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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Cleveland Sees Small Black Lives Matter Protest On the Weekend Before the RNC

photo of Perk Plaza protest

Police expected a massive turn out for a Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend in Cleveland. But as WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports, the number of participants -- and their reasons for being there -- were often completely different.

At its peak, about 100 people were on Perk Plaza on Saturday, testifying about the impact on their lives of everything from police patrols to Arab shopkeepers.

The event was the kick-off for the Convention of the Oppressed – billed as an alternative to the RNC -- with participants coming from Black Lives Matter, Black Lawyers for Justice and other groups.

Lisette Luna from Miami was there with the New Black Panthers and says one of the things she hopes to discuss this week is the media’s role in covering police shootings.

“Every time a black person is killed or there’s a so-called terrorist attack, they go into our economic backgrounds, our social media backgrounds and religious background.”

Bobby Price from the New Black Panthers said his group could have legally brought guns to the rally – since Ohio is an open-carry state – but found no reason to.

“Given the heightened tensions around the country, and what’s going on, it would have been a bad idea. This is a peaceful rally. There's no weapons involved. We trust the police to do their job effectively. We're not into trying to cause any type of violent confrontation. We just want to do this, have our say, exercise our Constitutional rights and go home.”

The Convention of the Oppressed plans to hold several events through Thursday around the city. Details will be announced on the group’s Facebook page.