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City Club With Congressperson Kucinich

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After attending the Direct Action on behalf of DACA at the Federal Building, we didn't think anything could top it on an emotional level but our good friend, former U.S. Congressperson, and now candidate for Governor of Ohio, Dennis J. Kucinich soon proved us wrong when he spoke at the City Club of Cleveland in the early afternoon.

A short time ago we wrote of U.S. Congressperson Kucinich announcement of his candidacy and his comprehensive platform that addressed a great numbers of issues. But today his address centered on one thing that was on everyone's mind and that was the pressing need to address gun violence and the plague of assault weapons that are now too readily available.

And U.S. Congressperson Kucinich did just that  but not in the rousing style that one would expect from a candidate for high office; instead he was sombre and reflective, if not sad, as he reviewed how our localities once had the ability to ban assault weapons which is exactly what Cleveland did for 19 years starting in 1991. However measures on the state level backed by the pro-gun groups as well as unprincipled elected officials from both parties have now made this no longer a local option.

U.S. Congressperson Kucinich told us what he knew (and he knew a lot) about the shameful politicking that was behind all of this and pledged that he will continue his efforts to ban assault weapons whether or not he was elected to be our next governor. 

In a very poignant moment, he recited the names of the students and teachers killed in Parkland, Florida and expressed his hope that the outrage surrounding this tragedy combined with newly formed efforts to press for restrictions on certain firearms might well prove to be a turning point.

All in all, it was one of the most unusual but most powerful, heartfelt speeches from a candidate that we have heard in a long time.

Afterwards, during the Q and A, he talked about other important issues facing Ohio like education, tax policies, redistricting, fracking and the environment, the future of Ohio's economy, the need to develop renewable energy resources, racism in our society, and the pressing need to put aside destructive partisan bickering. On the latter point, he reminded us that as a U.S. Congressperson he was quite effective putting together bipartisan coalitions concerning foreign policy issues.

Of course, we asked him about immigration and, as we did so, we reminded the audience that his wife, Ms. Elizabeth Kucinich is from England. U.S. Congressperson Kucinich talked about his own mother and father and the journey of both of their families to the United States. To be sure, he was in full support of the Dreamers and said that "immigration was vital to the identity of this nation.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC