Mike Jones

"These environmental battles take place on many fronts -- the legal front, the political front, the community front and the science front. You have to be prepared: any one of them can roll you over. You have to build a team of people to hold it together"

systems analysis, community organizing

Columbus area

Mike Jones is a systems analyst for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio where he develops computer applications for regulatory analysis, compliance, and administration. He first became interested in Ohio Citizen Action through research on campaign finance reform. Later, he began to organize alongside his mother, Roberta Booth, on a campaign involving the Georgia Pacific chemical plant on the south side of Columbus. Mike became a board member in 1999.

Mike is a Republican and says, "One of the main planks of the Republican platform is to get the government out of people's lives. But where the government needs to be involved is when private companies use our atmosphere and streams as their garbage disposal. When they allow that waste to escape off site -- that's where they're trespassing. That's where we have to draw the line."

Mike comments on his involvement with the board: "It's truly an exciting experience - it's a joy being in the same boat with like-minded people. It reminds me of what Cleve Sellers wrote in his book, The River of No Return. He was a regular farmboy when he began organizing with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and he wrote about how once you realize what's at stake, there's no way to make that understanding go away. You can't ignore it. You have to deal with it. You have to clean it up. We're all paddling down the river of no return together."

Mike and his wife Tressia have five children and two grandchildren. Mike is an active member of the New Antioch Bible Fellowship -- he is a member of the finance committee and their Director of Marketing. He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Science program at the University of Liverpool, England. Mike also serves on the community relations committee for the Licking Heights Local School District.

Ian Piamonte, Takker Lowery, Tressia Priestly-Jones, Jarren Jones and Mike Jones participate in a candlelight vigil on August 21, 2000. The vigil was held at Governor Bob Taft's mansion in Bexley to let him know the people of Ohio wanted him to close the River Valley Schools due to toxic contamination.