Skip to content

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 | Can anyone access Ohio's Sunshine Laws?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Can anyone access Ohio's Sunshine Laws?

The Founders, including James Madison, one of the primary architects of our Constitution, clearly understood that public trust was critical to the survival of our democracy.
VALLEY POLITICS | Will it be election night or election week?

VALLEY POLITICS | Will it be election night or election week?

Those who envision a week-long election count cite the recent example of California. In the last presidential election, 5.8 million votes were cast and 3 million were counted on election day. It took seven weeks to count the remaining 2.8 million.
FROM THE EDITOR | It's time for the state to give you COVID-19 data by ZIP code

FROM THE EDITOR | It's time for the state to give you COVID-19 data by ZIP code

Public records aren’t reliant on whims or county lines. Either it is a public record or it is not. Officials will have to cite a specific legal premise for denying us access to the data beyond the specious reasoning we’ve been subjected to thus far.
The Earnheardts | I miss my office

The Earnheardts | I miss my office

Now I live in some sort of hellscape where I’m never fully at work or at home. I’m stuck in a setting where I’m either ready to work and no one has returned an email, or I’m busily creating work to send out to others, or I’m waiting for some terrible email to interrupt family movie night.
KEEPING THE FAITH | Every journey comes down to: 'Are we there yet?'

KEEPING THE FAITH | Every journey comes down to: 'Are we there yet?'

There is so much truth packed in Gretchen Rubin’s expression that “days are long and years are short.” It is important that we share time together as a family. Yet, it has been said, when you have children, vacations are just “parenting somewhere else.” 
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | What are the effects of the Supreme Court's Bostock decision?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | What are the effects of the Supreme Court's Bostock decision?

Over the past 231 years, decisions rendered by the 110 men and four women justices have both reflected the sentiment of the day and changed the course of history. This is especially true as it relates to civil rights.
AIMEE FIFAREK | An open letter from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County

AIMEE FIFAREK | An open letter from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County

It’s our duty to make sure we are adhering to these regulations as we expand our services. That’s why we are taking things slowly.
VALLEY POLITICS | Who has the backs of public health officials?

VALLEY POLITICS | Who has the backs of public health officials?

Government health workers were once invisible, often neglected and inadequately funded. Now, they are under attack when they are most needed.  
The Earnheardts | ISO a pandemic housekeeper

The Earnheardts | ISO a pandemic housekeeper

It’s not that I don’t love the idea of a clean house. I can’t imagine having a stranger in my house, moving from room to room, seeing our life for the complete chaos that it is. The way we live is just too embarrassing.
KEEPING THE FAITH | What God’s promise of protection really means

KEEPING THE FAITH | What God’s promise of protection really means

God does not promise to keep you from all physical harm. There are occasions when He compassionately protects us from situations where we would experience injury or loss.