Menu Style


Ohio lawmakers vote to put issue before voters in August on whether to increase the threshold for amending the constitution as abortion advocates continue collecting signatures for a possible ballot initiative/Ohio state Sen Nickie Antonio comments

E-mail Print PDF

Above picture-Women's March Cleveland leads some 2,500 women and their supporters via a protest for reproductive rights and abortion access held on October 2, 2021 at Market Square Park in Cleveland, Ohio, a sister march to marches held in cities across the country that day spearheaded by Women's March National out of Washington, D.C. ( Photo by David Petkiewicz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper and and

Staff article


COLUMBUS, Ohio- The Republican-dominated Ohio House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday primarily along party lines that puts the issue on the ballot in August of whether to require 60 percent of voters to enact a new constitutional amendment instead of the simple majority that is currently required. Separate legislation pushed by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and House and other Republicans that would have paid for the special election got scrapped in committee after some Republicans who oppose the resolution would not come on board.

In short, voters will determine this summer, via a special election, whether to change the process for citizens to seek voter approved changes or amendments to the Ohio constitution.

The resolution, dubbed Senate Joint Resolution 2, passed the Ohio House 62-37 with all Democrats and five Republicans opposing the controversial measure.  If seven instead of five Republicans had voted no, it would have failed as it needed a three fourths vote to pass.The Senate, which is overwhelmingly Republican, adopted the resolution April 19 by a vote of 26-7 with all Democrats opposing it and all Republicans voting yes.

Democrats have chastized Republicans for an August 8th special election that they say is unfunded and undemocratic across the board while Senate President Matt Huffman, a Republican, said LaRose’s office has enough funding for the special election, and that if he needs more, lawmakers will reimburse him.

Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat whose 23rd state legislative district includes 14 of Cleveland's 17 wards, was livid.

"It is a republic if you can keep it," said Antonio, referring to a quote made by Benjamin Franklin. "The people of Ohio have shown us that they are awake, watching what we are doing and fighting for our democracy. We must protect our constitution and maintain one person, one vote. S.J.R. 2 as amended does not do that."

SJR2 comes as pro abortion advocates continue collecting  signatures in an effort to get abortion on the ballot in November to possibly derail a state law that is on hold per a judge's ruling but that outlaws abortion in Ohio after six weeks of pregnancy, or once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Hundreds of opponents of SJR2, following a picket there last week, packed the statehouse in Columbus again on Wednesday The resolution itself is a proposed amendment, and if voters agree to its provisions at the ballot box this summer it would, in raising the threshold for a constitutional amendment from a simple majority to a 60 percent vote of the electorate, require citizens to get voter signatures from all 88 counties instead of 44 to place a measure on the ballot. It would also eliminate a 10-day period in which petitioners can replace any invalid signatures.

Petitioners need more than 413,000 valid signatures for a ballot initiative that seeks to enshrine the legal right to an abortion into the Ohio constitution. Abortion advocates, however, must now fight to collect necessary signatures in hopes of getting the abortion issue before voters in November while simultaneously campaigning to keep voters from upping the threshold by which the constitution in Ohio is amended.

The  conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court last summer overturned Roe v Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that made abortion legal nationwide, and relegated authority to either restrict or outright outlaw abortion to the country's respective state legislatures.

Ohio's Republican governor, Mike DeWine, also a former U.S. senator and state attorney general, has pledged to do everything within his power to outlaw abortion in Ohio, though SJR2 did not need his signature for final approval after passage by the House on Wednesday. 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 Friday, 12 May 2023 09:36

Cleveland school board chooses Dr Warren Morgan, who is Black, as the school district's new CEO, and with Mayor Bibb's approval ....By, Ohio's Black digital news leader

E-mail Print PDF and

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief, and political, educational, and investigative journalist

CLEVELAND, Ohio-The Cleveland Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the city mayor under state law, has chosen a Black man to replace outgoing CEO Dr. Eric Gordon and to lead Cleveland's largely Black 33,000 pupil public school district. Gordon held the position for 11 years and until Mayor Justin Bibb, a visionary Black mayor who took office in January 2022, decided that education would be a major priority relative to his first term as mayor, and that the school district district in the majority Black major American city of some 372,00 people needs fresh leadership.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 18:25

Mage wins 149th Kentucky Derby that had no Breonna Taylor protests....By, Ohio's Black digital news leader

E-mail Print PDF and, Ohio's most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog.Tel: (216) 659-0473 and Email:

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

CLEVELANDURBANNEWS.COM, LOUISVILLE, Kentucky-Ridden by jockey Javier Castellano and with odds of 15-1, Mage edged Two Phil's, which came in second place, and Zandon, which took third, to win the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 00:35

Gina DeJesus' mother to join activists, elected officials for 10-year anniversary of Cleveland Seymour Ave survivors rally at noon on May 6, 2023 at 2207 Seymour Ave

E-mail Print PDF and

Staff article

CLEVELAND, Ohio-Nancy Ruiz, the mother of Cleveland Seymour Avenue survivor Gina DeJesus who fought with community activists for years to find her missing daughter, will join a list of speakers for the upcoming 10 year anniversary rally of the escape of the Seymour Avenue survivors on Saturday, May 6 at 2207 on Seymour Avenue from noon-2pm where the since demolished home of the late serial rapist Ariel Castro one stood.

Other rally speakers include state Sen Nickie Antonio, state Rep Juanita Brent, Journey Center for Safety and Healing (domestic violence center) CEO Melissa Graves, Cleveland Councilpersons Kevin Conwell and Joe Jones, and activists from the Black Women's Army, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, Imperial Women Coalition, Young Mothers of Cleveland, Black on Black Crime Inc, Peace in the Hood, Carl Stoke Brigade, and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.

May 6 marks the 10-year anniversary since May 6, 2013 of the escape, after a decade of captivity, of Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry from Castro's since demolished Seymour Avenue home on Cleveland's near west side. Castro hanged himself in prison in 2013, a month into a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his criminal deeds, including abduction and rape.

"We are not ready to forget what happened in the 'House of Horrors' on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio and we have unfinished business as to heightened rape and murder and other crimes against innocent women and girls," organizers of the event said.

The activists say the anniversary event will also address the Violence Against Women Act, local, county, statewide and national public policy changes sought, and a demand for resources as to violence against women and children, human trafficking, and the epidemic of missing persons. Additionally, activists want more equitable distributions of resources in educational arenas for women and girls, particularly regarding poor, minority, inner city and LGBT women, girls, and other genders.

A local guitar player and former Cleveland schools bus driver, Castro hanged himself in prison a month into his life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was a sad character and a serial rapist of children and women.

Statistics on nationwide violence against women and girls include the following:

-Violence against women and girls, including rape and murder, remains an epidemic, as does human trafficking

-Women and girls ages 12-34 are at the highest risk for sexual assault

-Poor women are 12 times more likely to get raped

-One out of every six American women has experience an attempted or completed rape and 22 percent of African-American women and 14 percent of Hispanic-American women experience at least one rape or attempted rape in their lifetime 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 Tuesday, 09 May 2023 13:36

Akron voters choose new mayor in primary election after a no indictment of police in the Jayland Walker case, Walker gunned down by eight Akron cops shooting some 94 bullets as he ran for his life....By, Ohio's Black digital news

E-mail Print PDF and

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associated publisher, editor

AKRON, Ohio- On the heels of a no indictment by a Summit County grand jury in a case where eight Akron cops who gunned down 25-year old Jayland Walker shooting 94 bullets as he ran away from police escaped criminal charges, Akron voters on Tuesday chose a new mayor to lead the city of some 190,000 people

A Harvard graduate and first term councilman, Shammas Malik (pictured), 32, was elected the presumptive mayor of Akron in a seven-way, all Democratic nonpartisan primary race, according to unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections. And if nobody files to run in the November election, he will run unopposed.

"Change is coming," Malik said during a campaign watch party before supporters and family members, and the media  He also said that safety and youth violence will be a priority during his tenure as mayor.

Malik won with 43.2% of the vote followed by  Akron Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs Marco Sommerville, who got 25.7% . Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley came in third with  17.5% of  the vote and the remaining candidates each received less than eight% of the vote.


Akron's current mayor Dan horrigan, mayor since 2016, did not seek reelection.

How the new minority mayor, a millennia who is of Pakistani and Irish decent. will address the fallout in the  Jayland Walker case remains to be seen.

Last month a largely White, majority female county grand jury issued what is called a no bill after determining that the shooting death was justified and that criminal charges were not warranted.The tragic killing by police of the young Black man from Akron who had no criminal record has drawn national attention to the city that is some 30 miles southeast of Cleveland and the hometown of NBA megastar and Los Angeles Laker LeBron James

The police shooting incident in question occurred following a car and foot chase and traffic stop in June of 2022. No gun was found on Walker's person but police say they later found a gun in his car, and that he allegedly shot at them before jumping out of the car and taking off on foot.  Walker family attorney Bobby DiCello disagrees with the grand jury decision, and was livid with the grand jury's decision not to indict police.

Here's what police and city officials say led up to the police shooting death of Jayland Walker, much of it at odds with what attorneys for the Walker family say allegedly happened

According to the Akron Police Department, at about 12:30 a.m. on June 27, police in Akron attempted to stop Walker for an unspecified traffic violation. Walker did not stop and a chase ensued. The pursuing officers say gunfire came from the vehicle less than a minute into the chase. After several minutes, Walker exited the highway and the chase continued along city streets.

Eventually, Walker's car slowed down, and while the car was still moving, Walker exited from the passenger's side, wearing a ski mask, and ran towards a nearby parking lot. Officers chased Walker and attempted to stop him with a stun gun but were not successful. After about ten seconds of chasing Walker, eight police officers opened fire for six or seven seconds, shooting approximately 94 rounds. Police said that it appeared Walker was turning towards them, and they believed he was armed and "moving into a firing position, a claim the Walker family attorneys dispute

Following the shooting, Walker was put in handcuffs by police and was found with his hands cuffed behind his back when EMTs arrived on the scene. According to police, officers attempted to administer first aid to Walker after he was shot Walker was pronounced dead at the scene. Police claim that a wedding band was found in Walker's car and that Walker may have been acting erratically because he had just lost his fiance in an unrelated car accident Community activists and the Walker family attorneys dispute such assertions and contend that they are nothing but a cover up for a police shooting gone wrong, and that the entire scenario is indicative of a lack of police training and excessive force.

The medical examiner observed 60 wounds on Walker's body, with some uncertainty based on entrance and exit wounds.No firearm was found on Walker's body.The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Walker's death a homicide. 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 Thursday, 04 May 2023 16:53

Blacks Missy Elliott, the Spinners among the 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees in the performer category....By, Ohio's Black digital news leader

E-mail Print PDF

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

CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland-based Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has chosen its inductees for the class of 2023 with Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine and the Spinners making the cut for the performer category. Elliott, the Spinners and a Tribe Called Quest, which was not chosen for induction, were the only Blacks nominated out of 14 nominees in the performer category.

Others winning induction are DJ Kool Herc and Link Wray in the Musical Influence Award category.

Chaka Khan, Al Kooper and Bernie Taupin will be inducted as Musical Excellence Award recipients, and the late Don Cornelius will be honored with the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

“This year’s incredible group of Inductees reflects the diverse artists and sounds that define rock & roll,” said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “We are honored that this November’s Induction Ceremony in New York will coincide with two milestones in music culture [and]the 90th birthday of Willie Nelson and the 50th Anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop.

The full list of nominees for the performer category are as follows

  • Kate Bush
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Missy Elliott
  • Iron Maiden
  • Joy Division/New Order
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • George Michael
  • Willie Nelson
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Soundgarden
  • The Spinners
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • The White Stripes
  • Warren Zevon
The 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. To be eligible for induction, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction. Learn more about the qualifications and categories here:

In determining this year's class of inductees, and some previous year inductees, ballots were sent to an international voting body of more than 1,200 artists, including current living inductees, historians and members of the music industry and actors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique are taken into consideration.

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, associate publisher. Coleman is a Black political, legal and investigative reporter who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post in Cleveland, Ohio, and under two publishers and several editors and, Ohio's most read Black and alternative digital newspaper and Black blog.Tel: (216) 659-0473 and Email:


Latest News


Our Most Popular Articles Of The Last 6 Months At Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's Black Digital News Leader...Click Below