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Ohio Congresswoman Emilia Sykes to be sworn-in in Akon January 28 by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart, the first Black elected to Ohio's highest court.....Rep Sykes is the newest member of Ohio's largely Black and majority female five-member De

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By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief and

AKRON, Ohio-Ohio 13th Congressional District Congresswoman Emilia Sykes (pictured at right marching for women's rights International Women's Day in Cleveland on March 8, 2021), Ohio's newest Democratic congress person and one of five members of Ohio's majority female and largely Black Democratic Congressional Delegation, will be sworn-in on Saturday, Jan 28, 2023 in her hometown of Akron by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart, a Democrat and the first Black elected to Ohio's highest bench and currently the only Black sitting on the majority female and largely Republican court. The event is free and open-to-the-public and will be held from 2 pm-4 pm at the Firestone Community Learning Center Other dignitaries slated to attend include Presiding Judge of the Ninth Appellate District Court of Appeals of Ohio Betty Sutton, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, City of Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry, Akron City Councilwoman Linda Ombien,  President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers and Secretary-Treasurer of the Ohio AFL-CIO Melissa Cropper, ASIA Community Outreach Coordinator Hsa Win, and Akron United Baptist Church Pastor Kevin G. Rushing.


In addition to Sykes, the youngest of  Ohio's Democratic congress people, Ohio's five-member Democratic Congressional Delegation also includes Reps  Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, Joyce Beatty of Columbus, who is Black like Sykes, and Shontel Brown, also Black and of Warrensville Hts The fifth member is U.S Sen Sherrod Brown of Cleveland, Ohio's most prominent elected Democrat and a senior member of Congress. And the three Blacks are women, two of them from Northeast Ohio, which includes the cities of Cleveland and Akron, the hometown of NBA megastar LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and a city some 36 miles southeast of Cleveland. With Sen Sherrod Brown included, three of the five Democratic delegation members are from Northeast Ohio.


Missing from the delegation as to the 118th United States Congress is outgoing former congressman Tim Ryan, a Youngstown area Democrat and a 20-year congressman who did not seek election to the House of Representatives last year and instead ran a hard fought yet unsuccessful campaign against Republican J.D. Vance in a high-priced election to replace former U.S. Sen Rob Portman, also a Republican, and who retired last year. In fact, Republicans won all of the statewide offices in Ohio in last year's election, including the reelection of Gov Mike Dewine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state attorney general Dave Yost, and three seats up for grabs on the seven-member on the largely Republican and majority female Ohio Supreme Court This includes the Ohio Supreme Court seat open due to the  retirement of age-limited Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, her open seat won by sitting Justice Sharon Kennedy, also a Republican, and a former cop.

In helping to turn Ohio's five-member Democratic Congressional delegation majority Black, which is historical in Ohio, and in keeping it largely female, Sykes, a  former state representative and former minority leader of the Ohio House, and the daughter of state Sen Dr. Vernon Sykes and his wife Barbara Sykes, a former state representative, defeated Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert in last year's general election to win Ohio's U.S. House District 13 seat The seat was  newly created and was formed via Ohio's new congressional map, a controversial redistricting map that was gerrymandered but still remains intact in conjunction with an Ohio Supreme Court ruling issued.


"It was my name on the ballot, but we are all going to Congress," said Sykes during an election night victory party speech last year that drew a round of applause from supporters in attendance.


Ohio's 13th congressional district covers the entirety of Summit County, parts of Stark and Portage Counties, two of Ohio’s largest cities, Akron and Canton, as well as numerous suburban communities and rural areas. Rep Shontel Brown's 11th congressional district included Akron and Cleveland before redistricting but the new map moves Akron into Syke's new 13th congressional district that Sykes. The Republican-drawn map is in place for the next four years instead of 10 because it passed without Democratic support.

Ohio lost one of its 16 House seats relative to the redistricting process that occurs every 10 years in cooperation with the U.S. census and population dynamics and the new boundaries eliminate its only Black-majority seat, the 11th congressional district, which includes Cleveland and has been led by Rep Brown since 2021, Brown a former congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge's successor.


Fudge is also Black and is now secretary of Housing and Urban Development with the President Joe Biden administration.


Following redistricting, Ohio went from 12-4 Republican-to-Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives  to 10-5 Republican-to-Democrat via the Nov 8 midterm elections. Hence, Republicans technically lost two seats from Ohio and Democrats maintained the four seats they had in the U.S. House prior to redistricting. 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 Monday, 30 January 2023 01:46


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