An Evening with State Representative Elgin Rogers, Jr.

Mark Sobczak, Rep. Elgin Rogers, LC Commissioner Lisa Sobecki

The Truth Staff

About 170 area residents gathered at the Toledo Lucas County Main Branch Library on Thursday, February 29, to spend “An Evening with State Representative Elgin Rogers, Jr.”

A reception was held in the lobby of the McMaster Center to start the evening’s activities. Attendees were treated to food and also fruit drinks supplied by BottlesUP419’s Shanice Sample.

The evening’s welcome was presented by Nate Kolenda, after which Kayla Renee sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Fa’Shawn Belcher introduced Phenomenal Women and Jodie Summers, a spoken word artist, presented one of his creations.

A critical part of the evening’s activities was the recognition of Rogers’ list of area “Difference Makers.” That list includes Erik Johnson, Entrepreneur Institute founder and board president; Mark and Faye Lyons, community advocates – Fairside Community Center; Ed and Avie Dixon, educators and directors of the Marching 100; Theresa Gabriel, former City of Toledo and Lucas County official; Rev. I.J. Johnson, pastor, civil rights activist and founder of Fairside Community Center; Carnel Smith, EdD, principal of Scott High School; David Fleetwood, business manager of Laborers Local 500; Rev. Curley Johnson, director of Fairside Community Center and the 143rd Transportation Company of the Ohio National Guard.

State Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson and Jodie Summers

Rogers, who represents the 44th district, spoke and stressed the need for voters to stay informed about the critical issues of the day and noted that the Columbus legislators are currently in the middle of the capital budget process “a one-time strategic fund, $700 million for capital improvements in the state of Ohio.”

In northwest Ohio, the funds will be directed towards improvements in the airport, county jail, zoo, among other projects.

Rogers also urged his constituents to keep in touch with him to let him know of the concerns they have about what he and other elected officials are doing.

Rogers is serving his first term as a state representative and his first time as an elected official. Prior to his election, he was the executive assistant to Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken and is the past president of the African American Leadership Caucus, a political action committee.