YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus is in the midst of a statewide bus tour, urging African Americans to not only register, but to also get out and vote this November.
It made two stops in the area on Tuesday — the first being at Glenn Holmes’ campaign office in Girard, the second at The Starting Lineup Barber & Beauty Shop in downtown Youngstown.
“You gotta talk to them,” said Alicia Reese, the Ohio Legislative’s Black Caucus president. “Gotta go in the barber shops, the beauty shops.”
The bus tour will make seven visits throughout Ohio, trying to convince black voters to not only vote, but to also vote past the top of the ballot.
Hillary Clinton is the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus’ endorsed candidate, but it doesn’t want people voting just for her.
“Not only talk about the White House, which is very important, but the entire team,” Reese said. “We need the White House and the state house, as well as the court house.”
At The Starting Lineup, the caucus’ representatives talked with those getting a fresh haircut or as stylists braided someone’s hair.
“Well, last time I remembered, I’m registered,” said Anvia Mickens, of Youngstown. “I should check from last year to this year, check if I’m still registered.”
“It helps raise awareness, you know, to get the point out [that] you have to get registered,” said Gerald Hoey, of Youngstown.
Black voters were 15 percent of Ohio’s voters in 2012, which was up from 11 percent in 2008.
With this election cycle lacking an African American running for the White House, the caucus is changing the message to keep getting more black people to the polls.
“President [Barack] Obama was on the ballot the last two elections,” Reese said. “But this time, you’re on the ballot and the things you believe in are on the ballot.”
The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus traveled to Legends Barber Shop in Akron after they wrapped up in Youngstown. They’ll be in Dayton and Cincinnati on Wednesday.