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Congress passes stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown.....President Biden comments.....By, Ohio's Black digital news leader.

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  • WASHINGTON, D.C- After weeks of political wranglings and divisiveness among Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Congress passed a stopgap funding bill Saturday evening that averted a looming government shutdown ahead of a midnight deadline.
  • President Joe Biden signed the new law into effect late Saturday night, which means the government can stay open through Nov 17 and as the Thanksgiving holiday looms.
  • In a statement, the president, who is up for reelection in 2024,  said the bill was “good news for the American people.” “But I want to be clear: we should never have been in this position in the first place.
  • "Just a few months ago, Speaker McCarthy and I reached a budget agreement to avoid precisely this type of manufactured crisis,” he said.
  • The Senate approved the measure after the House abruptly reversed course earlier in the day and passed the bipartisan  deal that could ultimately cost House Speaker Kevin McCarthy his speaker's seat, McCarthy telling reporters so what and that "Americans come first."
  • Among a host of other congressional  naysayers relative to the funding legislation, controversial  GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz told CNN Sunday that he'll work hard to remove the Speaker  from his leadership role this  week, an indication that Republicans remain angry over the bipartisan funding bill and that the usual partisan bickering will continue in Congress.

  • The stopgap bill includes natural disaster aid but  funding for Ukraine, a sticking part for many congressional lawmakers , and across partisan lines, did not make the cut. it  is expected to be voted on in coming weeks, sources said Friday.
  • 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 Sunday, 01 October 2023 18:13

Ohio Congresswoman Emilia Sykes condemns House Republicans' extreme spending cuts as a government shutdown, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Rep, Emilia Sykes (OH-13) (pictures), an Akron Democrat who leads Ohio's 13th congressional district, voted against House Republicans' extreme funding bills that the congresswoman said would hurt U.S. service members and their family member and weaken national security.  The congresswoman also called for bipartisan cooperation in an effort to avoid a looming government shutdown.

"Just days from the end of the fiscal year, House Republicans' partisan antics are looking more likely than ever to result in a government shutdown that interrupts critical government services, hurts small businesses, forces our troops to serve without pay, and furloughs over 6,000 federal workers in Ohio's 13th Congressional District alone," said Rep. Sykes. "Instead of working across the aisle to avoid a shutdown, extreme politicians are ramming through devastating cuts to vital programs and services like healthcare, food assistance and our national security."

Sykes also said that poor people will get hurt.

"Our neighbors simply cannot afford these cuts when the cost-of-living is already too high," she said. "These extreme, completely irresponsible proposals would only increase costs at a time when families are already struggling to make ends meet. I'll continue to put the needs of the people of Ohio's 13th Congressional District first, and work with any member to stop a shutdown and avoid the devastating consequences this would have for our communities."

Rep. Sykes has signed onto two letters to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, one with fellow first-term House Democrats and one with the New Democrat Coalition, both emphasizing the need to put the American people first, and to fund our essential government services and avoid a government shutdown.

Sykes has also introduced two bills— the Pay Our Military Act and the Feed Our Families Act – which put people over politics to protect Americans' livelihoods, and provide stability and certainty during a government shutdown, and a bill to help America's military. The Pay Our Military Act would ensure that U.S.  service members, the people who put their lives on the line every day to keep our country safe, c

ontinue to receive their paychecks during a government shutdown. The Feed Our Families Act would ensure families who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as SNAP) to put food on their tables can still access their benefits during a shutdown.

Rep. Sykes is one of three blacks in Congress from Ohio, and one of thre black women federal lawmakers from the pivotal state. She spoke on the House floor last week about the importance of avoiding a government shutdown. Watch her remarks here. 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 Sunday, 01 October 2023 19:09

88th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is September 28, 2023 at CWRU in Cleveland with Dr. Henry Louis Gates a key part of the free and open-to-the-public program....By, Ohio's black digital news leader

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – The recipients of the 8th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the only national juried prize for literature that confronts racism and explores diversity are as follows, will receive their awards during a ceremony on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center on the campus of  Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The event is free and open to the public.  The Cleveland Foundation, an annual partner relative to  he distinguished award ceremony, released the list of award winners earlier this year, and they are as follows:

For additional information, a complete list of the recipients since 1935, and to learn more about The Asterisk* podcast featuring previous winners, visit

"These remarkable books deliver groundbreaking insights on race and diversity,” said Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (pictured), who chairs the jury and is a Black scholar and Harvard University researcher who serves as the annual host of the event. “This year, we honor a profound and funny novel centered in a Chinese restaurant, a brilliant story of 19th-century horse-racing with contemporary echoes, a stunning poetry collection that captures who we are now, and a meticulous history that recasts our understanding of World War II. All are capped by the lifetime achievement of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who remade this country with her courage and her nuanced reporting.”

Dr. Gates directs the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, where he is also the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor. Joining him in selecting the winners each year are poet Rita Dove, novelist Joyce Carol Oates, psychologist Steven Pinker and historian Simon Schama.

Karen R. Long, manager of the book awards at the Cleveland Foundation, noted the prescience of philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf in founding the prize in 1935.

Her notion that literature can ignite justice is valid nearly 90 years later, and we are honored to add the 2023 winners to the canon,” Long said. "We are proud the newest books tackle the toughest topics and insist on ways forward.”

Past winners include seven writers who later won Nobel prizes – Ralph J. Bunche, Nadine Gordimer, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, Gunnar Myrdal, Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott. They are among the 262 recipients of the prize.

About the 2023 Winners

Geraldine Brooks, 67, crafted her ninth book, “Horse” to imagine the relationship between Lexington, a legendary antebellum American racehorse, and his Black groom, Jarret, as the stallion rises to greatness. The novel toggles between the 1850s, the 1950s and 2019, where a pair of young D.C. intellectuals are caught up in the horse’s story through art and science. What resulted, according to Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Jury Chair Henry Louis Gates Jr., is “a dazzling achievement, a brilliant example of how to turn historical events into a fiction that stands on its own.” Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for “March.” A native of Australia, she graduated from the University of Sydney before working as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald. Brooks went on to earn her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and worked as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. and was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016.

Lan Samantha Chang, 58, crafted “The Family Chao” – which earned a spot on Barack Obama’s 2022 summer reading list – as a comedic retelling of Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” through the lens of a dysfunctional Chinese-American family. They own a restaurant in small-town Wisconsin until the patriarch is murdered and others rush to impose a sinister twist on their American dream. Anisfield-Wolf Juror Joyce Carol Oates extolled the novel as “an outstanding work of fiction”’ that she found to be exceptionally accomplished and ambitious. Chang has directed the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for 17 years. She graduated from Yale University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She herself is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. The American Academy in Berlin, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation all granted her fellowships. Earlier books include “All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost” and “Hunger.” She lives with her husband and daughter in Iowa City, Iowa.

Matthew F. Delmont, 45, is a historian whose “Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad” explores the vital contributions that Black men and women made to the United States’ victorious effort in World War II, only to return home to find segregation and racism athwart their schools, communities and jobs. “The role of African Americans in World War II rewrites our understanding of ‘the greatest generation’ in the ‘good war,’ given the shocking discrimination and harassment of millions of patriots willing to risk their lives in it,” Anisfield-Wolf Juror Steven Pinker notes. “The tension between the America-vs.-Fascism clash and the White-America-vs.-Black-America clash highlights the way in which humans belong to multiple overlapping coalitions, and how a recognition of these contradictions can lead to moral and historical shifts.” Delmont received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his master’s and doctorate in American studies from Brown University. He is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth College. He lives in Etna, New Hampshire with his family.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, 81, made history and chronicled it as a journalist, author and lecturer. Alongside her high school classmate, Hamilton Holmes, she desegregated the University of Georgia in 1961 amid taunts, tear gas, vandalism and a riot. She graduated in 1963, embarking on a storied career in journalism that began at The New Yorker. She was the first Black writer for “Talk of the Town.” The assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. interrupted a brief stint in graduate school and led Hunter-Gault to join the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She then went on to The New York Times – establishing the paper’s Harlem bureau – and then PBS, where she won numerous Emmy and Peabody awards. Hunter-Gault became NPR’s chief correspondent in Africa and then CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief from 1999-2005. The following year, she published the book “New News Out of Africa: Uncovering Africa’s Renaissance.” A Peabody citation declared that she “demonstrated a talent for ennobling her subjects, and revealed a depth of understanding of the African experience that was unrivaled in Western media.” Hunter-Gault, mother of daughter Suesan Stovall and son Chuma Gault, currently lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband, Ronald Gault.

Saeed Jones, 37, is a Pushcart Prize-winning poet and writer whose first collection of poetry, “Prelude to Bruise,” was a 2014 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His 2019 memoir, “How We Fight for Our Lives,” won the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. “Alive at the End of the World,” Jones’ second collection, contains 46 poems that sweep from strict verse to prose paragraphs. Anisfield-Wolf Juror Rita Dove calls the book “an aching reminder that a queer Black man leads a meta existence; he cannot live without thinking about living, constantly negotiating the everyday with an eye to the peril that can intrude at any time, from police violence to the minutest reactions from highbrow bigots.” Jones, who moved from New York City to Columbus, Ohio in 2019, received his bachelor’s from Western Kentucky University and his master’s from Rutgers University-Newark. He was the founding LGBTQ editor and the executive culture editor at BuzzFeed. 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 Wednesday, 27 September 2023 20:35

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 Tuesday, 26 September 2023 00:39

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

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