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by 04.22.2009

Re-Integrating Millions

Considering that the United States has incarcerated more of its citizens than any other country in the world, we’ve created a problem we can’t avoid – re-integrating millions of people into mainstream society. With restrictions on employment that bar former felons from even submitting an application for an open position, we’re creating conditions that, at best, force former offenders into lying to get jobs or returning to crime in order to survive.

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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 02.18.2009
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 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.

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 10.23.2008

Nader Campaign Pushes Reform

Some campaign workers for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader are conceding their choice for the Oval Office probably doesn’t have a realistic chance at being elected. But they say Nader’s platform of issues is what’s truly important and are urging progressive voters to pressure the winners in this November’s elections into pursuing his agenda.

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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 10.30.2008
Posted In: 2008 Election, Public Policy, Business at 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apparently Size Does Matter

Politics is often a game of strategy, and an area anti-tax group is well-known for taking the offensive on most issues it advocates. A recent dispute over a referendum on a payday loan law, however, has the group facing stinging criticism for getting its facts wrong and overstating its own influence.

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by Hannah McCartney 07.08.2013
Posted In: Public Policy, Prisons, News, Environment, Science, Health at 08:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning News and Stuff

Gaslight grocery store loses steam, record rainfall, return of gas chambers?

Construction to renovate the former IGA in Clifton's Gaslight district will come to a halt soon, and the future for the building remains uncertain; contractors told the Enquirer they'd finish working on the roof and then pull off the project. Steve Goessling, who purchased the property when it was vacated two years ago, says he plans on continuing to build out the building, but he doesn't have the $4.1 million he needs to make it happen. He recently hired Cassidy Turley to market the property to higher-end grocery chains.

It’s Monday, the most un-fun, unhappy day of the week. But smile: Here are 18 signs you’re doing better than you think.

The attorney general for the state of Missouri, Chris Koster, is talking about bringing back the use of gas chambers on death row inmates because he's worried about the state running out of lethal injection drugs.

Cincinnati had an entire month's worth of rainfall over the past week — 3.75 inches as of Sunday. The norm for July is 3.76 inches.

A near-record algae bloom is ensconcing the popular beaches of a coastal Chinese city with thick, bright green “sea lettuce,” as the locals call it. It’s not harmful to humans, but it does suffocate the marine life and kind of scares away tourists.

Two men with HIV now appear to now be virus-free after they received stem-cell transplants to treat their lymphoma.

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute combed through 18,000 hours of deep-sea video footage and found the ocean seafloor around Monterey Bay is covered in trash.

by Kevin Osborne 01.20.2012
Posted In: Human Rights, War , Congress, Public Policy at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Israeli Ambassador Visits Cincinnati

Israel’s ambassador to the United States will speak at an event in Cincinnati on Saturday night.

Michael Oren will speak about U.S.-Israeli relations and current events affecting both nations. Time will be allowed for questions following Oren’s speech.

Several area politicians are scheduled to attend the event including U.S. Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) and Steve Chabot (R-Westwood); State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Price Hill); Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel; and a representative from the office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Terrace Park).

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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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