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Ohio Lawmaker Says A Key Task Force Needs More Diversity

Screenshot of task force meeting
Ohio Channel
Screenshot of task force meeting

The task force of state lawmakers meeting virtually to consider how businesses in Ohio should reopen following the COVID19 has been hearing testimony from leaders of companies and trade associations. But some on that bipartisan panel are concerned there’s a lack of diversity among those participating.

Democratic Rep. Terrence Upchurch, an African American lawmaker from Cleveland, says no minority business owners have testified. And he says they haven’t heard from any women either. So, Upchurch says a list of minority business owners who want to share their stories has been forwarded to the leaders in charge of the task force.

“As we move forward, I’m just looking forward to getting a more diverse group of presenters before this task force. We have a unique opportunity. The entire state is watching and the entire nation is watching. So, we want to get this right," Upchurch says.

While there are women and minority lawmakers on the task force itself, Upchurch says some of them have not been able to connect to the daily video chat because they don’t have sufficient broadband in their home areas.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.