COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President says African Americans need to be treated equally.

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President, Thomas West and the 18 members of the caucus issued a letter to the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) and all of its officials stating, “African Americans are the unwavering backbone of the Democratic Party and we need to be treated as such. We would like to see a more diverse ODP and executive committee that is reflective of our party’s diversity; we seek primary consideration when making changes to the party apparatus; and we ask for an overall recognition that without our members and who they represent our party would be dismal”.

This response comes after rumor of a new party chair being elected without any consideration from OLBC.

The letter continues, “The time of the backroom party picks is over. We must select a leader who knows our relevance, values our input and recruits and supports our members…We would like our next Chair to ensure that systemic racism is eliminated in our state party and on down to our local parties”.

According to party members, this letter brings to light many of the frustrations felt by Black Americans when dealing with the Democratic Party.

OLBC Vice President Juanita Brent went continued to speak on that topic of frustration, “African Americans are more than just a hook-up for votes. We need to be intentional about cultivating Black local and statewide candidates. ODP must also provide year-round engagement to the African American community, if we are the base of the party this should be reflected in its leadership and its priorities.”