college theatrics were dress rehearsals for performances in her judicial robes.

Allen was tall, sturdily built (she struggled with her weight all her life), with regular features and a broad forehead.  Until the 1920s, she wore her hair long and piled on top of her head. She was handsome, not conventionally pretty.  [11] She had a commanding presence, appreciated and applauded by audiences and supporters.  By her own account – and other’s -, she had little fashion sense and recalled more than one occasion when friends at the last-minute scrambled to provide something appropriately feminine for her to wear for a public appearance. [12]

After graduation in 1904, Allen accompanied her mother to Berlin, where Corinne had been asked to speak on polygamy to the International Council of Women. Florence studied piano but decided that she lacked the talent to make her living as a musical performer. Instead, she became a music critic, which provided her with an entry into her public life in Cleveland when she returned in 1906.  She landed a job at Laurel School, a private girls’ school, where she directed the plays, played piano for chapel every morning, and taught “Greek, German, geography, grammar, and American history.”  [13]

More important, she became the music critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  She reviewed concerts, operas, orchestras, and solo performers weekly and sometimes more often.  To readers, the byline,  “By Florence Allen,”  became associated with social respectability and professional integrity.

But she didn’t want to teach high school girls or write music reviews forever. At the suggestion of one of her teachers at Western Reserve University, she studied for a master’s in political science and decided to go to law school.  Law was very much a male field, and the new requirement of law school made it even more difficult for women.  Western Reserve University Law School, for example, did not accept women, so Allen went first to the University of Chicago and then to New York University.  She graduated second in her class.

In New York, money was tight, and as she had in Cleveland, she supplemented her income with public lectures.  More important, she met the women who would help shape her career and her political agenda. These included the Reverend Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), 1904-1915; Carrie Chapman Catt, the brilliant NAWSA president usually credited with devising the “winning strategy” for achieving the vote; and Maude Wood Park, the organizer of the College Equal Suffrage Organization. Park gave Allen a job as the organization’s secretary. Although initially viewed as wild revolutionaries by many Americans, these suffragists led the movement into the moderate mainstream, especially after the break with the more radical National Women’s Party. This way led to victory in 1920.

Pragmatic by necessity, the NAWSA endorsed no political candidate unless he endorsed woman suffrage.  Suffragists argued for the vote on the grounds that women were equal to men and deserved equal treatment and also, often simultaneously, that women were different and would bring their special nurturing skills to politics and the larger community, especially the lives of women. These became Allen’s guiding principles.

SECOND ACTS: POLITICAL THEATER

In 1912, one of many proposed amendments to the Ohio constitution would have enfranchised Ohio women by changing the words that described a voter as a “white male” to “every citizen.”  Allen returned to Cleveland to make it happen. She was already well-known to Clevelanders, thanks to her family connections and her byline at the newspaper.

She was also a polished public speaker. Like her fellow suffragists, she was well educated and well off financially, but unlike them, she was neither shy nor modest.  Accompanied by cub reporter Louis Seltzer, she and other brave women rode from Cleveland to Medina on a rented trolley that carried a “Votes for Women” banner; when it stopped, Allen hopped off and pitched woman suffrage from a soap box. [14] Suffragists were routinely greeted by hecklers, who told them to return to their homes where they belonged.  “It can’t be did,” maintained one opponent to votes for women, “and if it can be did, it hain’t right.” [15] More frustrating was public indifference.  Allen recalled a meeting in one small town at which only two women appeared; she urged them to return the next night, and they did, bringing one friend.  On the brighter side, she was “roundly cheered” in a circus tent in Ottawa, Ohio, and in Sidney, Ohio, at a band concert,  accompanied by another suffragist, who entertained the crowd by whistling and playing the cornet. She spoke and organized women all over the state – 92 speeches in 88 counties [16] The referendum lost by 87,455 votes, but Allen’s exposure laid the groundwork for her successful runs for state-wide office in 1922 and 1928.

Ohio women organized a second effort to amend the Ohio constitution in 1914, using the  initiative. Allen again took to the lecture circuit; she shared a platform with fellow supporter, Cleveland Mayor Newton D. Baker in March, 1914. [17] As Baker watched from the grandstand, a great parade of 10,000 women and men, including Allen, marched through Cleveland streets on October 4.  [18] Allen predicted a win: “I have visited more than forty Ohio counties in this campaign … [M]any women opposed to suffrage two years ago now are heartily in favor of it…. [M]en are changing from a position of direct opposition or indifference to open espousal.” [19]  Her colleagues chose her to debate the prominent anti-suffragist Lucy Price in Gray’s Armory. Anti-suffragists, often wealthy and well-educated women like the suffragists themselves, argued that women’s place was in the home, not the polling place, and moreover, most women didn’t want to vote.  Allen took the opposite position.  Both arguments would have been difficult to prove.  Although no official winner was announced, Allen felt that she had won and accused her opponent of calling her “a short and ugly name.” [20] The initiative failed by an even greater margin than had the 1912 amendment.

Temporarily thwarted at the state level, suffragists switched tactics.  Persuaded by Allen and other suffragists, the authors of East Cleveland’s new charter in 1916 included a provision that allowed women to vote in municipal elections. The provision was challenged by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The Cleveland Woman Suffrage League filed a taxpayers’ suit against the board.  Allen was their attorney and won the case before the Ohio Supreme Court.

This victory, plus her name recognition, won her the attention of the local Democratic Party, which appointed her an assistant county prosecutor.  This became the beginning of her judicial career.

Even before the suffrage amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, Allen launched her campaign for municipal judge.  Because it was too late to enter a party primary, she quickly organized a petition campaign to get her name on the ballot.  Her fellow suffragists, many now members of the new League of Women Voters, came to her aid, as she had to theirs.  Allen herself spoke often, now on her own behalf.  Once in the race, she was endorsed by the league, by the Business and Professional Women and a host of other women’s organizations, and by all four Cleveland newspapers.  She led the field of ten judicial candidates.[21]

Allen ran as a non-partisan. She believed that judges should not be closely identified with one party or the other.  Moreover, she had broken with Democratic leader Baker over his endorsement of universal military training when he was Secretary of War during World War I.  She also hoped to get votes from both Democrats and Republicans, which she did. [22]

During these years in Cleveland, Allen met the leaders of the local suffrage movement like Harriet Taylor Upton, Elizabeth Hauser, Belle Sherwin, Zara DuPont, Lucia McBride, Mary B. Grossman, and dozens of others.  “Society women, professional women, rich women, poor women – a noble band of good workers.”[23]  She made personal friends and political alliances that would stand her in good stead for the rest of her career. She never forgot them; they never forgot her. “I was the beneficiary of the entire woman movement,” she acknowledged. [24]

ON THE MAIN STAGE: FIRST LADY OF THE LAW

Within months of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and with these women’s help, Allen took her seat as Cleveland’s first female judge of the Common Pleas court.  She prided herself on her efficiency in the dispatch of justice. On the grounds that she was single, she refused to be sidelined to divorce court, choosing criminal law.  “[25] This was where the action was: Cleveland was then under siege by “organized and unorganized criminals” who robbed and murdered citizens, including policemen, almost with impunity.  [26] In her first term, 1921-1922, she disposed of 892 cases.[27]

Two of those cases made headlines.  The first involved a 1921 payroll robbery in which two men were murdered by a gang implicated in several other robberies. Their leader, Frank Motto, fled to California but was returned to Cleveland and Allen’s court.  In May 1921, during the jury trial, she had to clear the courtroom of suspicious looking men, who were carrying weapons.  She herself received a death threat: “On the day Motto dies, you die.” [28] The Cleveland Plain Dealershouted: “JUDGE ALLEN SENTENCES SLAYER …. In a calm, even tone, Judge Florence E. Allen pronounced the death penalty.” [29]  Motto died in the electric chair in August. Allen got police protection, became the “first woman judge to impose the death sentence,” and created a reputation as a fearless enforcer of law and order. [30]

She enhanced that reputation by sentencing a fellow jurist, former chief justice of the Common Pleas Court, William Henry McGannon, to jail for perjury. He had twice been acquitted of murder.  The Cleveland Bar Association, however, prosecuted him, and others, for false statements made during the trials.  Despite Allen’s efforts, bribes and witness-tampering took place before McGannon’s trial.  The jury found McGannon guilty, and Allen sentenced him to one to ten years in the penitentiary.  “[A] court has never been faced with a more disagreeable duty than that of sentencing a man before whom the court has practiced as a lawyer,” she reproached him. [31]

It was a spectacular first act, but Allen had set her sights higher.  In the summer of 1922, she briefly contemplated running for the U.S. Senate against the incumbent, Atlee Pomerene.  Instead, encouraged by Baker, she ran for a vacant seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. [32] The Cleveland Plain Dealer applauded: “her election was one of the best things that ever happened to this [Common Pleas] court …. [H]er service on the lower bench fully entitles her to aspire to the higher office.” [33]Her usual allies, former suffragists and women’s organizations, again organized her campaign.  She again ran a non-partisan campaign and won handily, the first woman to be elected to a state supreme court.  Six years later, as her term drew to a close, she again contemplated the Senate. Without the endorsement of the Democratic party but encouraged by women’s groups offended by Pomerene’s lamentable record on woman suffrage, she ran in the primary against him.  She lost but by a small margin. [34]

Allen won re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1928, but in 1932, hoping to add to a Democratic landslide, she made a run for the U.S. House. She lost to Republican Chester C. Bolton, but she received her reward in March 1934, when she was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the first woman to sit on the federal bench.  Clevelanders honored her with a banquet, “an expression of esteem from the Cleveland Bar Association and the women of the city for Judge Allen’s achievements in her profession.”  Organizers included women who had fought for suffrage with Allen two decades earlier. [35] She was appointed the court’s chief justice in 1958, the first woman to hold this appointment.

Allen also became the first to be seriously considered for a Supreme Court position by Roosevelt and subsequent presidents.  Although she had strong support from local and national women’s organizations and political connections in Washington, she never received the appointment.   She claimed that she did not “expect such an appointment,” [36] but many of her supporters wanted it for her, and certainly so did she.

Perhaps her academic and professional credentials, both limited by her gender, were not strong enough.  Perhaps she was too closely identified as a Democrat; perhaps not closely enough.  Perhaps Americans just weren’t ready for a woman on the highest court of the land. [37] Not until 1981 did Sandra Day O’Connor get appointed to the Supreme Court.

Allen was a pioneer judge but not a pioneer jurist. The decisions she was proudest of supported the familiar agenda of the suffragists and the women’s organizations who had always backed her (the death penalty being the exception). In Reutner v. City of Cleveland(1923) she ruled that Cleveland had the right to adopt a city manager plan and proportional representation.  The League of Women Voters advocated both and continued to support the city manager plan long after Cleveland voters rejected it in 1931.  The league also favored laws that protected women in the workplace. Although the decision was not gender-specific, in Ohio Automatic Sprinkler Co. v. Fender(1923) Allen voted with the majority of her colleagues to over-rule lower courts and hold the company responsible for the woman employee’s injury. Women’s organizations continued to support special legislation for women in the workplace until the  1970s.

Her most significant decision – in January 1938 on the appeals court – ruled in favor of the New Deal’s Tennessee Valley Authority. The issue was whether the federal government had the authority to build the dams and waterways that would control flooding in the region and also market electric power.  Private power companies argued that this was unfair competition. The League of Women Voters had endorsed an earlier version of the plan in the late 1920s. [38] Clevelanders were familiar with  publicly owned utilities because of the municipal power plant established in 1914 when Baker was mayor of Cleveland.  In 1937, however, Baker was, initially, the lead attorney for the private power companies.  His side lost. Allen’s decision held that the TVA did not unfairly compete with private enterprise and more importantly, it upheld the federal government’s broad use of its powers.  Allen herself, in full judicial regalia, read aloud for an hour her decision before an excited, expectant audience in a jam-packed courtroom. [39] She was upheld by the Supreme Court.

This was probably her last bravura performance although she served on the appeals court until 1959. After retirement, Allen continued to make news, traveling and lecturing. In 1965, she published her memoir, To Do Justly.

During her long career on the bench, she had no opportunity to rule on women’s rights cases; those would emerge with second-wave feminism after her retirement.  In any case, despite her own unconventional life, she had conventional ideas about women’s responsibilities: family, home, work if necessary, and service to the community. Perhaps reflecting on the political challenges she herself had faced, she predicted, “No woman, no matter how qualified, will be nominated, much less elected, President of the United States.” [40]  Allen was more like Sandra Day O’Connor –  better known for her ability to get along with male judges [41]– than like the trail-blazing feminist, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

When Allen died in September 1966, the Cleveland Plain Dealerlamented the passing of this “distinguished, well-loved citizen.” [42]

ENCORE, ENCORE   

Distinguished and well-loved, but soon forgotten.  Why?

Maybe because she was from Cleveland, and most famous people are from somewhere else.

Maybe even Clevelanders don’t think Cleveland history is interesting enough to remember. Dr. Jeannette Tuve’s is the only definitive biography of Allen. The Cleveland Public Library system owns three copies; only one circulates.  Allen’s contemporary, sometime friend and sometime foe but always more famous, Newton D. Baker, doesn’t do much better. The Cleveland Public Library system owns four copies of Clarence C.H. Cramer, Newton D. Baker: A Biography (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1961) and three copies of Douglas B. Craig, Progressives at War: William G. McAdoo and Newton D. Baker, 1863-1941(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).

Maybe it’s just easier to forget women, even women like Allen who lived very public lives.

Of course, periodically we do “remember the ladies,” as Abigail Adams advised her husband John as he contemplated the American Revolution and she contemplated what freedom from the British might mean for those who were not male. John and his colleagues didn’t heed his wife’s advice.

In the 1910s and 1920s, when it looked as though the suffrage movement might, like the American Revolution, turn the world upside down, politicians remembered women – Allen, for example.  But in the following decades, attention turned to other things – the Great Depression and World War II, for example.

And then in the 1970s in the heady days of second-wave feminism, born of the civil rights movement, we re-discovered women in the American past.  Like Simakis, we were astonished – and exhilarated. We knew about the men, of course, – the presidents, the generals, the industrialists.  No one had ever mentioned that there were women back then. You’d think we could have figured it out.  And we did, and then forgot.

And today, in 2019, in the context of Hillary Clinton almost becoming President in 2016 and a record number of women elected to Congress in 2018 and because it is almost a hundred years since Allen and others fought for the vote – and Americans like centennials -, we are re-discovering women one more time.

But this story of Cleveland’s most famous woman reminds us that fame is fleeting. Simakis suggested – as Plain Dealer reporter Tom Suddes had earlier[43]– a remedy for our faulty public memory: a courthouse named for Allen, a more substantial memorial than existing portraits and plaques.  Simakis’s readers were enthusiastic.  Howard M. Metzenbaum and Carl B. Stokes have their names on courthouses:  why not “the gutsy, unstoppable FEA”?  One reader suggested that Allen’s life would make a good play.  Simakis concluded, “I can see the actress in Allen’s robes now, sitting in her chambers, opening that smudgy death threat [during the Motta trial] … [F]or sheer drama, her tenure as a judge in Cleveland is hard to beat.”  [44]

Allen was that actress; her whole life was that drama – from her five-year-old recitation of the Greek alphabet to her hour-long reading of her decision in the TVA case and all the lectures and stump speeches and marches and headlines in between. These made her Cleveland’s most famous woman.  For a while.

[1]  Plain Dealer, June 30, 2019: B3.

[2]   Don’t take my word for it. Reporter Grace Goulder described Allen as “Ohio’s most famous woman”, “Ohio’s first lady,” and the “world’s best known woman lawyer”: Cleveland Plain Dealer (CPD), October 6, 1935: 67. By my count, from 1900 to 2019, she got 1,466 mentions in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and for almost all those years, there was more than one Cleveland newspaper.

[3]   Allen had the good sense and sturdy ego to leave her papers to the Western Reserve Historical Society.  These became the basis for her definitive biography: Jeannette E. Tuve,  First Lady of the Law: Florence Ellinwood Allen(Boston and London, University Press of America , 1984).

[4]  Florence Ellinwood Allen, To Do Justly(Cleveland: The Press of Western Reserve University, 1965), 1.

[5]  Allen, 9-10.

[6]  Tuve, 10.

[7]  Allen, 19.

[8]  Tuve, 11.

[9]Allen, 19

[10]  Allen, 20.

[11]  Tuve, 12.

[12]  Allen, 26;28; 31. Virginia Clark Abbott, The History of Woman Suffrage and the League of Women Voters in Cuyahoga  County, 1911-1945(Cleveland: n.p. c. 1949), 52.

[13]  Tuve, 18.

[14]  Cleveland Plain Dealer (CPD),June 25, 1912: 12.

[15]  Abbott, 54.

[16]   Allen, 32.

[17]  CPD, March 3, 1914: 14.

[18]   Abbott, 38.

[19]   CPD, October 10, 1914: 5.

[20]   Allen, 34. What name can this have been?

[21]  Allen, 43-44.

[22]  Tuve, 54.

[23]Florence E. Allen and Mary Welles, The Ohio Woman Suffrage Movement(Committee for the Preservation of Ohio Woman Suffrage Records, 1952), 41.

[24]  Allen, 43.

[25]  Allen, 46.

[26]  John Stark Bellamy, The Maniac in the Bushes and More Tales of Cleveland Woe(Cleveland: Gray and Company Publishers, 1997), 219.

[27]  Allen, 51.

[28]  Allen, 28.

[29]  CPD, May 15, 1921: 1.

[30]   Allen, 56.

[31]   Allen, 62. McGannon was released after 19 months because he had diabetes.

[32]  Tuve, 63.

[33]  CPD, June 14, 1922: 6.

[34]   Allen, 75-77.

[35]   CPD,  March 25, 1934:16.

[36]  Allen, 110.

[37]  Tuve, 124-126.

[38]  Tuve, 117.

[39]  Tuve, 116-122.

[40]  Quoted in Tuve, 141.

[41]  Evan Thomas. First: Sandra Day O’Connor(New York: Random House, 2019).

[42]  CPD, September 17, 1966: 14.

[43]  Plain Dealer, June 7, 2000: B9; January 9, 2002: 9B.

[44]  Plain Dealer, July 21, 2019: B 1, B 3.  I can’t resist pointing out that the Newton D. Baker Building on the Case Western Reserve University campus has been demolished. Brick and mortar are no guarantee that you’ll be remembered.

Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Levy (March 17, 2020 ballot) Forums on 3/5/2020 and 3/10/2020

(Ideastream photo)

Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Levy
To be on the March 17, 2020 ballot

Educational Forums:
Thursday March 5, 2020 at Shaker Heights Public Library @7pm
the flyer is here

William Tarter, Jr., Center of Community Solutions, Public Policy and External Affairs Associate
David Merriman, Interim Director of Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services

Moderated by Marcia Goldberg, League of Women Voters
Mr. Tarter’s presentation slides are here
Follow up resources from The Center for Community Solutions are here

16500 Van Aken Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44120
Cosponsored by League of Women Voters-Shaker Chapter, Shaker Heights Public Library and The City Club of Cleveland

Tuesday March 10, 2020 at Rocky River Public Library @7pm
the flyer is here

•William Tarter, Jr., Center of Community Solutions, Public Policy and External Affairs Associate
•David Merriman, Interim Director of Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services

Moderated by Janice Patterson, League of Women Voters
1600 Hampton Rd, Rocky River, OH 44116
Sponsored by Rocky River Public Library, League of Women Voters-Rocky River, Westlake/North Olmsted, Bay Village, Fairview Park and Lakewood Chapters and The City Club of Cleveland

Materials to read:
Levy increase on the ballot next year
by William Tarter, Jr. The Center for Community Solutions 11/18/2019

Tax increase for health and human services merits your support, despite Cuyahoga County’s bad messaging
cleveland.com editorial  1/7/2020

Two health-care leaders pledge oversight of how Cuyahoga County would spend tax increase
by Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com 12/19/2019

Cuyahoga County releases first details about how health and human services tax increase would be used
by Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com 12/19/2019

Greater Cleveland Partnership Reluctant to Endorse Cuyahoga County’s Health and Human Services Levy 
by Kim Palmer, Crains Cleveland Business 12/19/2019

Cuyahoga County Asks Voters For Health And Human Services Tax Increase
by Nick Castele, Ideastream 12/10/2019

Cuyahoga County proposes tax increase for health and human services
by Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com 11/8/2019

Explaining Cuyahoga County’s Health And Human Services Levy Deficit
by Nick Castele, Ideastream 6/3/2019

 

“EdChoice/Voucher/Ohio School Funding” a forum on Feb 25, 2020 (w/write up and video)


EdChoice/Voucher/Ohio School Funding Forum

February 25, 2020 7:00p.m.
The flyer is here
The forum summary is here
The video is here

25700 Science Park Dr #100 in Landmark Centre, Beachwood, OH 44122
with panelists:
•Chad L. Aldis, Vice President, Thomas B. Fordham Instit
•Stephen Dyer, Education Policy Fellow, Innovation Ohio
•Frank W. O’Linn, Ed.D, Sec for Education and Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
•Barbara Shaner, Ohio Assoc of Schools Business Officials
Moderated by Patrick O’Donnell, Plain Dealer Education Reporter

Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer

Cosponsored by The Plain Dealer, CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning and the League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland
Corporate Sponsor: First Interstate Properties Ltd.

Voucher/EdChoice in Ohio January 2020

State Senator Peggy Lehner tells the state school board Tuesday she hopes legislators will be cautious in making quick changes to the state’s private school tuition voucher program. (cleveland.com 1/14/2020)

Voucher/EdChoice in Ohio January 2020

1. Read what LWV Schools advocate Susie Kaeser wrote:
Diversion of Ohio school dollars to non-public schools has become a raging river. It must stop: Susie Kaeser
Op-ed on January 10, 2020 cleveland.com

2. Read more about Vouchers and EdChoice in Ohio in these articles:

Change To Exploding Voucher Program Likely Coming, But Time Is Running Out
by Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Jan 17, 2020

Do vouchers need a big “fix” or a small one? Legislature leaves two weeks to decide
by Patrick O’Donnell 

With Feb. 1 deadline looming, Ohio House seeks to change school voucher program
by Laura Hancock, cleveland.com

 

Expansion of Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program puts state’s complicated school funding formula in spotlight
by Todd Dykes WLWT Cincinnati

Lawmaker Questions Republican Willingness to Correct Massive School Voucher Expansion

by Karen Kasler WKSU

Dublin, Upper Arlington, Worthington schools ‘under-performing’? New system to expand Ohio vouchers flags even top-tier suburban public schools

by Anna Staver Columbus Dispatch

 

Heights Schools Ask For Help Fighting Voucher Program Losses
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District lost $4.2 million to voucher deductions in 2019, one school official said.
By Chris Mosby, Patch

Larry Householder should aim for nothing less than a truly comprehensive Ohio school-funding fix

By Editorial Board, cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer

 

Editorial: Revisit rules to make school voucher program more rational
Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board

 

Increase in private school tuition vouchers is costing districts – and soon you
By Patrick O’Donnell The Plain Dealer

3. More from Susan Kaeser
Voucher Update
Rural and urban interests are frequently at odds when Ohio’s lawmakers assert their interests. This division no longer applies to school vouchers.  

Starting with the 2020 school year, every member of the state legislature will represent at least one school district that must use local funds to pay for students to attend a private school under Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program. 

Because test scores drive eligibility and scores reflect income, the first victims of the voucher laws were high poverty districts – urban districts.  

But new laws – inserted in the new state budget without public review – made the issue ubiquitous.  In just three years EdChoice districts grew from 39 to more than 400 – two-thirds of the state’s 612 school districts. 

The legislature needs to staunch the bleeding of public school budgets by ending the requirement that local districts pay for students they don’t educate at the expense of those they do. 

Legislatures can unite on this one! They can freeze the growth of vouchers, change rules defining Edchoice schools, only grant vouchers to students leaving a public school, and starting with this school year, pay for any new vouchers they approved but didn’t fund for 2019-20. 

4. Forum video:

“How do school vouchers affect our public schools and taxpayers?” Thursday March 14, 2019. 7:00-8:30pm 

This panel will present information on how Ohio’s school voucher policies impact the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, as well as other schools in Cuyahoga County and beyond. 

Panelists: Susie Kaeser, LWVO Lobby Corps and Hts Coalition for Public Education 

James Posch, Cleveland Hts-Univ. Hts (CH-UH) Board of Education 

Scott Gainer, CFO/Treasurer, CH-UH City School District 

Meryl Johnson, Ohio State Board of Education, District 11 

Moderator:Jayne Geneva, past chair Lay Finance Committee for the CH-UH Board of Education 

Heights Library Main Branch 2345 Lee Road Cleveland Hts 44118 Cosponsored by Heights Coalition for Public Schools and the CHUH Council of PTAs

5. CALL TO ACTION: LWV-Ohio request
League of Women Voters of Ohio

ADVOCACY WORKS! The legislature is beginning to respond to the backlash against public funds going to private schools. Have you contacted your legislator yet? Click on link

 

High quality preschool closes the achievement gap, experts say By JULIE HULLETT

 

High quality preschool closes the achievement gap, experts say
By JULIE HULLETT
The pdf is here

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Early childhood education has a huge impact on children’s success later in school and as adults, according to local experts at the “Closing the Achievement Gap: Preschool and Early Child Education” forum on Jan. 30.

This panel discussion, hosted by Shaker Heights Public Library and Shaker Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters at the Shaker Heights Main Library, included Executive Director of Starting Point Billie Osborne Fears and Director of the Cuyahoga County Office of Early Education/Invest in Children Rebekah Dorman.

Executive Director of the Early Childhood Enrichment Center Beth Price and Chief Academic Officer of the Shaker Heights City School District Marla Robinson were also on the panel and Sharon Broussard, former editorial writer for The Plain Dealer, served as the moderator.

“There has been research that documents, especially for kids who are coming from less advantaged backgrounds, that a high quality early care and education experience helps level the playing field for them,” Dr. Dorman said. “The research has been a game changer for us because it demonstrates that it’s an investment that is not [only] socially just, it is a smart thing to do from an economic perspective.”

Value of preschool

Preschool not only gives students a foundation for their kindergarten through 12th grade education, but it also develops necessary social and emotional skills, according to Ms. Price. She said that the Early Childhood Enrichment Center (ECEC), located on Sussex Road in Shaker Heights, focuses on children’s social and emotional needs so they can feel good about themselves, be socially adept and express themselves to other people.

Ms. Price also said that the ECEC is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, background and socioeconomic status. At Ms. Price’s ECEC center, 90 percent of the children were ready for language and literacy, as measured by the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

Dr. Robinson said that there is a strong correlation between early educational experiences and a student’s success in a school setting. Expectations for students are much different now than in the past, she said.

“The best thing we can do to set them up for success in the k-12 setting is high quality preschool,” according to Dr. Robinson.

Cost barrier

Despite the importance of early childhood education, the panelists said that cost is still a barrier to many families. Ms. Broussard noted that the average cost of quality childcare is $8,600 per year. She asked the panelists to first define what makes childcare “quality” or not and explain why the cost is so high.

Ms. Fears described Step Up to Quality, a five-star quality rating and improvement system administered by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. All early childhood education programs and preschool special education programs are mandated to participate in the rating and earn a 3, 4 or 5 to maintain state funding. She said that the rating was developed to help inform parents on the quality of different programs and provide support for education programs. Ms. Fears added that the teachers are key to the success of the program.

“There are several things that we know from the research. The most important indicator really rests with the teacher,” she said. “If they are educated in early childhood development and understand how children grow and develop…children will do quite well.”

Furthermore, preschool programs are costly, she said, because the administrators are trying to offer competitive wages and benefits to recruit and retain quality teachers. However, the turnover rate is high because the teachers can earn a higher salary at a public school district.

Dr. Robinson said that the Shaker Heights City School District offers preschool scholarships based on the family’s eligibility for free or reduced price meals and offers a payment plan. Ms. Price said that ECEC accepts students on childcare subsidies whose parents have a low income but are either working or in school.

“The state pays for part of their childcare and they pay a copay. They don’t pay us as much as we would get from a private pay individual but we feel that it’s important that everybody has that access to quality early care and education,” Ms. Price said. “We really try to make it for everyone.”

She added that ECEC is also part of Cuyahoga County’s universal prekindergarten program, so the county pays for a portion of the tuition. Ms. Fears said that middle class families are often hit the hardest since they do not qualify for the same financial assistance that low income families do.

“We feel confident that we’re delivering the gold standard of quality,” Dr. Dorman said of the universal prekindergarten program, which includes 67 sites across the county.

The panel discussed a variety of other topics, including recruiting minority students to preschool programs and engaging the parents. Dr. Robinson said that Shaker Heights schools are working strategically to seek out low income and underrepresented families to join preschool programs.

Dr. Dorman also spoke on community engagement, noting that the county Office of Early Childhood/Invest in Children is building a two generation approach to support the children and the parents’ needs. For example, the parents could use resources for further education and career exploration.

The panelists reminded the audience that many services for early childcare and prekindergarten are provided by the health and human services levy, which is on the March 17 primary ballot. If passed, the 4.7-mill levy will replace the current 3.9-mill levy. It would cost the property owner an additional $41 per $100,000 of property value from 2021-2028.

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