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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 02.16.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Community, Government at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Juvenile "Justice"

Jailing juveniles as a form of “rehabilitation” comes with an expensive price tag. More than money, the criminal justice system costs kids their rights and that state seems to be OK with that.

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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 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 02.09.2009
 
 

Shafting the Poor: It's What We Do

Cincinnati is once again planning to reduce, limit and even eliminate services for the most vulnerable in our community as a time when people with money are struggling. Those people who called “less fortunate” at religious services are supposedly preventing downtown from developing to its full potential.

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by 02.06.2009
Posted In: Social Justice, Public Policy at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Life over Death

The Parole Board issued is recommendation today on the request for clemency in the case of Jeffrey Hill. In the state of Ohio a death sentence stands more often than it is overturned because, they say, it's to give the victim's family closure and a sense of justice. In the case of Hill, his mother was the victim, killed bu Hill while high on crack-cocaine, and the rest of his family didn't want to see him executed.

The final decision is up to Gov. Ted Strickland and if he listens to the family, as the Parole Board did, one less murder will take place in the Buckeye state. What follows is a statement from Eddie Sanders, brother of Emma Dee Hill and uncle of Jeffrey Hill, on behalf of Emma Dee Hill’s family.

“My family and I send our deepest appreciation to the Ohio Parole Board for unanimously recommending clemency and parole eligibility for my nephew, Jeffrey Hill. We now pray that Governor Ted Strickland respects my family’s wishes and follows the Parole Board’s unified recommendation.

“Eighteen years ago we suffered a profound loss when Jeffrey took the life of his mother, and my sister, Emma Dee Hill. Jeffrey became addicted to crack-cocaine after his father’s passing. My family knows that had it not been for the effect of drugs, this tragedy would never have occurred. We have forgiven Jeffrey and do not want to have to suffer through the tragic loss of another one of our own. We are certain that Emma herself, who was a woman of great faith and conviction, would also be absolutely opposed to the death sentence given to Jeffrey.

“Twelve members of my family appealed to the Parole Board to spare Jeffrey’s life. It was the first time that we were able to state our wishes in depth. We were cast aside at trial, and the jury never heard from Emma's mother, her two brothers and sister, all of us who were and who remain opposed to Jeffrey receiving a death sentence. It is tremendously meaningful that we were able to have our position recognized by all of the members of the Parole Board today. We are so very thankful that the Parole Board respected our plea and recommended clemency.

“My family, including Emma’s mother, other siblings, nephews, nieces and grandchildren, does not want this execution carried out in our name. We pray that Governor Ted Strickland upholds the Board’s recommendation and grants clemency and parole eligibility to Jeffrey.”

To help Strickland make up his mind, drop him a note or give him a call.

e-mail

Governor's Office

Riffe Center, 30th Floor

77 South High Street

Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Phone: 614-466-3555

 
 
by 01.13.2009
Posted In: News, Public Policy at 04:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

COAST Wants You

A regional anti-tax group is trying to expand its membership and decide which issues to advocate in the coming year.

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by 12.29.2008
Posted In: Business, Public Policy, News at 05:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Post: Workplace Safety Suffers Under Bush

It’s not just Cintas that’s getting a break from federal workplace safety regulators, according to The Washington Post.

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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 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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