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U.S. Congressperson David Joyce Speaks at Chamber of Commerce Luncheon; Birthday Celebration for Judge Francine Goldberg

IMG_4181On Wednesday, August 31st, we attended a joint chamber of commerce luncheon put on by the Twinsburg, Aurora, and Solon chambers of commerce that took place at the Bertram Inn and Conference Center in Aurora.

On this day all of us belonging to the chambers were very proud to have U.S. Congressperson David Joyce (Republican-Ohio District 14) as the featured speaker. We always like listening to Congressperson Joyce because he always talks to his audiences like they were his old friends and is not afraid to appear relaxed; on this occasion he spoke in his shirtsleeves minus a coat and a tie which was entirely appropriate considering the heat and humidity right outside the door.

In his opening remarks, Congressperson Joyce spoke of his experiences on the appropriations committee and how the procedure needs to be improved. He mentioned that he was involved with a group called "no labels" which seeks bipartisan solutions to such problems that confront our nation.

He realized that many of us had submitted questions in advance so he kept his opening remarks to a minimum so that he could devote more time to addressing the things that really meant a lot to us.

Thus in response to the questions, he talked about what inspired him to pursue a career in public service, the planned missile defense site for the area, the affordable care act, and the environmental concerns involving the Great Lakes.

We, of course, submitted a question to him about immigration reform. He replied that the system was indeed broken. He also said that some studies showed that there might be as many as 16 million undocumented people living in the United States instead of the 10-11 million people most commonly reported.

He indicated that, above all, we need to enforce existing laws and/or create new laws that can be more respected and consistently support them. He reminded us that, except for Native Americans, all of our families immigrated here at one time from someplace else. But when this happened, it was done legally and the new citizens took an oath of allegiance to this country and learned English.

He said that the topic of immigration reform certainly had to be addressed because a lot of U.S. companies/organizations would love to take advantage of foreign talent but were hindered by the existing laws.

Before the luncheon, we had a conversation with Ms. Marla Mock about immigration reform and its importance as an issue in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Ms. Mock works for Tekronix, a prominent firm that designs test and measurement equipment. We also talked to Mr. John Heckman, a member of the Solon Board of Education who is a good friend of our good friend, Mr. Joe Cimperman, the president of Global Cleveland.

We shared a table with Ms. Tonnie Alliance from Hattie Larlham, which provides care to people with developmental disabilities, who really admires Ms. Margaret W. Wong and enjoys receiving her holiday card each year. She told us to give Ms. Wong a message that she would be welcome to tour the Hattie Larlham facilities in Twinsburg. We told her that if a tour couldn't be worked into Ms. Wong's schedule then we would be glad to go and report back to her.\

Our second event for Wednesday, August 31st, took us to Nighttown on Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights for a combination birthday party and fundraiser for our friend, Judge Francine Goldberg who is running for re-election to the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.


Shortly after our arrival, we said hello to Judge Goldberg's bailiff, Mr. Michael Fields; Ms. Colleen Reali, her post-decree motions magistrate; Mr. Brian McGraw, her campaign treasurer; and Ms. Mary Weston who diligently checked in everyone at the door which was no easy task considering the number of people who wanted to show support for Judge Goldberg vs. the rather small size of the room.

When it was time for Judge Goldberg to make a brief speech, she thanked everyone connected with the court that she had worked with because their interactions had helped her be a "better judge."

She went on to say that it is indeed an honor for her to lead her courtroom in the Pledge of Allegiance each day in the courthouse which is now 103 years old. Earlier we had spoken to a seasoned attorney who told us that he really likes it that Judge Goldberg conducts the Pledge because he fears that such a thing is "going out of style now" which is really a sad thing.

"Every time I come to court," said Judge Goldberg, "it is an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of Cuyahoga County."

At the end of her speech, everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to the judge who we have known for a long time and very much respect for her devotion to her work. We particularly like it that she sometimes goes to people's homes (or IMG_4183places of residence) if they are unable to go to her courtroom.

Among the people that we knew that were there were Ohio State Senator Sandra Williams; Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish; Mayor Trevor Elkins of Newburg Heights; Mayor Georgine Welo of South Euclid; Cuyahoga County Councilpersons Charles Germana and Shontel Brown; South Euclid Councilperson Marty Gelfand; Lakewood Councilperson Dan O'Malley; Solon Councilperson Edward M. Kraus; Bedford Heights Councilperson Wendy J. Grant; judicial candidates Tonya Jones and Andrea Nelson Moore; Ms. Meryl Johnson, a candidate for State Board of Education Ohio District 11 whose fundraiser we were at the previous evening; and Mr. Bill Lavezzi, Ms. Johnson's main opponent.

It seemed like most of the people present were either attorneys or connected with the judicial system in some way. IMG_4187But there were exceptions like Mr. Wm. Gary Bowman who owns University Circle B & B and several people connected with labor like Mr. Mike McIntyre of the Plumbers Union and Mr. Marquez Brown from AFSCME.

We were entertained by a band named "Afterthought-NSB" and its three singers Ms. Irma McQueen, Ms. Gwen Coates, and Ms. Sharon Foxx. Ms. McQueen gave an especially exciting solo rendition of "Fever."

Judge Goldberg even got up and danced to a few songs. One of those present said that "she is the only judge I know who hires a band this awesome and dances in front of her constituents."


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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