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by 11.20.2008
Posted In: Public Policy at 08:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sex Education That Makes Sense

Ohio Prevention First Act has been in limbo for three years while Planned Parenthood Action of Ohio, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and supporters requested a hearing for the “a common-sense, common-ground measure that would reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in Ohio by increasing access to birth control and ensuring fact-based sex education programs in public schools.”

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by 04.16.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Government, Protests at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Where All the 'Tea' Really Goes

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” — President Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address (1961)

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by 05.22.2009
Posted In: News, Social Justice, Public Policy at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Last One

When staff writers leave CityBeat they have, in the past, had an opportunity to publish a “so long” piece. It’s usually done as a column or a first-person commentary. My last piece for CityBeat will be a review of a new book that looks at the current U.S. slave market.

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by Martin Brennan 01.25.2012

Online Pirating: An Old-School Gamer's Only Option?

Last week I blogged about SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill being proposed in Congress that, if passed, would allow both copyright holders as well as the US Department of Justice to severely restrict access to and advertising on any website accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Needless to say the bill’s sparked a huge controversy on the web. Many sites such as Reddit.com blacked out their services on Jan. 18 in protest, and those against the bill are saying the bill inhibits free speech and will effectively “ruin the Internet” if passed.

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by 03.05.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Government at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)

'For Some People It's a Right'

At least one Republican lawmaker believes healthcare is a “privilege” and not a right, and that many people who don’t have access to healthcare choose to do so.

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by Hannah McCartney 06.28.2013
Posted In: Human Rights, Public Policy at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Attorney General Releases Human Trafficking Report

Law enforcement identified 38 trafficking victims last year among estimated thousands

 New data released today in the first annual Human Trafficking Statistics Report, compiled by the state’s Human Trafficking Commission, provides reports on human trafficking investigations conducted by local law enforcement agencies across the state.

Ohio’s Safe Harbor Law, also known as House Bill 262, was passed June 27 last year to combat Ohio’s human trafficking plague by harshening penalties for traffickers and offering trafficking victims more resources to heal. Included in the legislation was the mandate that the established task force, the Human Trafficking Commission, collect statistics and reports on human trafficking investigations, cases and arrests, for an annually published report. 

The report chronicles 30 different human trafficking investigations, which have resulted in 15 arrests and 17 prosecutions over the past year. Some of the investigations are still ongoing.

Thirty-eight sex trafficking victims were identified by local law enforcement last year, most of whom where identified as white or between the ages of 18 and 29. Only one reported victim was male. That represents just a fraction of the thousands of total Ohioans who fall victim to human trafficking in Ohio each year; around 1,000 Ohio youths and 800 foreign-born were trafficked across Ohio. Thousands more are considered "at risk" of becoming trafficking victims, which makes grand estimates on the total number of actual victims virtually impossible.

Law enforcement officers were also asked to identify possible social and economic vulnerabilities that made certain victims more susceptible to trafficking, which included a history of being oppressed or impoverished and possibly experiencing alcohol and drug dependency issues, although enforcement wasn't able to distinguish whether dependency issues actually made victims more vulnerable or if the experience of being trafficked facilitated dependency problems.

Most traffickers were males between the ages of 21 and 29, according to the data.

In 2010, the state of Ohio was considered among the "worst states" for human trafficking by the Polaris Project, a national organization dedicated to preventing human trafficking. In a 2012 report from Polaris, Ohio was ranked one of the "most improved" states of 2012, thanks to the passage of the Safe Harbor Law.

However, in January, anti-human trafficking organization Shared Hope International gave Ohio a "C" for its human trafficking legislation, up several points from a "D" in 2012.

In Ohio, two high-profile trafficking cases, including that of captor Ariel Castro, who kidnapped three young girls and locked them in a basement for nearly 10 years, and the four Ashland, Ohio, residents who enslaved a mentally disabled woman and her daughter into forced labor, have recently made international headlines.

In Cincinnati, City Council recently approved a four-pronged set of initiatives to battle local issues with human trafficking and prostitution, which are especially prevalent along McMicken Avenue and in the neighborhoods of Camp Washington and Lower Price Hill.

Ohio House Bill 130, which was recently approved unanimously by the Ohio House, would, if passed, further increase penalties for sex-trafficking and prostitution related offenses involving minors and disabled persons and also establish a spousal notification requirement for convicted trafficking and prostitution offenders. It will now move to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

by 03.24.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice, Government, Family at 09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Don’t hit! SMACK!

Violence begets violence; it certainly doesn’t have the effect of bringing about effective communication that ultimately leads people to understand and embrace positive actions. So why would Ohio schools – institutions of learning and thought – allow hitting kids as punishment?

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by Jeff Cobb 12.04.2009
Posted In: Environment, Climate Change, Public Policy at 05:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Guest Editorial: Senate Fiddles as Earth Burns

(Activist Jeff Cobb, of Climate Change Advocates of Cincinnati, outlines why the climate change treaty meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, is important and how U.S. politicians are lagging in the effort.)

The parallels between Nero fiddling while Rome burned and the callous neglect by politicians like the U.S. Senate while the Earth burns due to global warming is sadly apt.

One could easily write an entire column containing only the names of the scientific reports that prove that climate change is happening, is caused by human activity and why action needs to be taken to reverse it. Scientific, political, religious, national security and economic thinkers who have looked at climate change understand our dire straits and beg for changes.

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by 02.24.2009

Does the Death Penalty Mean Death?

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) along with many other abolitionist groups say it does. Over time the public in Ohio has voted to eliminate one round of death penalty case appeals and the inadequate funding of defense in these cases has been eating away at the “super” due-process required by the U.S. Supreme Court. The intent was to put safeguard in place to make sure a fallible system implemented by fallible people wouldn’t result in the death of innocent people. But those same fallible people are destroying that system little-by-little.

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by 08.10.2011
Posted In: School Board, Courts, Religion, Public Policy at 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

ACLU Warns Springboro

School officials in a suburb north of Cincinnati are being warned not to add creationism to their curriculum if they want to avoid a costly legal challenge.

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