CLEVELAND – Cincinnati city council member Charlie Winburn is here this week as one of Ohio's alternate delegates; and he says he is fine with Donald Trump as his party's presidential candidate.
But he has something he wants Trump to see – something Winburn says might help Trump better understand the economic challenges many African-Americans face and help the GOP candidate fashion a message to win their votes.
"I want to invite Donald Trump to come to Lincoln Heights,'' Winburn told WVXU, referring to the nearly all-black suburb on the north side of Cincinnati.
"Lincoln Heights is a place where there has been decades and decades of poverty, of unemployment and lack of opportunity,'' Winburn said. "It's one of the poorest African-American communities in America."
"I'd like him to come there and see it for himself,'' Winburn said. "And, more than that, I'd like him to lay out in detail his agenda for addressing the issues of poverty. That's the way he could attract African-American voters to support him."
For decades, African-American voters have overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates for president. This year, the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is hoping for a huge turnout in African-American communities to win critical states like Ohio.
"You've got all these black mayors around the country who tell their people to vote for us and we'll take care of your problems; and the problems just get worse,'' said Winburn, a former Democrat who turned Republican in the 1990s. "Really, black people ought to be angry at the Democratic Party."
Winburn said he believes Trump made a mistake this week in not accepting the NAACP's invitation to speak at its annual convention, held this week in Cincinnati. Clinton spoke to the NAACP – the largest and oldest black civil rights organization in the country – on Monday.
"I think he should have gone,'' Winburn said. "It would have made an impression on people. An impression that he cares about their problems too."
Winburn – who ran and lost the GOP primary for Hamilton County Recorder in March – said it is his hope that Trump soon begins laying out his plans for the country in detail - including what he intends to do about poverty in urban America.
"I'm hoping maybe we hear some of that in his acceptance speech Thursday night,'' Winburn said.