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by 02.17.2009
 
 

Religion and Politics

Referred to as the "Stir the Pot" series, a film/discussion series at Grace Episcopal Church in College Hill (5501 Hamilton Ave. 45224) will show The Freedom Files on Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m.
According to the ACLU, producers of the video series, the Freedom Files focuses on issues on some of the most volatile issues of our day including surveillance, sex education, freedom from abuse of power, school to prison pipeline and lesbian/gay families.

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by 12.10.2008
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice at 07:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Sixty years ago today, Dec. 10, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), became the standard for of our modern-day human rights principles. Many of those rights are bargained away or trampled on the way to achieving some other objective.

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by 02.13.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice, News, Community at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Abolitionists Win One

Three years ago Eddie Sanders Sr. invited CityBeat into his home to talk about the clemency campaign he and his family were just beginning on behalf of his nephew, Jeffrey Hill (See Killing a Family March 1, 2006).

After sitting on death row for 15 years for the murder of his mother while high on cocaine, Hill was expecting his execution date to be scheduled.

At the end of the interview he said the ideal outcome would be to see Jeff walk out of prison. Two years and 354 days later that incomprehensible dream became a reality.

Governor Strickland followed through with the Adult Parole Board's recommendation to grant Hill clemency with parole eligibility.

Hill is already being prepared to transfer to the Warren County Correctional institute from the Super Max prison in Youngstown where death row inmates are house.

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center is asking everyone to write to Stickland and the Parole Board to express appreciation. IJPC sent out the following request via e-mail today:

To thank the Governor:

Call: 614-466-3555

Write to:

Governor's Office

Riffe Center, 30th Floor

77 South High Street

Columbus, OH 43215-6108

They also offer suggestions.

“Here are some things you may want to mention in your message about Jeff's case,” writes IJPC.

“Thank you for recognizing the disparities in the system and the important considerations the appeals process fails to address. 

“Thank you for being open to the possibility that human beings can change.

“Thank you for leading the state towards a new time of compassion.

“This is just one more example of how messy and complicated the death penalty is Ohio and we can't have it.”

To thank the Parole Board:

Call: 614-752-1159, ext. 2

Write to:

Cynthia Mausser, Chair of Ohio Parole Board

770 West Broad Street

Columbus, Ohio 43222

 
 
by 11.04.2008
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice at 09:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Dirty Secrets

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is exposing 27 million of them Nov. 18 with a screening of Call Response, “a first of its kind feature documentary film that reveals the world’s 27 million dirtiest secrets: There are more slaves today than ever before in human history.”

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by 12.18.2008
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Power to the People

After months of news reports about greed, illegal activity in the financial markets and the failure of numerous regulatory systems that were supposed to protect people without power it’s easy to feel powerless. But the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center offers a substantial list of accomplishments for 2008 that give a body a reason to get fired up and prove again the power of collective action.

In our world:

Nuclear Weapon Free World
Veteran Cold War Warriors Sam Nunn, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and George Schultz all have called for the elimination of nuclear weapons. They have been facilitating meetings with all nuclear-weapon possessing states throughout the year, making it clear that “if the nuclear powers wish to be safe from nuclear weapons they must surrender their own.”

Four Countries Pledge to Go Carbon Neutral

Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, and Costa Rica sign on to the UN Environmental Program’s Carbon Neutrality network. 99percent Iceland’s homes already use geothermal or hydropower. www.yesmagazine.org

Landmark Win for Guantanamo Detainees!
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court (5-4) ruled that Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge their detention in federal courts and that congressional legislation has failed to provide a reasonable substitute. www.ccrjustice.org

Pennsylvania says: “Sweat Shops Need Not Apply!”

Pennsylvania is the first state joining the State and Local Sweatfree Consortium. Over the summer, Gov. Rendell signed the landmark, first-in-the-nation, resolution which prohibits purchasing from sweatshops and promotes vendors and factories that meet standards for labor and human rights. www.jwj.org

Huge, Very Huge Victory for Clean Air

In November, Sierra Club effectively shut down 30 proposed coal-fired power plants by winning a victory before the EPA Environmental Appeals Board which would require all coal-fired power plants to use Best Available Control Technology for carbon dioxide. www.sierraclub.org

Prison Reform
Congress passed the Second Chance Act in March which provides $362 million on programs of education and job training for prisoners and their families to help prevent recidivism. The bill also offers alternatives to prison for parents convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. www.yesmagazine.org


Closer to home:

Recycling Workers Go Green
Workers at the Cincinnati Rumpke Plant spent 2008 educating our community, city policy makers and local activists about their low paying, dangerous and insecure jobs, which includes sorting the city’s recyclables. They inspired the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, the Sierra Club, the Blue-Green Alliance and many other local supporters to join the demand for a living wage for this “green collar” work and for a large increase in city-wide recycling. They won significant concessions from Rumpke regarding fees and safety conditions, and the city is developing a Request for Bids on a new recycling contract that guarantees a living wage ($4.00/hour increase from the their current minimum wage), and worker input into health and safety issues, as well as large increase in diversion from the landfill.

Ohio Voters Pass Issue 5: Retain Limits on Payday Loans
Voters approved a new payday lending law that cuts the annual percentage rate that lenders can charge to 28 percent and limits the number of loans customers can take to four per year. It is among the strictest laws in the country. Congress passed a 36 percent cap protecting military from this practice, and 15 states plus the District of Columbia also have chosen to control predatory lending by enforcing interest rates in that range.
www.responsiblelending.org/press/releases/

CPS School Levy Passes!
In March, after a spirited campaign led by parents, community groups, and labor unions, a much needed Cincinnati Public school levy was passed - overcoming significant opposition.

Leave No Child Inside Movement Grows in Cincinnati
From school gardens to green playgrounds, a national movement has taken root in Cincinnati to get children outside for healthy play. www.lncigc.org

OTRCH Begins Permanent Supportive Housing Project
Over the Rhine Community Housing “has received a grant of $987,743 from the Federal Home Loan Bank, through Union Savings Bank, to transform five buildings on Odeon Street into housing for the chronically homeless. There will be a single point of entry for the 25 units, with 24-hour engagement staff. The Odeon Street Permanent Supporting Housing Project, the first in this area, is based on a harm-reduction model successfully used elsewhere in the country. The concept is basically to house the homeless first, then work on sobriety and other issues. (Streetvibes)

 
 
by 10.03.2008
Posted In: Environment, Public Policy at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Energetic Friday

Do something other than veg out in front of the boob tube tomorrow night. Join a conversation about a topic on everyone’s mind: energy.

Tonight at 6 p.m. the Imago Earth Center (700 Enright Ave., Price Hill) kicks off its First Friday Conversations with a 20-minute video of Al Gore’s New Thinking on the Climate Crisis. Imago’s 2008-09 season features the year-long theme “Enhancing Earth by Getting ‘Off the Grid.’ ”

“Drawing on a broad understanding of ‘the grid,’ we’ll look at many aspects of unplugging from the current models of growth and consumption,” says an event announcement.

For more info, visit www.imagoearth.org  or call 513-921-5124.

— Margo Pierce

 
 
by 02.18.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, Public Policy, News at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Darfur and the Southern Sudan

"Darfur and the Southern Sudan are among the most devastated areas on the planet," according to a press release from Xavier University. "Join us for a conversation with Simon Deng, a former Sudanese slave, and Omer Ismail, a native of Darfur, to discuss what we can and should be doing to address this inhuman situation."

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by 11.10.2010
Posted In: Public Policy, Public Transit, Urban Planning at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Streetcar Tours End Today

A sample of the streetcars that will be running on Cincinnati streets soon has been parked at Fountain Square for tours, but this afternoon is your last chance to check it out. The company that built it, United Streetcar of Clackamas, Ore., will be packing it up tonight and shipping it off for similar sightseeing visits to Salt Lake City and Fort Worth, Tex.

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by 02.11.2009
Posted In: Community, Public Policy, Social Justice at 03:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Homlessness in 2009 - Family Style

Since the late 1980s, Cincinnati’s homeless population has included a growing number of families with children

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by Kevin Osborne 02.23.2012
Posted In: Economy, Financial Crisis, Congress, Public Policy at 03:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
unemployment

Don't Believe the Hype About Jobs

There is an old saying that goes, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." It’s alternately been credited to writer Mark Twain and British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

No matter where it originated, though, the quote applies well to unemployment figures released by the U.S. Labor Department.

Earlier this month the Labor Department reported the nation’s unemployment rate dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January to 8.3 percent, its lowest level in three years. That is good news, but not quite as good as it first appears.

Using that measure, 12.3 million people are unemployed, which is a decline of 0.2 percent from December.

The number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for six months or more — was 5.5 million people, accounting for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.

Critics of how the government calculates the unemployment rate, however, say it’s misleading because it doesn’t count so-called “discouraged workers.” Those are people who are jobless and have looked for work sometime in the past year but aren’t currently looking because of real or perceived poor employment prospects. In other words, they’ve given up.

Federal data shows a disproportionate number of young people, African-Americans, Hispanics and men comprise the discouraged-worker segment.

Including those workers, the unemployment rate was 16.2 percent in January. Some analysts, however, believe that grossly understates the numbers. (The highest the rate got during the Great Depression was 25 percent in 1933.)

Here’s some context. In the modern era (1948-present), the U.S. unemployment rate averaged 5.7 percent — reaching a record high of 10.8 percent in November 1982 and a record low of 2.5 percent in May 1953.

As economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has noted, “we started 2012 with fewer workers employed than in January 2001 — zero growth after 11 years, even as the population, and therefore the number of jobs we needed, grew steadily.”

Krugman added, “at January’s pace of job creation it would take us until 2019 to return to full employment.”

In a little noticed report, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated last week that the rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this nation since the Great Depression.

Additionally, the CBO — which is the official, objective analyst for the federal government — estimates that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014.

If that’s not depressing enough, consider this: The share of unemployed people who have been looking for work for more than a year — referred to as marginally-attached workers— topped 40 percent in December 2009 and has remained above that level ever since.

The CBO stated the high unemployment rate’s primary cause is weak demand for goods and services as a result of the recession and its aftermath, which results in weak demand for workers.

To produce the largest increases in employment per dollar of budgetary cost, the agency recommended reducing the marginal cost to businesses of adding employees; and targeting people most likely to spend the additional income — generally, people with lower income.

“Policies primarily affecting businesses’ cash flow would have little impact on their marginal incentives to hire or invest and, therefore, would have only small effects on employment per dollar of budgetary cost,” the CBO’s report stated.

“Despite the near-term economic benefits, such actions would add to the already large projected budget deficits that would exist under current policies, either immediately or over time,” it added. “Achieving both short-term stimulus and long-term sustainability would require a combination of policies: changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit now but reduce it later in the decade.”

Let’s make that clear — economic stimulus for poor people who would actually spend the money is most effective, and to have an impact the federal deficit needs to increase in the short-term.

Republicans, are you listening?

 
 

 

 

 
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