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African-American Lawmakers Push Agenda Items in "State Of Black Ohioans" Address

A crowd gathers at the Riffe Office Tower to hear the "State of Black Ohioans" address

Ohio’s African-American state lawmakers say their fellow legislators aren’t taking action on bills they feel should be priority legislation.

Democratic Rep. Alicia Reece of Cincinnati delivered the annual “State of Black Ohioans” speech before dozens of activists who came to Columbus Wednesday.

Reece said even though the Legislative Black Caucus is led by Democrats, it’s had some success with both Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration and with the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court.

“We have had some movement with the task force on the grand jury – first time ever in history. First time ever in history having an executive order on police-community relations," Reece said. "Where we have not had movement and action is with this General Assembly.”

Reece says there are bills that related to jobs that could help with a 10 percent unemployment rate among African-Americans, along with a proposal on equal pay for women, a ban on imitation guns and regulations for the use of police body cameras.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.