Jesus with his children outside the supermarket in Willard, Ohio (July 2017).
Jesus with his children outside the supermarket in Willard, Ohio (July 2017).

Lessons learned about advocacy communications in the Trump years.


This is Jesus Lara with two of his children outside the supermarket in Willard, Ohio (July 2017). The campaign to stop his deportation is where I learned the power of photos to tell a story.

For strangers to connect with the person you are advocating for, they need to see their humanity. We know they are humans, but the rest of the world doesn’t know them. I’m sorry and I wish this was not true. This is my experience.

These days, people are often suspicious about what they read in news articles. They have been told it is biased…

Solidarity with George Floyd. Fremont, OH, June 3, 2020. Photo Credit: Monica Alonso

The passionate crowds gathering in major cities across the U.S., calling for an end to racism and the murder of Black people by police, are so moving. Less visible, but just as important, are the demonstrations taking place in smaller cities, towns, and villages, where people are saying #BlackLivesMatter too.

This is particularly significant in Ohio, home to numerous white supremacist hate groups, as well as the murderers of Tamir Rice and Heather Heyer. …

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ohio Immigrant Alliance and allies are circulating a list of policies needed to protect immigrants and other people currently incarcerated from this deadly disease. We are accepting organizational and individual endorsements here. The signed petitions will be sent to federal and Ohio officials responsible for these decisions.

We write out of deep concern for the health of our family members, friends, clients, and fellow Ohioans currently incarcerated in Ohio’s prisons and jails. They include people in criminal and “civil” immigration custody.

#OhioAgainstHate was a campaign in 2016 from and partners

(updated 11/6/19 with election results)

When high school runner Noor Abukaram was disqualified for wearing a hijab without first obtaining a waiver from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), the story made international news. As it turns out, this was not an isolated incident. Religious and racial discrimination is common in Ohio today.

The OHSAA announced it will change the rules for the future, but this never should have happened in the first place. The good news is that Ohio, home to James Alex Fields Jr.

Director Adducci Is Wasting Our Tax Dollars In Cruel and Un-American Ways

There is a reason that the expected release today of Haitian asylum-seeker Ansly Damus, who has been held in a Geauga County, Ohio jail for more than two years, is national news. (UPDATE: Damus was released on November 30, 2018.)

Image Credit: ACLU of Ohio

Ansly won his asylum case — twice — before a judge. He has no criminal record. Yet, the U.S. government continued to keep Ansly locked up in a windowless jail cell, hoping he would give up on his case as the government continues to draw it out on appeal.

The ACLU sued to stop the government’s practice of using prolonged…

Two different stories, two different states, one thing in common: the person making incomprehensible, dangerous decisions that disrespect human life in the name of “enforcing immigration laws.” That person’s name is Rebecca Adducci, and she is the Field Office Director of Detroit ICE, with jurisdiction over Michigan and Ohio.

In Michigan, Adducci has recently been trying to deport Francis Anwana, a deaf man with cognitive disabilities who has thrived in the US due to the treatment and care he has received over the past thirty-four years. America is his home. …

But We Can Change

Jesus Lara and his children, from Willard, Ohio outside Senator Sherrod Brown’s Washington, DC office.

Ohio immigrants work hard and raise families in one of the toughest states to live in as an undocumented person. After the Trump Administration expanded deportations of immigrants with no criminal record, it became even worse.

We need to wake up and realize what is happening, in our own communities, to our neighbors, coworkers, and friends. It’s hypocritical and immoral for us to benefit from immigrants’ hard work while keeping them down, in constant fear of deportation.

A 2015 report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America; and UC…

Father, Children Pray Someone Powerful Will Save Their Family

Elsiy Lara, pretending to interview brother Eric (Jesus Lara, July 2017)

Local and national media continue to cover the pending deportation of Ohio father Jesus Lara Lopez, scheduled for Tuesday July 18. Jesus is a tax paying, hard working father of four US citizen children who have launched a campaign to keep him at home in Willard.

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-7) has been in the spotlight on this case, as Jesus’ eldest son Eric launched a petition asking him for help. The petition was signed by over 600 of Rep. …

Anuar and Elsiy Lara pose with their picture in the local paper, while dad Jesus looks on (Lynn Tramonte, 7/8/2017)

Downtown Willard, OH — population 6,000 — is normally pretty quiet on a Saturday, with many businesses closed. But today there was Latin music blaring from a church fundraiser at one corner of S. Myrtle Avenue. At the other end, the four Lara children — six year-old Elsie, nine year-old Anuar, eleven year-old Edwin, and almost-fourteen Eric were buzzing around like bees, carrying bags of Pepperidge Farm cookies and official-looking clipboards.

They were looking for people to sign a petition in support of their dad, Jesus Lara, who is facing deportation in just one week. Jesus Lara is facing deportation…

Eric Lara is 14. He lives in Willard, Ohio, population 6,000, where country roads and highways connect homes to factories and fields.

I grew up in Sharon Township, Ohio, population 4,000, with more country roads and highways connecting to more businesses that need a lot of land.

When I first met Eric, I felt like I already knew him. He is thoughtful and quiet. When he’s comfortable he starts to talk more, and you realize that his mind has been buzzing the whole time.

When Eric grows up, he wants to become a lawyer. He isn’t sure how to do…

Lynn Tramonte

Director, Ohio Immigrant Alliance. Daughter, sister, Mom, wine drinker, proud NE Ohioan! Lifetime #immigration advocate. Views are my own, unless you agree!

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