Ohio 11th Congressional District Community Caucus annual Labor Day Parade and Festival are Mon, Sept 4, 2023 in Cleveland, and will be led by Congresswoman Shontel Brown....By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

Ohio 11th Congressional District Congresswoman  Shontel M. Brown, a Warrensville Heights Democrat
Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Ohio Congresswoman Shontel M. Brown, a Warrensville Heights Democrat who leads Ohio's largely Black 11th congressional district, which includes Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs of Cuyahoga County, will serve as grand marshal for the annual 11th Congressional District Community Caucus Labor Day Parade & Festival on Mon., Sept 4, 2023. The parade will kick off at 11am from A.J. Rickoff school at East 147th Street and Kinsman Road on Cleveland's majority Black east side, organizers said.

Last year's event drew thousands, organizers said. This year's theme is "Empowering the People."

The parade will proceed down Kinsman Road to Luke Easter Park for festivities, which will include a few speeches, local vendors, area marching bands and other entertainment.

The celebrated and historical event was initiated  in 1971 by  former congressman Louis Stokes, his younger brother Carl Stokes, and a cadre of influential local Black leaders connected to the Stokes brothers (Editor's note: The late former congressman Louis Stokes, also a lawyer, was the first Black congressman of Ohio and of what was eventually redistricted to become what is now the 11th congressional district, and his late brother, Carl B. Stokes, became the first Black mayor of Cleveland and of a major American city when voters elected him to lead Cleveland in 1967).

The annual political and community gathering that in the last decade has become a  caucus fundraising event where parade participants must now pay a fee, draws mainly Democrats and state, local and even national political figures like the late activist Dick Gregory, Civil Rights icon the Rev Jesse Jackson Sr., and Hillary Clinton in 2016 to Luke Easter Park on Labor Day. In 2020 during the height of  the pandemic the event was canceled, but it resumed in 2021 with thousands coming out to participate. 

During former congressman Louis Stokes' political heyday during the 1980s and 90s, the annual parade alone, inclusive of spectators,  could easily draw in excess of 25,000 people. (Editor's note: Clinton was the Democratic nominee for the president in 2016 when she spoke in Cleveland at the annual 11th Congressional District Caucus Labor Day event, though she ultimately lost the presidential election that year to Donald Trump, a Republican ousted in 2020 by current U.S. President Joe Biden).

Notably, the annual Labor Day event will proceed on Monday  without former congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge at the helm. Fudge is Brown's predecessor and protege,' who is now the U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with the administration of President Joe Biden, the former vice president under former president Barack Obama, the nation's first Black president. 

Congresswoman Brown, emerged as the winner among a crowded field of Democrats competing in a special Democratic primary election  to replace Fudge after defeating her 12 opponents, including the also popular Nina Turner, a well-financed front-runner and a former Ohio senator who co-chaired the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, Turner came in second in that primary election. and later lost another Democratic primary bid for the congressional seat via an effort to unseat Brown a second time. 

A former  chairwoman of the county Democratic party, and its first Black and first female chairperson, Brown is one of three Blacks in Congress from Ohio, along with Reps. Emilia Sykes and Joyce Betty, both oof them Black women like Brown. 

One of two of Ohio's 16 congressional districts crafted under the redistricting provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Ohio's 11th congressional district faced redistricting like the state's  other congressional districts, only four of those congressional seats held by Democrats. And one congressional district in the state was lost due to population decline from the last U.S. census report, Ohio now with 15 majority Republican congressional districts. 

Both Cleveland, which is largely Black, and Cuyahoga County, Ohio's second largest of its 88 counties and a 29 percent Black county, are Democratic  strongholds.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.comthe most read Black digital newspaper in Ohio and in the Midwest, and the most read independent digital news in Ohio. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

By Kathy Wray Coleman. Coleman is a former public school biology teacher and a Black political, legal and investigative reporter who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.


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