The Shaker Heights Democratic Club Forum
On Wednesday night we attended a candidates forum put on by the Shaker Heights Democratic Club at the STJ Community Building at 3450 Lee Road in Shaker Heights. We wanted to attend because we wanted to hear what the various candidates had to say and because we are members of the Stonewall Democratic Club which co-sponsored the event along with the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus and the Independence Democratic Club. Ms. Jane Buder Shapiro, President of the Shaker Heights Democratic Club, got the meeting going right at 7pm so that the candidates who had other democratic club meetings to attend could speak and move on. "A jam-packed night!" is how Ms. Shapiro termed the gathering. Accordingly, we got to hear from Mr. Pablo Castro, candidate for Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court; Mr. Michael P. Shaughnessy, candidate for Court of Common Pleas; Ms. Francine Goldberg, candidate for Domestic Relations Court; Ms. Maureen Clancy, candidate for Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court; Ms. Mary Brigid Sweeney, candidate for Court of Common Pleas; Ms. Andrea Nelson Moore, Candidate for Court of Common Pleas; Ms. Kelly Ann Gallagher, candidate for Court of Common Pleas; Ms. Jill Miller Zimon, candidate for Ohio State Rep. District #12; Ms. Tonya Jones, candidate for Domestic Relations Court; Ms. Meryl Johnson, candidate for State Board of Education; and a spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Ballot Issue #23 which will renew the tax levy benefiting the health and human services.
The main speaker of the night was Mr. P.G. Sittenfeld, candidate for U.S. Senate We have heard Mr. Sittenfeld, a City Councilman from Cincinnati, speak several times and each time he seems to gain in stature. Even though he is probably a long shot on March 15th since his main opponent is former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland , we believe that we will be hearing a lot from him in the future. Once again, he came out strongly on behalf of immigration reform, border security, and a pathway to citizen for the undocumented.
We were also pleased to hear from Mr. Joel Wanger, Ohio Regional Director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Mr. Wanger talked about the work that will be done out of the Shaker Heights office between now and March 15th. He mentioned that an office will soon be opening in Lakewood too. On a more personal level, he shared with us that one of the reasons that he was so strongly for Hillary Clinton was her advocacy for programs on behalf of those stricken with mental illness and chemical dependency problems.
We certainly heard a lot of stories on Tuesday night but we were especially touched by that of Mr. Pablo Castro, as we said earlier is running for Common Pleas Court against another well-qualified candidate, Mr. Michael Astrab (who wasn't present) and Ms. Gallagher and Ms. Sweeney. Mr. Castro talked of how his parents both started off as migrant farm workers who eventually got jobs as custodians in a hospital here in Ohio in order that their children could have a better life. We were curious to learn more about him so we went to his website and found a statement which read, “My success is a result of my parents’ hard work, and therefore my success is my parents’ success. We are the American dream in every essence of the word.”
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.