Saturday, February 1, 2014

Members of the Ohio Delegation, including Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresspersons Fudge, Turner and Beatty, and the Central State University president, applaud, celebrate CSU potentially becoming an 1890 land-grant institution that qualifies for additional federal funding as part of the farm bill passed this week by the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill, which cuts food stamps and denies an extension of unemployment benefits, now heads to the U.S. Senate for a vote, Call and Post Associate Publisher and Senior Editor Connie Harper is CSU greater Cleveland chapter alumni president

From left, beginning at the top: Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-11), a Warrensville Heights Democrat and also chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a Cleveland Democrat, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-3), a Columbus Democrat, Congressman Michael Turner (R-10), a Dayton Republican and former Dayton mayor, Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond (in pink), and Connie Harper, the greater Cleveland alumni president for Central State University and associate publisher and senior editor at the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's Black press.

By  Kathy Wray Coleman, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog. Tel: 216-659-0473. (Kathy Wray Coleman is a 20-year investigative journalist and legal reporter who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's Black press)

CLEVELAND, OhioCongresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Congressman Michael Turner (OH-10), a former Dayton, Ohio, mayor, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-3) and Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University, released statements to recognize the designation of Central State University as an 1890 land-grant institution in the Conference Report to H.R. 2642 – the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2014, also dubbed the farm bill.

Jackson-Hammond was named university president in 2012 and is its eighth president.

The farm bill, which sets agricultural policy for the next decade at a cost of $956.4 billion,  passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week with $ 8.6 billion worth of cuts to food stamps funding and a denial of an extension of unemployment benefits.

Congressional Democrats that support the bill, which is opposed by a number of labor groups across the country including The Labor Fightback Network, say that they negotiated the best they could in maintaining the food stamp program known as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The controversial bill heads to the U.S. Senate next week for a vote. 

If the Senate passes the measure, and unless it is vetoed by President Barack Obama, who said during his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday that he will fight against poverty and for Civil Rights, it will become law, absent any snags or amendments that could send it back to the House of Representatives.

Designating CSU, Ohio's only historically Black publicly funded university, with land -grant status opens the door for additional federal resources. A land-grant college or university is an institution designated by Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. CSU falls under the latter.  The Morrill Acts provided federal land sold by the state to fund agricultural studies at public colleges and universities.

Central State is located in  Wilberforce, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. It was founded in 1887 and has a student enrollment of roughly 2,000 people.

Statements to Cleveland Urban News.Com by Republican Congressman Turner, 
Congressional and Senate Democrats from Ohio that championed the farm bill and the designation as Central State as  a land -grant institution of higher learning, and from Jackson-Hammond, are as follows:

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio Democrat:
“I am pleased Central State University has finally been granted federal land-grant status.  This historic institution will be pivotal in Ohio’s agricultural research and will now receive appropriate funding to support and expand its education initiatives.  Central State is well-suited to carry out the land grant mission, which will greatly benefit all Ohioans for years to come.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland, Ohio Democrat:
“This designation is nearly 125 years in the making and long overdue.  As one of the nation’s oldest historically Black universities, Central State University can play an important role in promoting agriculture research and education through the country.  Central State University's designation as an 1890 land-grant university means increased opportunities for partnerships with Ohio’s agriculture industry and increased potential for its graduates to obtain jobs in Ohio’s leading industry.”

Congressman Mike Turner, a Dayton, Ohio Republican:
“As Ohio’s only public historically Black college and university, Central State University’s designation is long overdue.  I want to thank my colleague Rep. Marcia Fudge for working with me to ensure that CSU and its students have the opportunity to benefit from these important programs and expand upon their proud history of agricultural education.”

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, a Columbus, Ohio Democrat:
"As the only alumna in history from Central State University to serve in Congress, I was honored to work with CBC Chairwoman Fudge and other colleagues to bring CSU across the finish line to join other HBCUs as an 1890 land grant university. This will afford faculty and students an enriched opportunity to not only showcase its great Water Resources Management Program but to partner with Ohio's other land grant university -- The Ohio State University."

Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University:
“Congressman Mike Turner’s tireless efforts on behalf of Central State led directly to this designation, and we at the University are extremely grateful for his efforts. Sincere appreciation is extended to Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and her staff, whose efforts were pivotal in garnering support among members of Congress across the country.  As Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Fudge clearly understands the important role that Central State University plays in affording educational opportunities for Ohio students, especially under served populations.  In addition, we are so proud of Congresswoman Joyce Beatty not only for her stellar representation as an alumna, but also because of her tenacity and leadership toward the uplift of all Ohio citizens.  Furthermore, Central State University, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students are immensely grateful for Senator Sherrod Brown’s leadership, the perseverance and his dedication in support of CSU receiving land-grant status.”

Fudge and Beatty are the only Black congresspersons from Ohio, and neighboring Kentucky and Tennessee have no Blacks in Congress whatsoever.

CSU remains viable to Ohio's Black community, Black and other leaders have said.

The greater Cleveland alumni chapter president of CSU is led by Connie Harper, associate vice president and senior editor of the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's Black press.