Those of us in Ohio’s 15th district (the east half of Franklin County) should be proud to call Charleta Tavares our State Senator. Active in central Ohio politics for over 20 years, she has served as an Ohio House member, as a member of Columbus City Council, and is currently the Assistant Minority Leader in the State Senate. Charleta was the first African-American woman to hold a leadership position in the Ohio Legislature.
  Unfortunately, in 1998, J. Kenneth Blackwell bested Charleta in the race to become Ohio Secretary of State. Think of how different our state and country would be if Charleta, instead of Blackwell, had overseen the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential election. No long lines. No flipped votes. No outsourcing the final tally. No stolen election and no second Bush administration.
  But the reason the Free Press honors Senator Tavares as our hero is for her principled stance on the great moral issues of the day. Charleta was the only member of Columbus City Council to support a “City for Peace” resolution prior to the Iraq War. She received death threats from pro-war zealots and zero support from her Council colleagues. Charleta sat on a panel at the Free Press public hearings on election irregularities in 2004 and arranged to have U.S. Congress members hold hearings in Columbus City Council chambers. She continues to stand for voting rights.
  Charleta supports women’s and LGBT rights. With this being Women’s History Month, the Free Press is proud to honor Charleta Tavares as a woman who has made history and continues to establish a progressive legacy every day in Ohio.