The Truth Staff
There are many important races in these midterm elections, for national offices and state-wide offices. For those voters in the Toledo Lucas County area, none may be more important than those for the state house in Districts 42 and 44 and for Lucas County Juvenile Court. And few of those on the various ballots are as experienced and qualified as the three Democratic Party candidates for those offices – Erika White for District 42; Elgin Rogers for District 44 and Vallie Bowman English for Juvenile Court.
All three are smart, well-versed on the issues facing them and possessing ample experience on so many levels to prepare them to hit the ground running once they are sworn into office.
We’ve written about all three extensively in the past and we heartily endorse them in this month’s midterm elections. These are important offices and we hope they will receive our readers’ support and votes.
Erika White: Candidate for District 42 State Representative (March 30, 2022)
By Fletcher Word, The Truth Editor
White is definitely ready. The long-time telecommunications specialist in the engineering department of AT&T and union leader – she served 13 years as vice president before she was elected president – also serves on the CWA National Executive Board as the Diversity Board At-Large Member for the Central Region and vice president of the Greater Northwest Ohio AFL-CIO. She also is vice chair of the Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee, an executive board member and Health Chair of the Toledo Chapter NACP, on the Executive Board for the Toledo Chapter of the Coalition of Trade Unionists (CBTU) and the Community Action and Response Against Toxics (CARAT) chair.
Her background with the union, collaborating with employers and representing workers during contract time, for example, have prepared her for the tasks required of elected officials in Columbus. “I have the tenacity to work with those in Columbus,” she says. She also has acquired the ability and the knowledge of “how to bring home the resources,” for the benefit of those in the greater Toledo area.
White is running for a state representative post for three primary reasons she says.
First, there is a matter of education, particularly school funding and school safety. Last week marked the 25th anniversary of a landmark Ohio Supreme Court decision, DeRolph v. State of Ohio, which ruled that Ohio’s public school funding formula was “neither thorough nor efficient,” as required by the Ohio Constitution. In those 25 years, notes White, nothing substantial has changed about the way Ohio’s public schools are being funded.
White’s community roots and her ability to get to the heart of the problem about “how teachers view it, hos parents view it, how students view it, will enable her to help make some progress on what appears to be an intractable problem.
Second, there is a matter of safety for the general community but especially for those in public safety positions, such as firemen and policemen.
“How do we protect those who protect us?” she asks. Right now, for example, fire fighters often wear bulletproof vests while on a call and much of the danger would seem to be exasperated by a society that places the places the right to bear arms so far above that of public safety.
“Conceal and carry puts someone’s public safety at risk,” she says. “You go to work and you want to go home. More guns in the community do not make us safer.”
Third on White’s list of immediate concerns is building a stronger economy. “A strong economy built on sustaining wages,” the candidate says. As White explains, a skilled tradesperson should be able “to take care of a family with a job” and good jobs that pay taxes can take care of a community’s needs – the bridges and roads and multiple items that the government is responsible for building and maintaining.
“Employers need to understand the way the economy must grow and why jobs are a part of that economy,” says the candidate.
As president of the Communications Workers of America Local 4319, White represents union workers at the University of Toledo, AT&T, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Allen County Children Services, Allen County Child Support and Johnson Controls.
She has been honored with the CBTU Trade Unionist of the Year and the CA District 4 Women’s Committee Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award.
“This is me!” she says of the opportunity to serve her community on the state level. “We have a chance to have representation by the voters.”
Elgin Rogers: Candidate for State Representative District 44 (March 23, 2022)
By Asia Nail, The Truth Reporter
“I want to make sure Toledoans stay energized to vote amidst this redistricting confusion,” Rogers explains.
“I’m a community village kid and this is OUR campaign. My name just happens to be on the Democratic ballot.”
Rogers is an advocate for those fighting the realities of poverty, unemployment, poor working conditions, and hopelessness. Throughout the community he is known for his ability to address and solve complex problems. He is a good listener who is knowledgeable; having both the heart and the passion necessary to serve the Ohio House of Representatives.
Currently serving as an administrator with the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, Rogers assists seniors, businesses and community members at large in resolving issues ranging from employment and education to real estate, commerce and economic development.
Rogers has served in high functioning roles in government for nearly a decade, as the past Director of Weights and Measures and Educational Outreach for the Lucas County Auditor’s Office. “I’ve been known to help achieve solutions with constituent issues,” shares Rogers — a skill he plans to bring to the State House.
He’s a proven go-getter, notably helping local seniors restore water services to their homes when the government was unable. “I’m running to continue to help the poor and the seniors in our community. My focus will always be on helping the underserved and most vulnerable among us,” says the first-time candidate
Maintaining the public’s trust in its elected officials is one of his first core objectives. Not only is he down to earth, he is also an informed advocate for the people of this Ohio region. “Let’s put the 4 C’s back in government: Community, Compassion, Commitment and Common sense,” he suggests.
“It is a new day – Vote for a better way. Vote for Elgin Rogers, Jr. for State Representative (district tba) to the Ohio House of Representatives.”
Vallie Bowman English: Candidate for Judge, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division
By Rev. D. L. Perryman, The Truth Contributor (March 31, 2021)
Many in Toledo’s African-American community want to ensure that Bowman-English becomes the Democratic Party nominee for Juvenile Court Judge in the 2022 election.
“She is a rock star and tailor-made for the position,” a highly regarded legal mind proclaimed.
Indeed, after years of determined preparation and cultivation of a career that has garnered the respect of both peers and the community, the time is ripe for a well-deserved promotion.
A graduate of Ohio Northern University – Claude W. Pettit College of Law, Bowman-English has served as Clerk of Court for Toledo Municipal Court for 17 years after previously serving seven years in the Lucas County Prosecutors Office as an Assistant Prosecutor.
Toledo set a record number of homicides in 2020 and has experienced 15 homicides so far in 2021. Also, Black juveniles are arrested locally at three times the rate of Whites. As the mother of a young African-American son, Bowman-English can address decision-making biases and speak with authenticity to institutionalized racial disadvantage in the Lucas County juvenile justice system.
Further, while Black and Brown youth are overrepresented in the system, research also shows that they also experience disparities in accessing diversion programs.
Thanks to the American Recovery Act, more than $400 million in federal aid is headed to Toledo among the City, Lucas County and Toledo Public Schools. The Lucas County Commissioners have pledged $12 million for direct community aid; the mayor has allocated $30 million for neighborhoods, parks and youth. The Toledo Public Schools are working to expand early childhood education and Early Head Start.
However, the critical feat is to bring these efforts together to work upstream – to invest in programs to reach youth before they get to juvenile court (prevention) and scale up diversion and deterrence programming that intervenes before children get arrested.
Vallie Bowman- English is the right person at the right time to make valid impact as Juvenile Court Judge. She will ensure that funding sustains the necessary programs to transform our community rather than to balance administrative bureaucracy merely.
Finally, Vallie checks all of the boxes needed to win a political campaign. She has been Democratic Party Central Committee Chair for several years and thus, has the multi-racial support of:
- The Democratic Party
- The Legal Community (who finance judicial races)
- The Local Political Intelligentsia
- The Grass Roots Community (clergy, community activists, volunteers)
Traditional wisdom says, “Do the right thing at the right time for the right amount of time,” and the yield of fruit will arrive in season.
And, as one enlightened public official divulged, “Vallie’s golden! There is nothing standing in her way. We’ve been waiting years for her to express openly where she wants to go. All she has to do now is announce that she wants the position.”
Expect the announcement to come very soon. For, this is Vallie’s Season!