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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 04.09.2009
Posted In: Community, Social Justice at 08:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

The World We Live In

Money worries have many people focusing on their checkbooks and losing sight of the world around them. Taking care of “my own” comes before everything else is why people aren’t aware of what’s happening in Cincinnati as a result of the economic downturn, according to Tracy Cook, executive director of ProKids.

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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 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 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 Danny Cross 12.20.2011
 
 
couple-on-picnic

Morning News and Stuff

If you're one of those people who enjoys relaxing in a public park, maybe eating a sandwich and enjoying the lush greenspace Cincinnati has grown proud of, that's all well and good. (Bring a blanket and some apples; enjoy yourself.) That is, until you get a little sleepy and want to lie down on the ground or a bench — that's illegal now.

The Cincinnati Park Board yesterday approved a no-lying down rule across all of its 5,000 acres of park land, likely in response to ongoing Occupy Cincinnati lawsuits over the legality of closing the park at night. People who lie down in parks are now subject to $150 fines for the misdemeanor offense.

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by Danny Cross 10.10.2011
 
 
10-21-10inc-f3

Morning News and Stuff

More than 20 Occupy Cincinnati protesters last night received citations for staying at Piatt Park after its official closing time, a process which included warnings by police and then some peaceful ticketing before police left the occupiers to their business. CityBeat has launched a page dedicated to our ongoing coverage of the protests, including a live feed of #occupycincinnati and #occupycincy hashtags.

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by 05.13.2009
Posted In: News, Social Justice, Government at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Jesse Ventura: Sometimes Simpler Is Better

Plenty of politicians and pundits have expounded upon the intellectual arguments about why the Bush Administration was wrong in using torture techniques on detainees during interrogation. Often, though, plain-spoken language is more effective in crystallizing an idea for people.

The latest example is words uttered by Jesse Ventura, the former pro wrestler who was once the governor of Minnesota. Appearing Tuesday night on CNN’s Larry King Live, Ventura succinctly and effectively spoke about the torture issue.

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by 02.24.2011
Posted In: Social Justice, Business, Financial Crisis at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

American Inequality at a Glance

There was a period of time in U.S history, roughly for 30 years after the Civil War, known as “the Gilded Age.” The American economy grew at an unprecedented rate as the nation transformed itself from an agrarian society into an industrial one.

But the transformation's downside included excessive displays of wealth and captains of industry who grew their fortunes on the backs of exploited and mistreated workers. The government ignored the situation, as the era gave rise to the concept of “social Darwinism.”

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