Cleveland Political Leaders Saluted At Legacy Celebration



I had the pleasure of being invited to Congressman Shantel Brown's Legacy Celebration on October 7, 2022, in honor of Louis Stokes, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Marcia L Fudge.

The event was held at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland atrium on St Clair Ave. It was a black-tie affair, and I wanted to share my insights and observations. First, the venue was spectacularly decorated.

Congresswoman Shantel Brown sponsored a Legacy Celebration that honored: the honorable Marcia L Fudge -current Director of the US Dept of HUD and past congresspersons the late Congressman Louis Stokes and thr late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

In attendance were exceptional guests who gave remarks included the Honorable James Clyburn- House Majority Whip, Chairmen Bennie Thompson, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, and Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

The welcome was provided by the honorable Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland. Congresswoman Shontel Brown's understood the magnitude of the position in Black Excellence Political Legacy that came before her, and those individuals need to be honored,

Ohio was blessed that the honorable Louis Stokes and honorable Marshall Fudge had served as chairpersons of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Congressman Louis Stokes steered hundreds of millions of federal dollars into projects in his home state. He eventually became an appropriation subcommittee chair for veterans HUD and independent agencies controlling more than 90 billion annually in federal money. He was an influential proponent of HBCU Universities.

When “The Whip” came to the podium, he shared with the crowd that he had been coming to Cleveland for years with his late wife who had a sister who lived and taught in the Cleveland Public Schools. He started interacting with various political leaders in Cleveland including Louis Stokes, George Forbes, and Arnold Pickney. When Louis Stokes decided to run for Congress, he was behind him.

He shared how he played cards with Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Marcia Fudge, keeping them both straight with programmatic issues in Congresses, especially after Fudge became National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

“Voting and Democracy are vital for everyone, especially African Americans,” Clyburn said. He left the podium to a standing room of applause and pride from the gathered crowd.

Chairman Bennie G Thompson of Mississippi spoke, in glowing terms, about one of his favorite mentees- Shontel Brown Chairman Thompson facilitated the formation of the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Training Program, The first cadre of students included Shontell Brown, who graduated number one in the class. He said everyone in the Black Congressional Caucus and the Democratic House Caucus loves Shontel Brown.

One of the surviving Stokes nieces received an award for the Stokes Family.

When the Secretary of HUD Marcia Fudge took to the stage, more than two hundred of her sorority sisters- all dressed in black- greeted her.

Secretary Fudge gave a full-throated acknowledgment and recited the accomplishments of all those Black political leaders.” They had laid the groundwork for her political success and exhibited black excellence and a love for everyone, Fudge said. “ I was pleased to sit at the adjacent table to the Stokes's family's table.”

Congresswoman Shontel Brown took to the stage and led us in a call and response of all the elected officials seeking local and statewide election in a one-hand clap.

More than fifty candidates came to the stage area. This was a masterclass in excellence, and I am grateful I could attend.

By Timothy M. Stewart, Sr.

The Reporter Newspaper