“Having Given Them Bayonets, We Will Not Withhold the Ballot”- Republicans and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction Ohio, 1865-1867 by Jacob T Mach

“Having Given Them Bayonets, We Will Not Withhold the Ballot”- Republicans and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction Ohio, 1865-1867

by Jacob T Mach, 2020, Master of Arts (MA), Bowling Green State University, History.

The link is here

or try this link

Ohio politics during the Reconstruction era has received sparse treatment by historians. Not until 1970 with Felice Bonadio’s North of Reconstruction was there a monograph solely dedicated to Ohio politics during the era. Robert Sawrey wrote his Dubious Victory in 1992, but still the historiography on Reconstruction Ohio remains dramatically underdeveloped. In Ohio, the question of African American suffrage was the single most divisive issue facing politicians during the era. Radical Republicans brought a referendum before the people of Ohio in 1867 to change the state constitution to protect the suffrage rights of both white and black males above the age of 21. The measure failed 216,987 votes (45.9 percent) to 255,340 (54.1 percent) votes. The failure of the suffrage amendment disheartened many Radical Republicans across Ohio and the rest of the North, yet Ohio Republicans managed to elicit more support for suffrage than most states in the North. Such support did not arise randomly; it intentionally developed over a three-year period beginning after the Civil War. Two primary research questions drive this project: 1) Did suffrage become a crucial issue in the state of Ohio earlier than the existing historiography suggests, 2) why were Ohio radicals able to generate more support for black suffrage within the Republican party than in other states in the North? By showing that Republican support (through Congressional voting records, public support via speeches and letters, and by Republican-sympathetic papers throughout the state) for black suffrage existed in significant numbers in 1865 (prior to 1866-1867, as Bonadio, Sawrey and others suggest) in both the Western Reserve and in other parts of the state and only continued to grow until the referendum in the fall of 1867, this project will argue that black suffrage was not only being pursued by radicals, but ultimately by the vast majority of the Republican party. Ohio’s inability to secure black suffrage with overwhelming Republican support will in turn help to explain why other northern states achieved even less success in their pursuit of black suffrage.

In a State of Access: Ohio Higher Education, 1945 – 1990 by Jonathan Tyler Baker

In a State of Access: Ohio Higher Education, 1945 – 1990
by Jonathan Tyler Baker, 2020, Doctor of Education, Miami University, Educational Leadership.
The link is here

or try this link

In a State of Access is a historical study about the way public higher education in Ohio became both generally accessible to nearly every citizen while also offering elite undergraduate and graduate programs. This project grapples with the question of how national, state and regional factors – from the mid-1940s through the end of the 20th century – influenced the way Ohio’s leaders viewed the purpose of public higher education and influenced whether Ohio’s leaders chose to focus on making public higher education more selective or accessible. State leaders initially balked at the idea of funding public higher education. When they did decide to make the investment, ideological battles, economic stagnation and the state’s budget deficit continually influenced how state leaders viewed the purpose of public higher education. As a result, state leaders never succeeded in building a system of public higher education that reflected a clearly defined, well-organized purpose. This dissertation is the first full-length study about contemporary public higher education in Ohio and one of the few case studies of any state’s system of higher education. As the public and politicians at the state and national level pay more attention to the accessibility of higher education, and the role of a college degree in a globalized, service economy, a case study of Ohio helps us to better understand why public higher education is still struggling with problems over access.

The Shame of the Buckeye State: Journalistic Complacency on Episodic Lynching in Ohio from 1872 to 1932

The Shame of the Buckeye State: Journalistic Complacency on Episodic Lynching in Ohio from 1872 to 1932
by Rounkles M Claire, 2020, Master of Science (MS), Ohio University,
Journalism (Communication)
The link is here

or try this link

The lynching era in Ohio lasted from 1803 to 1937. During these years thirty-five people died at the hands of a lynch mob and seventy-nine escaped from a mob’s clutches. This thesis situates the history of lynching in Ohio from 1872 to 1932 and discusses the issue of complacent journalism in the Ohio press through a study of twenty-four cases of white-on-white lynching and racial terror lynching. This thesis shows that lynching was employed as a means to enact fear to keep Black Ohioans in a marginalized position and prevent them from prospering economically or politically. The author also argues that journalists were not objective bystanders but were key to the social voice and national conversation that accepted the practice of lynching in America. By utilizing the concept of critical race theory, the author shows that the racist ideal of Whiteness was able to become hidden by seemingly objective reporting, thus allowing the mainstream press to accept the practice of lynching without the guilt of unlawful “justice.” There is also a paucity of research on Harry C. Smith, a Black journalist who pushed for the first anti-lynching law in Ohio. As such, this research aims to make a significant impact not only on the literature involving northern lynchings but also in the history of Ohio and the need to understand its dark past. In 2020 this historical research hold saliency regarding the racial violence which continues today in America.

BE IT RESOLVED… State Resolutions & Practice: Infusing Anti-Racism and Equity Into Ohio Schools 7pm ET, Wed, Feb 17 & Feb 24

BE IT RESOLVED… State Resolutions & Practice: Infusing Anti-Racism and Equity Into Ohio Schools

7pm ET, Wed, Feb 17 & Feb 24
Register: bit.ly/RealTalk_BeItResolved
FMI: www.RealTalkLWV.org

Join us for a 2-part series examining how to infuse Anti-Racism and Equity into Ohio’s Public Schools. Hear from the State Board of Education and the practitioners in Northeast Ohio who drive systemic and student programming.

PART 1: Wednesday, Feb 17 at 7pm

Members, past and present, of the Ohio State Board of Education will walk through the recently adopted ‘Resolution to Condemn Racism and Advance Equity and Opportunity for Black Students, Indigenous Students and Students of Color’.

Why the resolution was needed and how it will be implemented across more than 600 public school districts in Ohio.

PANEL: Ohio State Board of Education
Laura Kohler, President
Meryl Johnson, Dist. 11
​Linda Haycock, Dist. 1, Past
Stephanie Dodd, Dist. 9, Past

PART 2: Wednesday, Feb 24 at 7pm
Meet the educators and administrators who are successfully driving innovative student programming, instituting systemic policy changes, and combatting dangerous biases in education. Learn how their proven approaches have impacted student learning, addressed social-emotional health, and bridged opportunity gaps for thousands of students in Northeast Ohio.​​

Opening Speaker: Paolo DeMaria, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Ohio Department of Education

Moderated By: Rick Jackson, Senior Host and Producer, ​ideastream, WVIZ PBS, and WCPN NPR

Produced by League of Women Voters of Akron, Canton, Greater Cleveland, Hudson and Kent


Battle for the Ballot: Cleveland’s Suffragist Movement A talk by Dr. Mary Manning Feb 23, 2021 at 7pm

Tuesday February 23, 2021 at 7pm
Battle for the Ballot: Cleveland’s Suffragist Movement
A talk by Dr. Mary Manning
Zoom RSVP here:

There is no complete record of the brave, often unnamed women who fought for their right to vote and finally triumphed in 1920. In conjunction with the Women & Politics exhibition at the Cleveland History Center, learn about a band of Northeast Ohio women who dedicated themselves to the public interest and grew into an organization that won the respect and confidence of the nation through the photographs, fashions, newspaper reports, and pamphlets they and their opponents left behind. This program will tell the story behind the local women who advocated for suffrage and went on to help establish the League of Women Voters.

Presented by Dr. Mary Manning, Western Reserve Historical Society

Cosponsored by Cleveland History Center, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland and CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning


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


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


High quality preschool closes the achievement gap, experts say
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.


Cuyahoga County Plastic Bag Ban January 2020

Thank you Governor DeWine for supporting home rule and protecting Lake Erie.

Please tell your Ohio State Senator to let local areas determine their own laws, especially on plastics which can harm our lakes and rivers

This from the Sierra Club of Ohio:
EVERYONE make calls to Governor DeWine’s office applauding his position against the container law preemption bills and for local government freedom to develop solutions to plastic pollution. (Pats on the back are always nice, and hopefully it will encourage him to hold strong on his position and veto any bills that may make it to his desk)  (614) 644-4357

To find your Ohio State Senator (or Rep.), click here

Here are tools we can use to educate about the Cuyahoga County Single-Use Plastic Bag ban


“School Funding in Ohio: The Possibilities and Challenges of Creating a Solution” Feb 10, 2020 at Heights High

School Funding in Ohio: The Possibilities and Challenges of Creating a Solution
Monday February 10, 2020 7:00p.m.
Cleveland Heights High School, 16263 Cedar Road
w/Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Bill Phillis, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding

School funding in Ohio has been deemed unconstitutional for over 20 years.
Rep. Patterson (D – Jefferson) and Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) led a three-year process to address the shortcomings of Ohio’s school funding system. HB 305 is now making its way through the legislature.
In the 1997 DeRolph decision, the Ohio Supreme Court found Ohio’s funding system unconstitutional. Bill Phillis, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding, the organization that brought the lawsuit, will provide the history of Ohio’s funding lawsuit and an overview of the constitutional issues that need to be solved.
Rep. Patterson will address the challenges in defining a realistic estimate of the costs of education, in determining how much state aid is required and distributing it fairly, and in garnering enough public and lawmaker support for necessary changes.
State Representative Janine Boyd, will introduce the experts and participate in the question and answer portion of the meeting.
Event sponsors are Heights Coalition for Public Education, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Reaching Heights, CHUH PTA Council, NE Ohio Friends of Public Education, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, CH-UH Board of Education.

“Experts say state needs bail reform” by Julie Hullett

Summary of “Bail Reform” forum held at Cleveland Hts/University Hts Public Library on Thursday December 12, 2019

Experts say state needs bail reform
The pdf is here

left to right: Nick Castele- Ideastream, Claire Chevrier ACLU Ohio, Judge Charles L. Patton Jr., Cleveland Municipal Court, Judge John J. Russo, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS — Panelists at a Thursday forum concluded that the state of Ohio is in desperate need of bail reform, a slow yet necessary process to even the scales as defendants stand before the justice system.

The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the League of Women Voters sponsored the event at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library on Dec. 12, in addition to other sponsors such as Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning, Heights Public Library, Ideastream and First Interstate Properties, Ltd.

Nick Castele of WCPN/Ideastream moderated the panel, which consisted of advocacy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Claire Chevrier, Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Charles Patton, Jr. and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John Russo.

“In Ohio, we have a two-tier system of justice in which wealthy individuals who were assigned cash bail as a condition of release get to go home to their families,” Ms. Chevrier said. “Those who don’t have deep pockets and can’t pay for their cash bail as a condition of release stay in jail.”

The video from the forum is here:

Pretrial services

Judge Patton said that Cleveland did not have a pretrial services department two years ago. A representative from pretrial services greets people in custody directly after their arrest and gathers information such as their employment and housing status. Judge Patton said that a risk assessment tool is used to determine if the person is a risk to the community and the pretrial services department gathers that information.

He said that there are currently 90 people in Cleveland Municipal Court jail. Several years ago, there was an average 200-300 people in jail on any day, according to Judge Patton.

“During this year, we have reduced our jail population by more than 50 percent by utilizing the pretrial services,” he said.

Risk assessments

Ms. Chevrier said that risk assessments cannot be objective. Although some are better than others, she said, risk assessments are based on underlying biases and criminal policing. For example, some assessments would flag defendants who live in a high crime neighborhood, which Ms. Chevrier said is criminalization of poverty. Other biases include number of former arrests and convictions, which can have racially disparate outcomes, she explained.

“There’s a lot of coercion under cash bail system,” she said. “That is not an objective measure.”

Closing the gap

Judge Russo explained how Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court works in coordination with Cleveland Municipal Court. He said that 60 percent of the felony charges in the common pleas court come from the 13 municipal courts in the county. The county court must manage 15,000 to 17,000 cases per year, he said.

Six years ago, Judge Russo said that defendants waited an average of 30 days in jail between appearing in front of the municipal court and the county court. He said that the gap is now four days because dire consequences come from being stuck in jail.

“We closed that gap for a number of reasons…[like] how it can affect someone’s life in a matter of three days, losing a car, a job, a home, whatever it might be,” Judge Russo said.

Moving forward

Judge Russo was a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s task force on bail reform and the group published nine recommendations, including requiring a risk assessment tool and the presence of counsel for an initial appearance, considering alternatives to pretrial detention and use text or email reminders for court dates, according to the report.

Judge Russo said that Ohio needs a “centralized data-based system for criminal justice system” so every region of the state can collect and compare data equally. Judge Patton compared the costs of keeping people in jail or releasing them until their next court date.

“We are spending between $100-150 per night per defendant in jail,” Judge Patton said. “We are spending less than $10 for every night they’re on the street.”

Ms. Chevrier and the ACLU are advocating for “a presumption of release” unless the judge or prosecutor asks for a hearing because they notice something concerning in the facts of the case or the person’s history that could make the person a public safety risk.

Audience members and mental health professionals Dr. Megan Testa and Annette Amistadi said that the forum was informative. Dr. Tetsa of Shaker Heights, a psychiatrist at University Hospitals, said that she often works will patients who are mentally ill and need treatment rather than jail time. Ms. Amistadi of Parma said that she came to the forum to learn more about how the justice system can treat people fairly and work as efficiently as possible.