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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 German Lopez 05.02.2012
 
 
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City, State Move Forward With Same-Sex Rights

Trend follows other cities, states, countries and a majority of Fortune 500 companies

Cincinnati inched closer to equality after moving forward Monday with a measure that would allow city employees in same-sex and other partnerships to receive health insurance benefits.

With a push by Chris Seelbach, the first openly gay councilman in Cincinnati, the measure passed the finance committee with the support of all council members except Charlie Winburn, who abstained.

The approval came after a city report found that same-sex benefits could cost as much as $543,000 a year if 77 partners took advantage of the benefits.

The report suggested City Council mimic a system already in place in Columbus, which requires partners to prove financial interdependency and that they have been together for six months.

If the measure passes City Council, Cincinnati would be more caught up with other cities, states, countries and companies that already grant health benefits to same-sex couples. Earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign estimated that 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer health benefits to same-sex couples, including Procter and Gamble and Fifth Third Bank.

Altogether, it seems like a small step toward equality. What’s unfortunate is none of it would be required if same-sex marriage was legal in Ohio. If it was, same-sex couples could get marriage benefits, including health-care coverage.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday approved the petition language for an amendment that would overturn Ohio’s 2004 ban on gay marriage. The new amendment would define marriage as “a union of two consenting adults, regardless of gender.”

The amendment now moves forward to the Ohio Ballot Board. If approved, it will then require 385,253 signatures from registered voters and, finally, voter approval.

Ohio banned same-sex marriage in 2004 with a majority vote of 62 percent. But Ian James, co-founder of the Freedom to Marry Coalition, told the Huffington Post that he is optimistic things will be different this time, citing recent polls that show the nation is moving toward support of gay marriage.

 
 
by Kevin Osborne 01.23.2012
Posted In: News, Death Penalty, Human Rights, Public Policy at 02:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Groups Call for Execution Moratorium

Ohioans to Stop Executions and other human rights groups are asking Gov. John Kasich to halt any further executions of inmates until the Ohio Supreme Court completes its review of the state’s death penalty process.

The groups, which include the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) in Cincinnati, say the U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to review an August 2011 ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That means the exoneration of Death Row inmate Joe D’Ambrosio is upheld.

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by 10.23.2009
Posted In: Financial Crisis, Protests, Public Policy at 01:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Battling the 'Banksters'

Thousands of taxpayers from 20 cities — including Cincinnati — will converge on Chicago beginning Sunday for a protest at a major banking conference.

In what’s described as the largest mobilization since the economic crisis began in earnest last year, "Showdown in Chicago” will protest the American Bankers Association (ABA) to demand banks stop spending millions in taxpayer dollars to lobby against reforms that could prevent a similar crisis.

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by Danny Cross 09.19.2011
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Bill Cunningham is still trying to do TV, even though he looks like a doll who's come to life to murder people. This report explains how his new spray tan, hair coloring and expensive suits have contributed.

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by 10.22.2009
Posted In: News, Police, Public Policy, Business at 03:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

Don't Taze My Chest, Bro

After widespread criticism from human rights groups, the maker of the Taser electrical stun gun is now advising law enforcement agencies to avoid shooting people in the chest with the weapon.

Taser International, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., recommended the change in a revised training manual issued Oct. 12. The company stated there’s an “extremely low” risk of ill effects from a shot to the chest, but added it’s better to use caution.

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by 03.25.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Public Transit at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Streetcar Rally Tonight

Cincinnatians for Progress is hosting a fund-raiser and rally tonight for the planned Cincinnati streetcar system from 5:30 to 7:30 at Grammer's, 1140 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine. The event kicks off what the group calls "our campaign in support of economic development, preserving transportation choices, good governance and progress in Cincinnati."

Suggested donation is $35, and donations are also being accepted at the group's web site. Further information is available from the fine folks at Cincinnati Streetcar, with lots of discussion about streetcars on their excellent blog.

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by Kevin Osborne 04.13.2012
Posted In: Taxes, Public Policy, Poverty, Economy, Family at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
eitc

Group Pushes for Ohio Tax Change

Think tank: EITC would help working families

A nonpartisan think tank that advocates for poor and working class families is urging that Ohio adopt its own version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

 

The group, Policy Matters Ohio, said a state version of the federal tax credit, set at 10 percent, would divert just $210 million from Ohio’s coffers but would benefit 949,000 low-income working families across the state. Such a credit would provide families with an average of $221 each, which Policy Matters Ohio described as “modest but helpful.”

 

Currently 24 states and the District of Columbia have Earned Income Tax Credits, ranging from 3.5 percent to 50 percent of the federal credit.

 

“A state EITC program enables families to work and build assets while reducing the impact of regressive income tax changes,” said a statement released by Policy Matters Ohio.

 

“A state EITC makes sense because recent changes to the personal income tax have provided greater tax reductions for higher-income earners than they have for lower- and middle-income families,” the statement continued.

 

The federal EITC is a refundable tax credit for low- and medium-income individuals and couples, and is considered the nation’s largest poverty relief program. When the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who qualify and claim the credit.

 

To qualify for the EITC, a recipient must have earned income of $49,000 or less. The credit is worth significantly more for families with children and is refundable, which means families receive cash refunds above their tax liability.

 

Created in 1975, the federal EITC is aimed at helping lift families with children about the poverty level, along with offsetting the burden of Social Security taxes and maintaining an incentive for people to work.

 

In Ohio, 949,692 people currently claim the federal EITC. The credit generates $2.1 billion for state residents, and the average refund is $2,211.

 

Founded in 2000, Policy Matters Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research organization that seeks to create “a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio,” through research and policy advocacy.

 

Based in Cleveland and Columbus, the organization is funded primarily through grants from groups like the Ford Foundation, the Sisters of Charity Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Corp. for Enterprise Development and others.

 
 
by Kevin Osborne 02.06.2012
 
 
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ACLU, Archbishop Spar Over Birth Control

As Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and other Catholic officials speak out publicly against a new federal rule involving free birth control, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defends the switch and says the criticism is misguided.

Last month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — known informally as “ObamaCare” — would require nearly universal coverage of contraception.

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by 11.25.2008
Posted In: News, Public Policy, Family at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Cleveland Mulls Partner Registry

While the legal battle continues in California over whether voters can overturn a state Supreme Court ruling and re-criminalize marriage of same-sex couples, the rights of those couples actually are expanding in a few Ohio communities.

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