Black Lives Matter in Butler County

Since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the country (and indeed the world) has seen protests expressing a desire for change. From Black Lives Matter and other community activist groups, to individuals including high school students, communities large and small have been showing up in force. Including Butler County.

Protesters in Middletown

Many of the Butler County candidates for office this fall have been participating, as well as members of the Party. Events have taken place in not only Cincinnati, but Hamilton, Fairfield, Middletown, Oxford and other surrounding areas. Below you’ll find reflections from those events.

We also encourage you to check out our Facebook page, where we’re posting local events as we hear about them. Feel free to comment and share if you know of upcoming events as well.

Vanessa Enoch

Vanessa Enoch speaking at protest in Hamilton

“The senseless killing of yet another African American unarmed person, whose life was taken at the hands of rogue police officers is a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to ensure that black citizens are entitled to equal protection under our laws. This killing was in blatant disregard of the value of Mr. Floyd’s life, and speaks to the need for accountability, so that this type of thing never happens again. As a long time warrior for social justice, I have been heartened by the nationwide solidarity around issues of racial justice and equality. The fact that people are standing against police brutality and racism solidifies my belief that we are better than the kind of hatred we’ve seen, which led to the protests. When we come together as a nation and stand against injustice, we can change the world and ensure a better tomorrow for future generations. I believe that we need to take another look at our Constitution, since it was written at a time where blacks and women didn’t have the right to full citizenship. Our Constitution should fully reflect the ideals that we as Americans can all ascribe to”

Kathy Wyenandt

“I attended two events in recent days in support of racial equality in our community, one in Hamilton and the other in Oxford. I was glad to be there listening to the voices and learning from their experience. I appreciate the peaceful and positive nature of both events. Change is coming.

Kathy Wyenandt and Pastor Shaquila Mathews from Hamilton

I fully support the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus resolution to declare racism a public health crisis in Ohio. COVID-19 has affected the black community at a much higher rate, but it doesn’t stop there. Ohio has one of the highest black infant mortality rates, and black women are twice as likely to experience a stillbirth as white women. There is more than that, and we must do better as a state. My opponent (who is currently a state rep) has not supported this issue. I believe we must take active measures to address systemic racism in our state, and calling it out as a public health crisis is a good first step”.

Michelle Novak

Candidates Michelle Novak and Vanessa Enoch

“I am finding that the community really isn’t connected to a lot of information about the state legislative operations. Yet the decisions at these levels of government have a huge impact on our daily lives. Right now in the midst of these protests and with all the publicity surrounding the racial injustices, people are waking up to the realities of the impact of our state and local government. It is more important now than ever to connect people to the information that they need to support future action and meaningful change. Many of my volunteers are part of the church community and local NAACP and are able to disseminate and share it within their circles and with their congregations. We want to keep the momentum going through November and help people to understand why voting is so important. We still have a long ways to go to get out on the other side of both the pandemic and the residual effects of it as well as rooting out the systemic racism that has plagued our country for centuries. It will take work. It will take persistence. It will take unity. We need to stay the course and stay focused. But I do believe the time for change is now.” 

Morgan Showen

Protest in Lebanon, attended by Morgan Showen

“It was incredible to see the sheer amount of support for racial justice in our community. Lebanon isn’t what you would traditionally consider a Democratic stronghold, but the fact that nearly 200 people came out to protest, and countless others drove by and honked in support, shows that this movement is beyond partisan politics. It’s on us to come together in solidarity with the Black community and to take meaningful steps forward that actively address the issues of systemic racism.”

Tammy Cuevas

Cincinnati Protest June 7

“I’ve participated in two protests in Cincinnati. What strikes me most is the sheer variety of people–young, old, black, white and every color in between. Demanding change! It’s electrifying!”

Cincinnati Protest May 30