By: Daniel Ortiz, board member Young Latino Network and Avanzamos Unidos
Dear County Executive,
The task ahead of you is bigger than any one person. On the campaign trail, you’ve discussed racial equity and inclusion many times and now you are leading a county that is increasingly diverse with many communities looking to your administration for progress.
Based on the Census diversity index, Cuyahoga County is the most racial and ethnically diverse of Ohio’s 88 counties
The 2020 Census shows that the country, Ohio included, is becoming more diverse. Based on the Census diversity index, Cuyahoga County is the most racial and ethnically diverse of Ohio’s 88 counties, with 28.9% Black/African-American, 6.6% Hispanic/Latinx, 3.5% Asian, and 3.6% reporting two or more races. These Census numbers also reflect an undercount in many hard-to-count communities, which is notably higher for populations living below the poverty line, folks who have difficulty speaking English, renters, people with housing insecurity and unhoused populations, an intersection that should be especially concerning here in Cuyahoga County, which experienced a decline in population.
As a member of the Latinx community, I understand that no community is a monolith. The population in Cuyahoga County comes from many great waves of migration and immigration, different racial backgrounds, and complex political histories with a variety of leaders and organizations that reflect that diversity. How you approach these histories and build relationships with our communities will be key to your success. No matter who we are or where we live, we are bound to a shared future. We all do better when every one of us has the tools to thrive. All of us deserve good jobs that pay the true value of our work and labor laws that keep us safe. There are enforcement measures and policy solutions that you as County Executive can deliver on to achieve tangible progress and increase equity.
No matter who we are or where we live, we are bound to a shared future.
As you approach building trust and a pathway towards shared prosperity, I hope that you practice radical transparency and encourage your team to dream big. Imagine what equity looks like for communities disproportionately impacted by a legacy of policies that overlooked their well-being. Together we can reimagine what is possible in Cuyahoga County.
Daniel Ortiz, board member Young Latino Network and Avanzamos Unidos