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President Biden joined for speech in Lorain near Cleveland by prominent Democrats, including Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, U.S. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Ohio Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur and Shontel Brown, state Senator Nickie Antonio, and more

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From left: United States President Joe Biden, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Ohio 9th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, U.S. HUD Secretary Marcia L Fudge, Ohio 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Shontel Brown, and Ohio State Senator Nickie Antonio (Click on the title on latest news herein to view the full picture)

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor, associate publisher and

CLEVELAND, Ohio- President Joe Biden visited Cleveland, Ohio and spoke in neighboring Lorain on Thurs., Feb 17, an effort to promote his $1.2 trillion infrastructure package,  legislation sanctioned by Congress and signed into law by the president in November of 2021.  It is the president's second visit to the largely Black major American city of some 372,000 people since last May when he visited Cuyahoga County Community College to champion his American Rescue Plan.

The president, riding freely on Air Force One, landed at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Thursday morning about 11am and ultimately drove with his entourage to the Shipyards restaurant in Lorain where he was joined by prominent fellow Democrats, including at least two city mayors, two area Democratic congresswomen, and members of Ohio's state legislature. His visit to Northeast Ohio comes as the midterm elections loom and Democrats and Republicans have lined up in hopes of  replacing the retiring U.S. Sen Rob Portman, a Cincinnati Republican who is not seeking reelection this year, and who supported restoration of funding by Congress relative to infrastructure monies for America's Great Lakes, infrastructure funding that had been cut by 90 percent by the Trump administration.

Lorain is a Cleveland suburb some 30 miles west of Cleveland  that borders Lake Erie at the mouth of the Black River. It is roughly 18 percent Black and has a population of some 63,000 people. And it is notable for its de-industrialized economy, formerly being home to the American ShipBuilding Company Lorain Yard, Ford Motor Company Lorain Assembly Plant, and United States Steel Corporation's steel mill on the City's south side. The city faces issues similar to other Rust Belt cities, including population decline and urban decay.  Like Cleveland,  poverty in the city is above the national average.

“What you’ve done here in Lorain, shows what’s possible,” Biden said in promoting $1 billion in monies from the federal government to clean up and restore  some 22 areas at issue across Wisconsin, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois by 2030. “You’ve reclaimed your waterfront, cleaned your drinking water, restored wetlands, which will help protect against storm and flooding for extreme weather and the spring thaw, and set the stage for jobs and businesses of the future.”

Ohio has three Great Lake areas that will benefit, including Black River in Lorain,  which the Environmental Protection Agency has listed as one of the most polluted nationwide.

Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Kaptur, the longest serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives who was a congresswoman during his 36 years as U.S. senator representing the state of Delaware, spoke at length before Biden took to the podium for an afternoon speech.

“I have served in Congress during the tenure of six presidents,” said Kaptur, whose ninth congressional district extends from Toledo to Cleveland and Lorain, at least until upcoming redistricting maps likely eliminate parts of Cleveland and Lorain from her district. “I can honestly say, President Biden, you have done more good works to benefit this region already and into the future through the passage of the rescue and infrastructure and jobs act than any other president has ever accomplished.”

Environment Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan spoke too, and highlighted that the president's infrastructure plan allocates $1 billion to preserve the nation's Great Lakes, which are a major sources of drinking water to Midwest communities.

The president echoed that sentiment during his 20 minute speech  and added that the $billion funding for America's Great Lakes that is a part of the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure deal approved by Congress allows for "the most significant restoration of the Great Lakes in the history of the Great Lakes."

Also among the prominent Democratic dignitaries there were  Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley, who spoke briefly, Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, a former 11th congressional district congressperson and prior mayor of Warrensville Heights, a Cleveland suburb. Other dignitaries there were Congresswoman, Shontel Brown, a Warrensville Heights Democrat who succeeded Fudge in Congress this year after Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, vacated her congressional seat to join the Biden administration,  Euclid Democratic state Sen. Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, state Sen. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood, and state Rep. Joe Miller of Amherst.

Both Ohio's 9th congressional district, and its 11th congressional district, which is majority Black, include parts of Cleveland, the largest city in Cuyahoga County, the state's second largest county behind Franklin county, which includes the capital city of Columbus, Ohio's largest city in front of Cleveland.

Biden recognized Fudge, and Congresswomen Brown and Kaptur, among others, including U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat who was not there to greet the president allegedly due to a prior engagement, sources said.

In a press release  on Tuesday, the president billed his visit to Northeast Ohio this week as part of a national tour on his "Bill Back Better" multi-million dollar infrastructure plan that he says is a framework for rebuilding roads and bridges, upgrading water systems, cleaning up the environment, and creating good-paying, union jobs.

The infrastructure legislation that has become a signature policy measure of the Biden presidency, allocates roughly $60 billion to Ohio to fund local and state government projects, and another $10 billion to fund highway projects This is coupled with the much- talked-about $1 billion that is slated for the Great Lakes Restoration Project.

Supported especially by the progressive wing of Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives where Democrats are in control,  the legislative measure includes significant infrastructure investments, including relative to bridges, roads, bridges, railways, drinking water, and broadband internet in poor and rural communities in particular.

“Finally. Infrastructure week,” Biden said in response to passage of the infrastructure legislation late last year, alluding to the failure by his predecessor, former president Donald Trump, to get mass infrastructure bills through Congress.

The former vice president under former president Barack Obama who ousted former president Donald Trump from the White House in 2020 with a promise of bringing calm and economic stability to a country burdened by a partisan divide and never-ending congressional bickering, President Biden has said that his infrastructure deal is the first of its kind and the first time in history that Congress has approved such a massive investment. It comes behind  passage of a massive stimulus package by Congress last March that President Biden championed, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan It is Biden's $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, legislation passed in response to the economic, physical and other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of nearly a million Americans, and even more worldwide.

The American Rescue Plan builds upon many of the measures in the CARES Act from March 2020 and in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. 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, 18 February 2022 18:36

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