Our History

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The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus is an organization of African American legislators serving in the Ohio General Assembly that advocates for legislation and state initiatives that empower African Americans in Ohio.

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus was founded in 1967 by African American state legislators under the leadership of State Representative C.J. McLin of Dayton, Ohio. At that time, the organization was known as BEDO or the Black Elected Democrats of Ohio. Along with the honorable CJ Mclin, the honorable William Mallory, the honorable William Bowen, the honorable Phale Hale, the honorable Thomas Hill, the honorable M. Morris Jackson, the honorable Troy James, and the honorable Larry Smith also helped found the organization. There are 19 active members out of 132 in the General Assembly.

The members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus are committed to fighting for the issues important to African Americans in Ohio, such as reforming the criminal justice system, ensuring the fundamental right to vote is not infringed upon or suppressed, working to expand economic opportunities and prosperity, secure a fair playing field for African Americans seeking good-paying jobs, addressing health disparities & the infant mortality crisis affecting the black community, combating poverty through collaborations with partner organizations, and strengthening the education system, from Pre-K through high school and all the way