Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
By Kathy Wray Coleman, Editor of The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com and Cleveland Urban News.Com (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)
A protest scheduled for noon in front of the home of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on Sat., April 9 has been cancelled, activists said.
"This is not the right time to picket the home of a Black Democratic mayor when his endorsement next year for President Barack Obama's reelection is crucial to his winning Ohio and a majority of our members support the first Black president of the United States of America," said Kathy Wray Coleman, a leader of the Imperial Women. "We have conferred with Cleveland Community Relations Director Blaine Griffin and will work with him to try to address some of these pertinent issues of public concern."
Coleman said that the women have decided instead to began organizing for protests on Imperial Ave. and at Cuyahoga County Justice Center for the upcoming June 6 trial of suspected serial killer Anthony Sowell who, among other charges, is accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering the 11 Black women whose remains were uncovered in Oct 2009 at his Imperial Ave home.
"A recent poll taken at RealNEO.US revealed that most said that the mayor is doing a good job and that at best any protest should be at City Hall, something that we have not ruled out in the near future," said Coleman."We have to follow the lead of the community if we claim to represent its interests."
The activist added that the Imperial Women can only hope that the mayor will have more compassion and will provide the leadership necessary to temper the chaos around the Imperial Ave. Murders, the malicious prosecutions of Black women by Cleveland Law Director Robert Triozzi, police misconduct against Black women, and the slated closings of seven Cleveland schools, all on the predominantly Black East Side of Cleveland. They also want him to diversify his top level law enforcement leadership team, where the mayor has appointed no Blacks or women as chief of police, law director, safety director, ems commissioner and chief prosecutor in a predominantly Black major metropolitan city.
"We need to focus more on calling national attention to the 11 Black women murdered on Imperial Ave, bringing Sowell to justice and pushing for more changes in public policy around the rape and murder of Black and other women," said Coleman. "That is the fundamental basis upon which the organization was founded."
Contact persons for the upcoming Sowell trial rallies are Kathy Wray Coleman at 216-932-3114 and Roz McAllister at 216-577-0466. The women said that more specifics are upcoming.