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Community Columns

Attention writers: Do you have something you would like to share about the community that matters most to you? Do you have unique skills to share? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about?

Mahoning Matters is looking for community columns to share with our readers. We want your takes on everything from getting the kids to school on time to topics like the racial divide in our community. 

Submit 500-word essays for consideration to Mark Sweetwood at mark@mahoningmatters.com. Submissions must include a brief bio and mug shot of the writer. Publication is at the discretion of the editor.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | What does it mean to be an attorney?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | What does it mean to be an attorney?

Since the day I was born I have been immersed in the law. My father and my uncle were attorneys. They inspired me to attend law school and gave me my first job when I passed the bar.
AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | Increased federal funds but wealth gap continues

AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | Increased federal funds but wealth gap continues

According to data from a recent study, more than half of all African-American-owned small businesses experienced at least a 50% decrease in revenue over the course of the pandemic, compared to a 37% decrease in revenue from their non-minority counterparts.
LIZ DREIER | Wonder Boy goes to the fair

LIZ DREIER | Wonder Boy goes to the fair

After this year’s beach vacation with a toddler who hated the beach, when Wonder Boy’s mom texted me that she and her husband wanted to take our grandson to his first Canfield Fair, I had my doubts. 
KEEPING THE FAITH | Forgiveness isn’t the same as reconciliation

KEEPING THE FAITH | Forgiveness isn’t the same as reconciliation

Every one of us needs forgiveness, mercy and grace from God. Yet we must extend the same acts to others. We need to forgive others, showing them mercy and grace as well.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Is it legal for the government to use my phone to track my whereabouts?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Is it legal for the government to use my phone to track my whereabouts?

I get slightly amused when I hear someone say they will not receive a COVID-19 vaccination because the shots contain a microchip that allows Bill Gates and the government to monitor their location. Bill Gates could care less about what you do. But the government ...?
FROM THE EDITOR | If you refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, you're the problem

FROM THE EDITOR | If you refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, you're the problem

I've hit my breaking point. And it coincided with a number of factors associated with the delta surge and a few poorly behaved parents attending school board meetings with their crazy conspiracy theories and badly formed definitions of "freedom."
AN INCLUSIVE TABLE |  Systemic racism: What my grandmother knew that I didn’t

AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | Systemic racism: What my grandmother knew that I didn’t

I am named after my late grandmother — an outspoken woman who shared stories growing up Black in York, Ala. during the 1940s. Her chilling tales of the whispers of lynchings and discrimination serve as a guiding principle on how I move in this world as a Black woman.  
The Earnheardts | Don’t F*** with my boundaries

The Earnheardts | Don’t F*** with my boundaries

I was not allowed to swear when I was a child and this restriction resulted in a life-long love of profane language. I wanted better for my kids.
KEEPING THE FAITH : Be someone's example of kindness and compassion

KEEPING THE FAITH : Be someone's example of kindness and compassion

Today, we need to exercise more patience, tolerance and understanding in our interactions with others. The behaviors of naming, shaming and blaming — especially on social media — have become vitriol and contemptuous, 
COMMUNITY VIEW | Proposed natural gas and oil industry taxes would hamper economy

COMMUNITY VIEW | Proposed natural gas and oil industry taxes would hamper economy

In the Mahoning Valley, natural gas and oil operations give us a sustainable, competitive advantage. We have benefited from many billions of dollars in direct investment creating thousands of new jobs and producing everything from pipes to electricity.