Audio by artist dwayne_pickett

Dwayne Pickett of Ohio Young Black Democrats on voter suppression, food deserts, and attacks on Head Start

7:01 minutes (6.43 MB)


From left, Humphrey Wireco and Dwayne Pickett. Ohio Young Black Democrats meets every third Wednesday of the month at the Ohio Democratic Party headquarters in Columbus where they organize and meet w/ elected officials.

Pickett said one of the biggest issues for his organization this year is voter suppression.

“You see it all over the right wing across the United States. They’re talking about voter fraud …but they got no evidence that it’s ever taken place.”

His group is working w/ other groups on a petition effort to repeal Ohio HB 194 which Governor John Kasich signed into law in July.

According to Ohio Daily Blog there is just a little over five weeks to collect the 231,000 valid signatures needed to qualify the repeal for the November 2012 ballot, thereby preventing HB 194 from going into effect until after that election, (if it’s not repealed.)

If the petition effort doesn’t meet that goal, Ohio HB 194 will affect people’s ability to vote this fall on matters such as the repeal of Ohio Senate Bill 5.

In addition to helping w/ the fight to repeal HB 194, Ohio Young Black Democrats is talking at college campuses to help people plan ahead so as to overcome the possible restrictions on voting.

Pickett said Ohio Young Black Democrats works on a variety of issues important to some of the most vulnerable people in society, such as children of low-income households.

“ Head Start is under attack right now. They talk about Head Start, ‘oh, this is discretionary spending.’ To them (Republicans), Head Start is pork, more fat to help democrats get reelected . But it’s not about reelection. It’s about kids---actual lives.”