CLEVELAND — “Fri 5/24 @ 9PM
If you like rootsy music and despise fracking, you’ll want to stop by the Beachland Tavern for the benefit for environmental group Ohio Citizen Action, headlined by the Washington D.C.-based Highballers.
…The quintet is known as a exemplar of what’s come to be called ‘alternative country’ — a form of music that skips the pop drivel that passes for country today to honor the genre’s forefathers, while bringing in its modern influences from rock styles like punk and garage. They feature the male/female sparring vocals that make so many practitioners of the genre so appealing.
The group was cofounded in 2007 by guitarist/vocalist/ New Orleans native in Kendall Jackson, who moved to Cleveland in the early ’90s where he formed garage-rockers the Dirty Bottom Boys. Apparently he still cares about clean air and water in his former home state. The Lawton Brothers and Mole People are also on the bill.”
— Cool Cleveland
link to article
Notes for attorneys working with groups fighting for Environmental Justice
“Where there is an active community group and no obvious slam dunk case:
It is generally wise to save the big law suit for last, for a lot of reasons.
They can be disempowering – everyone stands around and watches the suit (unless the other stuff is hot). And, they frequently take a long time.
They cost tons of money, so lots of time is spent raising money (instead of raising hell).
If clients raise too much hell, you or someone, will worry about upsetting or alienating the Judge, or providing ammunition to the opposing party.
If you lose, the group will be discouraged – the courts, who have the final say, will have put their stamp of approval on the bad behavior you are challenging.
Why should you let someone, who probably shares very few of your client’s life experiences, decide who wins?
They tend to make you (the attorney) the key decision maker – not the group.
If the community organizes first, and does end up filing a case, they will have already developed community sympathy and support.
If you buy this approach then make sure your clients understand that you will not win this for them they will win it for themselves. They will not do less work because you are on board – probably more. You will help them understand how things fit together, who can give them what they want, where the pressure points are likely to be. Assess their willingness to continue on.”
— Ellis Jacobs, Attorney at Law
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Stuart Greenberg is the executive director of Environmental Health Watch.
CLEVELAND — “The Jan. 30 editorial ‘Coal plants’ loss will hurt Ohio‘ blames EPA air pollution regulations.
Regulations did not close those plants; FirstEnergy did. It was the company’s business decision not to upgrade the outdated facilities. FirstEnergy fought for 20 years to resist regulations and now complains (along with The Plain Dealer) that it did not have enough time to comply. Regulations provide a handy PR hook to keep the heat off of them.
Other utilities were proactive, upgraded their pollution controls and improved public health — creating jobs in designing, fabricating, installing and maintaining the equipment. FirstEnergy, instead, fought the rules and poisoned Ohio’s air.
Pollution-control equipment is an ordinary business expense — like the cost of raw materials and executive salaries. It is not a frill that can be delayed when times are hard.
The hardships of dirty air, like the hardships of jobs and taxes lost from plant closings, are real and painful. Scientists estimate that annually, nationwide, the air pollution rules will prevent tens of thousands of deaths, heart attacks, cancers, developmental disabilities and asthma cases.
How about an editorial titled ‘Coal plants’ loss will help Ohio’?”
— Stuart Greenberg, letter to the editor, Cleveland Plain Dealer
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The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, left, with Ralph Abernathy and Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963.
BIRMINGHAM, AL — “Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who died yesterday in a Birmingham hospital, is justly remembered as one of the great civil rights leaders, a man of courage who never wavered during the 1950s and 60s fight for racial justice in the face of bombs, fire hoses and numerous jailings. He also should be remembered as a man of great sadness (‘the four little children who died’), a builder, and fighter for economic justice, a battle he continued to wage long after the fires of the civil rights movement had cooled.
I know those things about Rev. Shuttlesworth because in the late 1970s, this ex-printer became the Cincinnati area director of the Ohio Public Interest Campaign (today called Ohio Citizen Action) and worked closely with him on economic justice issues like plant closings that were costing his parishioners jobs and fighting corporate tax breaks that were robbing local schools of much-needed revenue. He served formally on our board of citizen advisers and informally as the person I could always call for encouragement when things weren’t going our way. ‘We might have to do some marchin’, I can recall him saying more than once. And every once and while, we did. Alas, the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 doused the fires that had fed local movements for economic justice during the post-Vietnam War years. Most of my friends went either into the labor movement or politics. I went into journalism.”
— Merrill Goozner, GoozNews
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— Jon Nordheimer, New York Times
Brewster Rhoads has grown event into the largest in the country
Paddlefest promoter Brewster Rhoads with his kayak. / The Enquirer/Michael E. Keating
CINCINNATI — “…Rhoads has another thrill in store this weekend on the Ohio: the sight of more than 2,000 Paddlefest participants in kayaks and canoes. Organizers say it’s the largest paddling event of its kind in the country.
Rhoads is chair and founder of the event, which is a project of the Ohio River Way, a nonprofit that promotes and celebrates the recreational benefits of the river.
Now in its 10th year, Paddlefest has grown from a one-day event with 285 paddlers to a three-day celebration for thousands. A Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo is expected to draw 3,000 young people on Thursday, followed by the Ohio River Music & Outdoor Festival on Friday. Saturday features the traditional float down the Ohio from Coney Island to the Public Landing.
Rhoads, a Philadelphia native who lives in Mount Washington, calls Paddlefest a ‘paddling pep rally.’ It’s one reason, he says, that Cincinnati can claim the title of ‘paddling capital of the U.S.’”
— John Johnston, Cincinnati Enquirer
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Brewster was Cincinnati Director for Ohio Citizen Action in the 1980′s.
Please stop by the Ohio Citizen Action booth at Paddlefest this weekend!
New Visions Group: “Ami has a knack for organizing, management, and grassroots mobilization.
She began her career working for Ohio Citizen Action, a non-profit, non-partisan group mobilizing grassroots outreach throughout the State of Ohio. In 2004, Ami made the transition to AT&T where she managed a small office and retail store. While working with AT&T she was recognized as a 2007 and 2008 member of the Cambridge Who’s Who in Telecommunications. Ami also is a member of the National Association of Professional Women.
In July 2010, Ami joined New Visions Group (NVG) as an Executive Assistant. In her role with NVG she provides office support to the executive team.
Ami is passionate about charity and community work and is an avid supporter of cancer research and education with a focus on breast cancer. A former tutor and mentor, she believes that the key to a better community is directly tied to youth involvement and encouragement. She also has been involved in Main Street Lancaster, a community driven economic development program focused on the revitalization of downtown Lancaster, Ohio. As part of her activities, she helped to organize and support the Lancaster Gus Macker which benefited the organization. Ami holds leadership positions in several non-profit groups and sits on various committees in Fairfield County. Ami is the recipient of the 2011 Fairfield Democrat of the Year award.
Ami has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Ohio University. She resides in Lancaster, Ohio.”
More about New Visions Group, LLC
CLEVELAND — “The ACLU of Ohio is pleased to announce the establishment of the Al Stern Legislative Institute. This program, devoted to the ACLU of Ohio’s advocacy efforts, is made possible by a generous commitment from Mickey Stern and her family. It creates a legacy in memory of husband and father Al that will both carry on his interests and work, and significantly advance the ACLU of Ohio’s mission.
Al Stern, a longtime volunteer for and champion of the ACLU, was committed to advocacy. As volunteer legislative coordinator, he used his relationships with public officials — cultivated over a lifetime of social justice activism — to open doors for discussions about important civil liberties issues. When Al passed away in 2008, the ACLU lost a powerful champion and an influential voice in our state.”
— Jason Jaffery, Development Director, ACLU of Ohio
Read the whole story (article is on page 2 of the newsletter)
Al Stern was a long-time board member of Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund and a tireless advocate for civil liberties.
CLEVELAND — Stephen Rohs, a professor at Michigan State University, canvassed for Ohio Citizen Action’s Toxic Action Project in Cincinnati for six months in the late 1980s. He also canvassed for Dallas’ Texans United office for four months, where he worked on Superfund sites, the Clean Air Act, and the clean- up of the Trinity River.
After receiving his PhD in American Studies at Michigan State, he became a professor at MSU’s James Madison College of Public Affairs. His book, Eccentric Nation: Irish Embodiment and Performance in Nineteenth-Century New York City was published in 2009 by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. He says, “before settling on cultural studies of music and performance, I did some work in graduate school on nature studies, [specifically] deep ecology and the philosophy of ecology, which grew directly out of my experiences at Toxic Action. I still am an advocate of clean air and water, and have become particularly interested in the ways that the modern underclass in the United States and elsewhere are victims of poor environmental planning.”
— Erin Campbell, intern, Ohio Citizen Action
Paula Ross was Ohio Citizen Action's Toledo Campaign Director in the early 1990's.
TOLEDO — “The Erie Wire sits down with Paula Ross, who is a Research Associate of the University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center. After participating as a member of Slow Food Ann Arbor, she founded Slow Food Maumee Valley. Paula has served as the executive director and chair of the Lucas County Democratic Party as well as the director of Ohio Citizen Action – Northwest Ohio.”
— The Erie Wire
Watch the interview