By June Boyd
This new year, 2023, we will vote in a municipal election – Toledo city council for the six districts. There is a very disturbing rumor circulating in our community that Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has threatened to run a candidate against John Hobbs, III, including helping to fund the opponent’s campaign.
If you recall, John Hobbs, III was initially appointed by Judge Jack Puffenberger along with Vanice Williams, Tiffany Preston Whitman and Cerssandra McPherson, all labeled quality candidates.
The foregoing were selected to replace the four people embroiled in the legal battle relative to bribes: Yvonne Harper, Tyrone Riley, Larry Sykes and Gary Johnson. More recently, Hobbs had to be reappointed along with Vanice Williams due to the resignation from council by Yvonne Harper and Tyrone Riley which gave a brief opportunity to anyone opposed to Mr. Hobbs to take advantage of any weakness. John Hobbs, III is no George Santos, that guy from New York.
As a seasoned politician, long-time resident of the central city and a community activist, I abhor the notion of a sitting official interfering with the politics in our community. I am a product of the “Good Old Days” and remember when J.B, Simmons (Toledo’s first Black vice mayor), Slater Gibson, Frances Belcher, Anderson Cheeves, George Davis, Jr., Shannie Barnett, Nellie Gales, Bertha Irvin, Casey Jones, Bill Copeland, and so many others continually made a concerted effort to help others, work together and promote the young in the struggle. This was all prior to the modern civil rights movement.
Today, any person who would let a Caucasion male fund a campaign against a sitting Black member of Toledo city council is the closest thing to Plantation Mentality as it will ever get.
It is obvious there will be a number of candidates vying for the six seats, however, let it be on an equal playing fleld, and not funded by someone who has established a reason to block Mr. Hobbs from getting elected.
We constantly struggle for our rights, and today, quality leadership is needed as we come together to address the horrible crime and murder epidemic in our community. Too many young people are dying, we have no economic development (excluding the housing project going up in the Warren Sherman community).
However, we need quality education, good parenting and jobs. I do hope the community will reject any attempt to block a sitting council member from running his campaign without interference from someone who has a different agenda.
No one is perfect, many of us have had trials and tribulations relative to life, its path, its challenges; however honesty, integrity, dedication and a love for one’s community is the key; not revenge.