OHIO BLACK REPUBLICANS ASSOCIATION
Policy Issues and Platform
The Ohio Black Republicans Association’s (“OBRA”) mission is to maximize growth and participation of African Americans in the Republican Party and be an educational resource on economic, social, and political issues affecting African Americans at all levels of government. Our platform as an organization is based upon a commitment to fulfilling our mission and exemplifying the highest ideals of equality, liberty, freedom, justice, and democracy for all. We believe that each of us is endowed with special gifts given by God, and that our responsibility and obligation is to take those gifts and use them to make our community, city, state, country, and world a better place. We believe that one of the most effective vehicles for increasing the quality of life of African Americans is through active and sustained participation with government and governing, and smart, strategic, and passionate use of the political process. We submit this platform to our membership and to the public as a reflection of our vision for advancing not only our mission, but the lives of African Americans through utilization and participation in the political process.
We believe education is a critical component to the stability and growth of a strong America, as well as a key element to any defense strategy we may have. We must maintain access to education, and remain committed to the quality, accountability, and modernization of our educational system at the primary years and above so that our children are prepared to compete, lead, and succeed. We must also be cognizant of the growing costs of education and the imperative that the cost of education does not overwhelm the value of obtaining it. Education has been a vital conduit for the advancement of not only our nation, but the African American community. We will continue to support and advance initiatives, ideas, policies, and programs that make quality and affordable education available. We support policies and efforts that focus on education because it remains the great equalizer and a key pathway to excellence, particularly for African-Americans.
- INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY
We believe individual liberty is a cornerstone of the GOP, and it is a cornerstone of our organization. Individual liberty means being respectful, tolerant, and inclusive regarding the various backgrounds, perspectives, talents, and experiences each of us bring to advancing our Nation, State, City, and neighborhoods. We will continue to support and fight for the respect and dignity each person should receive. We will continue to advance the principles of the GOP that each person has worth, value, and individual liberties must be respected. We will also continue to advance this position within the GOP itself, so that inclusion and diversity remain an important aspect of the Republican Party.
We believe in and respect the gift of the family, and those values and faiths practiced within society, families and by individuals. We will continue to support and be a voice for the protection of families, and the importance of faith as a part of our lives.
- ECONOMIC FREEDOM AND EMPOWERMENT
We believe access to capital, opportunities and pathways to participate in capital markets, encouragement of entrepreneurship, support of small business, and limited regulation are critical components to a free-market economic environment. We believe in free-markets and capitalism because it allows for open competition, real opportunities for participation by African Americans, and growth of a robust economy. But, we do not believe in an economic system that is at the expense of the middle class, hard working men, women, and families, or in exchange for fraud, corruption, and criminal conduct. Political or policy positions that encourage or foster principles of welfare, burdensome and over-reaching regulation, and limited access to markets and market participation are key factors in the continued and sustained disenfranchisement and reduced socio-economic position of African Americans. It is our belief that economic empowerment and economic freedom are critical to the future of African Americans.
We will continue to serve as an educational resource on economic issues impacting the African American community. We will continue to work with and engage with our elected and appointed political leaders to address economic freedom and empowerment. Our goal is not to support an environment or system that allows for hand-outs, but rather, encourages and supports a help up and the opportunity for each of us to stand on our own two feet. It is not our belief or position that each person begins life or reaches adulthood on equal footing or a level playing field. However, we do believe that where you start is not how you will finish and that through hard work, working smart, access to capital markets, economic freedom and empowerment, and an open free-market economic environment, anyone can succeed and be successful as he or she defines it.
We believe in equal justice for all. We believe in a fair and impartial judiciary and criminal justice system. We believe in and support local and federal law enforcement. We also believe that the US Constitution and other laws that govern our society and encapsulate the rights of the people should be protected, equally applied, and not abused especially by those entrusted to uphold, interpret, and apply the law to and for the people. Yet, the people must also never forget that those who protect and serve, interpret the law, and apply the law are part of our society – our communities – and need our support. Therefore, we must work together, communicate, and be respectful of one another so that justice is always achieved. It is our belief that justice is best achieved when the people and the government work together openly, honestly, and respectfully. OBRA will serve as a link and conduit between the people, especially African Americans, and those within government or other forms of leadership to educate, communicate, and maintain lines of communication and respect so that justice is preserved, applied equally, and made available to all regardless of race, class, skin color, social standing, or partisanship. It is our goal and objective that justice can be achieved through respectful and improved relationships with law enforcement, fair application of the law and criminal justice system, and robust and sustained engagement within the political process as voters, candidates, office holders, and citizens.
The ability to live a life one imagines for themselves, their families, and the next generation is predicated on being secure in their person, their neighborhoods, cities, states, and country. It is clear that over the last 20 years the world, and dare we say our own communities, has become a more dangerous place. Whether it is through advancements in technology, an advanced global economy, radical religious extremism, or merely apprehension and fear that has grown out of horrible world events, each of us thinks about our security and that of our families every day. We believe in a strong military that has access and resources to technology, equipment, and training necessary for protecting us, and our allies as necessary, in the 21st Century and against various enemies (e.g., ISIS, Hackers, Domestic Terrorism) home and abroad. We believe in securing our borders against illegal entry, while at the same time appreciating and promoting the diversity and inclusion of peoples and views and cultures that has made America a melting pot and the greatest nation in the history of our planet. We also believe in each individual feeling secure within their neighborhoods, homes, vehicles, and places of work and play. We will continue to work within and with the GOP to advance those perspectives specific to the African American community as to those security issues that affect us.