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Fundraiser for Ms. Sheehan; Monthly Meeting of The Geauga Democratic Party

Towards evening on Thursday, we headed over to "Goldhorn Brewery" on East 55th Street (right next door to "Sterle's") to attend a fundraiser for Ms. Michelle J. Sheehan, candidate for 8th District Court of Appeals Judge.

We spoke to Ms. Sheehan for a few minutes and learned that she is uniquely qualified for this post because she is one of only 28 'Appellate Law Specialists' in the state of Ohio and frequently argues cases before the state and federal appellate branches. She is running on a platform emphasizing "fair and equal justice for all."

Ms. Sheehan is married to Judge Brendan Sheehan of Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court. We got to say hello to Judge Brendan who we have known for a long time and also met her mother, Ms. Janet Joseph.

Also there to show support for Ms. Sheehan was Mayor Gary Starr of Middleburg Heights and we discussed former U.S. Congressperson Dennis J. Kucinich's announcement that he was running for Governor of Ohio the previous day. As we wrote, not only was Mayor Starr present; he introduced Congressperson Kucinich and was proud to say that he was the first mayor in Ohio to endorse the person who will be our next governor.

Before we left, we wandered next door into the "Bigmouth Donut Company" which has only been opened a short time. We extended our best wishes to its owner, Mr. Kelly Brewer, who proudly showed us the lovely mural painted upon his wall and designed by Mr. George Kocar, a good friend of his and resident of Bay Village, who introduced the phrase and designed the bumper stickers that read, "Cleveland, You've Got to be Tough!".

Soon we were on our way to Geauga County where we joined with about 50 other people to enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner, prepared by Mr.Rocko Rocco of "Simply the Best" catering service, at the monthly meeting of the Geauga Democratic Party.

We shared a table with Mr. Howard Shanker who has known Ms. Margaret W. Wong for many years. We also encountered Ms. Terri McIntee who we once sat next to at a City Club luncheon.

Ms. McIntee introduced the evening program which consisted of several people speaking about what is going on currently regarding immigration and the legitimate fears of the undocumented regarding deportation. As we know Geauga contains one of the four "safety center" where people are held prior to deportation.

Ms. Kathy Flora, who we know from HOLA, talked about several local people who had been deported or were faced with deportation.  In all instances these people had done nothing wrong except for traffic violations on the level of a misdemeanor and all of them had to contend with leaving their children and families behind. Those deported were callously dropped off in a dangerous region of the U.S./Mexican border where they had to fend for themselves.

Ms. Rita Danks is a member of an organization called "Samaritans of Green Valley" that tries to help the group of people just referred to. She has spent time working at "El Comedor" a Kino border initiative in Nogales on the Arizona/Mexican border. She know a lot of deportees personally and testified as to the miserable conditions in the detention center and the grueling circumstances of trying to cross the border to be reunited with family and friends.

Ms. Victoria Chavez-Kruse was the last speaker and she belongs to an organization called "Unidos" which  advocates for immigrant and refugee rights. She told us about a project that she is involved with that would allow undocumented people to have driver's licenses. She made an excellent case as to why this would be in the best interest of everyone.

We also got updates as to how the people are doing who are enjoying sanctuary at the "Forest Hill Presbyterian Church" in Cleveland Heights and at the "St. Andrew Episcopal Church" in Mentor. At this time, things are good but help is need. One person said that because "St. Andrew" has a washer but no dryer-she takes the wet clothes home and dries them for the people now living there.

As Ms. McIntee said during her introduction, "we have a lot of work to do" and urged us all to speak up about what is happening and get more involved whenever we could.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC



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