Make your voice heard at polls

If you want to get involved with the political process and also help clean up a neighborhood, I’ve got a couple of suggestions for you this month.

First, the primary election will be Tuesday, and if you have read any of my past columns, this is a reminder, particularly for those in the black and Latino communities, that you must get out and vote.

This election is not as “sexy” as the 2008 presidential election, but there are some key races and issues that you can help decide.

Mahoning and Columbiana counties have sales-tax renewals, and there also are several school levies on the ballot.

Many people in the 1960s were bitten by dogs, beaten, had high-pressure firehoses turned on them and even lost their lives in their struggle to ensure that every American citizen could exercise their right to vote.

I still find it appalling, especially in the minority community, that voting is not a high priority. It is the one thing we all can do to help bring about a change.

And your vote is important. This paper has written many stories where candidates lost or won, or school levies passed or failed, by a few votes.

Yet many blacks and Latinos don’t or won’t register to vote, and, if registered, won’t get out to vote on Election Day. The polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Many community groups provide transportation to and from the polls. Simply put, barring a serious, unanticipated emergency, there is no excuse for you not to cast your ballot.

If you can’t make the time to vote, how about making the time to help improve a neighborhood?

The Northeast Homeowners and Concerned Citizens Association is sponsoring the second of three East Side Neighborhood Cleanup Days next Saturday.

Volunteers will meet in the parking lot of Price Memorial AME Church, 920 Dryden Ave., at 9 a.m. to register and receive instructions and assignments.

The cleanup will be along the East Side’s main gateway corridors — Early, McGuffey and McCartney roads, East High Avenue, Oak Street and Lane Avenue.

Local churches, businesses and other organizations are helping with the cleanup, but more folks are needed.

The association has a limited number of rakes and shovels, so bring yours. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.

After the cleanup, refreshments will be served in the church basement.

So here are the benefits: You get some exercise and fresh air, you help clean up a section of the city to make it safer and more attractive, and you get fed.

If you’re interested in helping, call Glenda F. House, project coordinator, at (330) 743-9372, or Annie Hall, litter-control supervisor, at (330) 742-4880. If you’re computer savvy, send them an e-mail at

If you own a business that could provide cleanup materials or other assistance, contact Hall.

Ernie Brown Jr., a regional editor at The Vindicator, writes a monthly column. Contact him at

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.