More than 300 members of Greater Cleveland Congregations gathered at Elizabeth Baptist Church for a political action Tuesday evening, and strategy team member Rev. James Crews set the tone early.
“Tonight is big, it’s big, it’s a big night!” he declared, and encouraged the crowd to applaud. He was referring in part to GCC’s political successes over the past two years, and Mayor Justin Bibb’s role in them. But he also was warming the congregation up for the focus of the event, organizing for the 2024 election cycle.
“Tonight is big,”’ he repeated. “It’s about recognition. Challenges. And a push for what’s needed … This action is about our city, our county, and our state and the fight for our democracy.”
The fight against Ohio gerrymandering
Few speakers even mentioned the upcoming primary or general elections. The first goal is more immediate. Scott Lafferty of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church challenged the crowd to participate in gathering at least 20,000 signatures to help get the Citizens Not Politicians constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. The amendment is intended to stop gerrymandering by removing politicians and lobbyists from the process of drawing new district boundaries.