ONUMBA.COM, USA – Somali immigrant Ismahan Isse loves Columbus. Isse is part of a sprawling Somali community that is second largest in the nation, behind only Minneapolis-St Paul metropolis. She wants to serve the city as a police officer. And the good thing about Isse wanting to become a cop is that it will help Mayor Michael Coleman achieve his goal of creating a force that is as diverse as the city. But for Isse and Coleman, there’s one little problem. Isse is a Muslim woman, and with that comes a smorgasbord of requirements imposed by her Islamic faith, including the fiercely forbidden practice of not going out in public without wearing head-scarf, also called hijab. Unfortunately, that iron-clad religious ukase not too long ago collided head-on with the decision by Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs to ban women on the force from wearing head-scarf while on duty or training. While Coleman stands with Jacobs concerning her decision, he also recognizes the problem of lack of diversity bedeviling the force, which explains why he is pushing efforts to ensure that his administration is reaching out and encouraging all residents of the city to join the force. “I’ve said this to our chief and safety director, to step up our efforts in this area,” said Coleman in a recent interview, adding, “I strongly believe that our police force needs to be reflective of every corner of our city.”
Currently, the police force is nowhere near that level of reflection, but the mayor’s intention clearly underscores acknowledgement of the problem and more importantly the mission of his administration to solve it, mindful of how diverse the city has become over the years lacking adequate representation on the police force.
ONUMBA.COM, USA – Polls this early in the presidential primary contest don’t really mean much to the candidates, but if you were Ohio Governor John Kasich, it might, at least, privately get you a bit excited knowing you are not polling badly in the one contest that potentially matters. No one knows for sure if Kasich is going to jump into the crowded race yet. But last week, he dropped an abundance of hints in favor of running for president, setting July 21 as the date he will officially declare his candidacy. Until then, officially, he is still thinking about it. But if Kasich is looking for something encouraging to nudge him over to the side of a decision to definitely get into the race, that is, if he is looking for a modicum of motivation, this might be it. A recent poll of 1,191 Ohio voters by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll showed that Kasich will defeat the presumed Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hilary Clinton 47-40 in Ohio in a one-on-one match-up. That was the best performance reported by the poll when compared to the other Republicans in the race squaring off against Clinton one-on-one. Continue Reading
ONUMBA.COM, USA – When Ibrahima Sow came to Columbus from Africa in 1998 with his mother, he was only 8 years old. Now, he could become a Councilman in just a few months. But Sow, who was a consigliere to former Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder, got his work cut out for him trying to unseat Columbus city council incumbents, all Democrats. He knows that. He also knows that he is going to make huge history on multiple fronts if elected. What’s more important to the African immigrant from Senegal though, is not the history he will make if elected but the difference he hopes to make in the lives of many residents of the city he said are not currently well represented by City Hall. “There’s a huge population in the city of Columbus that does not have proper advocates, proper representation at the City Hall. That would be one thing to bring to the table,” Sow told Onumba.com, in a wide-ranging interview, recently. “We are going to bring City Hall to those that need it and make City Hall work for the people that pay for it.”
Sow, 24, is endorsed by the Republican Party. A recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science and International Relations, he is one of a bevy of Republican candidates running for city council, hoping to halt the years of partisan monopoly of the city council by Democrats. Currently, and it has been that way for years, there is no Republican on the council. Sow, of course knows it is going to be an uphill battle dismantling the Democratic hegemony of the council, but he is counting on the force of his message, not politics, to catapult him to victory this November. He expressed the view that local politics is all about ideas that work for the people and not about the partisan ideologies that polarize them. Continue Reading
Onumba.com, USA – Before the NBA annual draft yesterday, there were endless effluvium of mock drafts, with basketball buffs eating it all up as speculations went into overdrive over whether Duke University’s pollux Jahlil Okafor would be drafted No. 1 overall. It was for the most part a toss-up between star centers Okafor and the University of Kentucky Karl Anthony-Towns, with Ohio State University’s ace guard D’angelo Russell in the conversation and rounding out the triptych of the coveted players largely favored to go first in the star studded draft. As the draft day approached, however, Anthony-Towns surged past Okafor as the favorite to be called first as the top draft pick. And sure enough, he was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the No. 1 overall draft pick. Continue Reading
ONUMBA.COM, USA – With all the republicans running for the White House, it is hard to say who is going to emerge as the frontrunner from that stampede to duke it out with the presumed Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. But one thing that is easy to conclude is this: running for the White House on the republican side is starting to look more like Boston marathon than a presidential contest considering the burgeoning crowd of candidates getting into the race. Just recently, four more Republicans entered the race. Highly touted pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, former New York governor George Pataki, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and real estate developer Donald Trump, all threw their long shot hats in the ring, hyping their republican credentials and bringing the total number of Republican presidential candidates to …..a lot. The smorgasbord of choice of candidates is good for democracy. Continue Reading
ONUMBA.COM – By now, everyone is probably copiously aware that the Obamacare website rollout has been nothing but an epic disaster, a chaotic blend of a lousy website, a fumbled rollout and a daisy-chain of missteps responding to the whole mess. The bug plagued blastoff of the healthcare.gov website, which many see as the signature achievement of the Obama presidency, has betrayed the promise of a great start to a new era in health care coverage due to a plethora of crippling hiccups among which are glitches, crashes, delays, frozen screens and all sorts of headache just accessing the website. And then there’s the more serious issue concerning consumer privacy to cap it all off. In short, it all summed up to a extraordinarily woeful month for the president, a disaster of monumental zenith. But through it all, an often petered-out looking Obama remained optimistic, mixing that with a humbling apology for the mess on which the media has been feasting. “I am sorry,” the president told the American people followed by a seemingly gutsy assurance, after implementing a “tech surge,” that the beleaguered website will be rectified and ready to go by the end of the November. Continue Reading