Friday, August 29, 2014

Former county commissioner Peter Lawson Jones to emcee at grand opening of Shaker Square campaign office for Democratic county executive candidate Armond Budish, slated attendees include Congresswoman Fudge and Ohio Senator Nina Turner, who is the Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, some Black leaders have come to accept the new county governance structure where the county executive and county council replaced a three-member Board of Commissioners, but Black elected officials say Blacks got more county jobs under the old set up

Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones
(Photo by The Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper online at Cleveland.Com )
 By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. ( / (

State Representative Armond Budish, the Democratic nominee
 for Cuyahoga County executive
CLEVELAND, Ohio- Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones will emcee at a political forum announcing the opening of state Rep. Armond Budish's chief campaign headquarters for his bid for county executive at noon on Saturday, August 30 at the campaign site at Shaker Square in Cleveland, 13210 Shaker Boulevard. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM ON THE MEETING WITH REP BUDISH AND COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS ON HIS CANDIDACY FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE AND WHAT HE WOULD BRING FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COMMUNITY, THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN PARTICULAR, AND WHAT HE WILL DO TO ADDRESS STILL EXISTING CUYAHOGA COUNTY CORRUPTION IF ELECTED. Budish told community activists groups in that meeting, including members of the Carl Stokes Brigade, the Imperial Women Coalition, Peace in the Hood, Black on Black Crime Inc., and the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, that if elected, Blacks will be a viable part of his administrative leadership team and that Blacks and other minorities will get a fair amount of county jobs. He said simply that he supports fair hiring practices and diversity, and activists have said that they intend to hold him to that pledge if he wins election to the county's top job.
Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, is expected to attend Saturday's event as are at least three of the Democratic candidates for statewide office, namely Ohio Sen Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat and candidate for secretary of state
, state Rep. John Patrick Carney, who is running for state auditor, and Attorney General Candidate David Pepper.
Ohio Senator Nina Turner, the Democratic nominee for
Ohio Secretary of State

Democrats running statewide face an uphill battle as the Republican ticket, led by incumbent Gov John Kasich, is leading in the polls and, unlike competing Democrats, those on the ticket have a boatload of more money. No Black Democrat has ever won statewide office in Ohio and Turner would be the first if she wins in November against incumbent secretary of state Jon Husted. She and state Rep Connie Pillich, a Montgomery Democrat seeking to oust incumbent Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel,  have the best chances of winning of the Democratic statewide candidates, polls say. 

A Beachwood Democrat, Budish is  likely the next county executive in the heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County, and faces Republican nominee and Cuyahoga County Councilman Jack Schron.

Jones is now an actor. CLICK HERE TO VISIT PETER LAWSON JONES.COM FOR HIS ACTING WEBSITE   His county commissioner's job and others at issue were eliminated and he left office in 2011 pursuant to Issue 6, a voter adopted  charter amendment that scrapped the nine non-judicial elected county offices, including the three-member Board of Commissioners, county sheriff, treasurer, coroner, auditor, recorder, and clerk of courts, for an elected 11 member county council and an elected county executive. Those pre Issue 6 elected positions, besides the now defunct county commissioners offices, are now jobs appointed by the county executive, including the sheriff.

Issue 6 won with 66 percent of the vote against a competing ballot proposal labeled Issue 5 , which was proposed by Jones and former county commissioner Tim Hagan. 
 Issue 5 lost with 72 percent of  county voters rejecting it. Had it won voter approval, it would have given a 15-member elected committee authority to study county reform and make revision recommendations to voters in 2010.

Black leaders, including Fudge, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the Cleveland NAACP, and the Call and Post Newspaper, a Cleveland weekly that targets the Black community and also has distributions in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, opposed Issue 6, though not with much venom, voting results revealed.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald,
the Democratic nominee for Ohio governor

County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic nominee for governor, took the helm as the first county executive under the new governance structure in 2011. He is not expected to attend Saturday's Shaker Square gathering in Cleveland due to a scheduling conflict, organizers said yesterday. 

Jones told Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online New Blog.Com in an exclusive interview shortly before he left office in 2011 that he is finished with politics and was, at the time, upset with Issue 6. CLICK HERE TO READ THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AT THE KATHY WRAY COLEMAN ONLINE NEWS BLOG.COM He said then that the new county governance structure gives too much power to one person, the county executive, and is not good for the Black community. At that time he and then county recorder Lillian Greene, a former common pleas judge, were the only two Black elected county elected officials aside from a few of the county judges, though all of them, excluding some Republican judges, were Democrats.

County Council, a separate entity from Cleveland City Council, consists of eight Democrats, four of them Black,  and three Republicans.

Most that were previously against Issue 6, including Black leaders, have come to accept it, particularly since the Democrats still have the balance of power. But some Black elected officials have griped to Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leading Black digital newspaper,  that not enough Black people that got jobs under the old governance regime are getting employed with the county under the new format.

Cuyahoga County includes the largely Black city of Cleveland and 58 other municipalities, townships and villages. It is the largest of 88 counties statewide and is roughly 29 percent Black. 

A Harvard University Law School graduate who also practices law, and a former Lt Gov candidate, Jones is a Shaker Heights Democrat and lives there with his wife Lisa. The couple has three children, all of them over 18. and two of them grown.

Jones has been virtually absent from the political arena since leaving politics, and has said that he is focusing more on his acting career.  His acting credits include performances at the Karmu House in Cleveland and television and motion picture roles as a homeless man on Detroit 1-8-7, and a minister in the 2013 Tyler Perry movie "Alex Cross" ( / (