CONNECTING ALL THE DOTS – ROBERT REICH MAKES THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND BIG MONEY POLITICS-By Bill Woods
Robert Reich is one of those rare people who can connect all the dots. As a professor of economics, the author of numerous books on the economy, and a former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, he ranks as an astute scholar of current economic trends. He is also the Chairman of Common Cause, A citizen reform organization, because he is fully aware of the connections between politics, government policy, and U.S. financial institutions and corporations. READ MORE……
Issue I got an early boost from reformers last Friday. Approximately sixty people gathered together in the Christ Church Cathedral Undercroft to hear about the need for
redistricting reform in Ohio and why Issue I, a proposed Constitutional Amendment, would eliminate the extreme gerrymandering that has dominated the drawing of election district lines in this state. The workshop, “Taking Back Democracy One Step at a Time,” focused on the redistricting amendment as a doable first step in a long struggle to revive an unhealthy democratic process in Ohio and the U.S. READ MORE
The Homeless Coalition will be part of an emerging local coalition that is sponsoring a workshop on Friday May 15th entitled “Taking Back Democracy One Step At a Time.” Focusing on the opportunity to bring about a fair redistricting process in Ohio, the workshop will take place at Christ Church Cathedral, 318 East Fourth Street, from noon to 2:00PM. The coalition also plans to address “big money’s” growing dominance in politics.
Applied Information Resources is organizing this informal coalition that currently includes the League of Women Voters, the Interfaith Workers Center, the Woman’s City Club, Common Cause, and the Homeless Coalition. Modeled after the Fair Elections Coalition that worked effectively on a reform City Charter Amendment from 2000-2002, the new alliance seeks to take on “Big Money” in politics and gerrymandered election districts, the two practices that are doing great damage to democracy in this country. The first major potential reform looming before Ohio reformers is the chance to fix the highly flawed state redistricting system, and this opportunity sets the focus for the workshop on May 15th. REad More
WHITHER POLITICAL REFORM IN OHIO?A REVIEW OF THE NEW REDISTRICTING REFORM PROPOSAL
Whither political reform in Ohio? That’s the question that brought many of the attendees to the Community Issues Forum at Christ Church Cathedral on February 5th. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the huge flood of “big money” in recent campaigns, and the perfection of gerrymandering in states like Ohio have left activists looking for any ray of hope for launching initiatives to begin restoring the health of a battered democratic process.
That ray of hope emerged from the Ohio General Assembly in December, and Catherine Turcer, Policy Analyst for Common Cause, travelled from Columbus to inform Forum attendees about their opportunity to support redistricting reform in this state this year. Just before Christmas, both the House and Senate passed redistricting reform bills, and they then reconciled their differences into a Constitutional Amendment proposal that must now be accepted or rejected by Ohio voters. Turcer’s goal at the Forum was to depict the content of the new proposal and to place it in context with our current redistricting process and other models that exist in other states. READ MORE
What is Wage Theft?
Wage theft is the illegal withholding of wages that are rightfully owed to an employee. This can take the form of being paid less than the minimum wage, being shorted hours, being forced to work off the clock, not being paid overtime, or being misclassified as an independent contractor so that overtime requirements do not apply. Read more
Political reformers received a surprise Christmas present from the Ohio Senate last Friday. After hours of meeting behind closed doors, Senators at 4:00 in the morning reached a bipartisan agreement and passed a measure that would establish a new process for determining the geographic districts for Ohio House and Senate elections.
Concern about the impact of gerrymandering on public life is alive and well. In Ohio, activists were discouraged when voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment last year designed to reform the state’s redistricting process. However, actions by the Ohio General Assembly remain a constant reminder that legislative districts carved out in a highly partisan fashion fail to provide fair and balanced representation. Read More…
MARCC (the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati) just introduced a list of housing principles. At a press conference on October 9th, the interfaith coalition unveiled nine principles that provide a blue print for meeting the affordable housing needs of Greater Cincinnati. MARCC, representing seventeen religious denominations, put forward these principles at a time when existing programs to provide housing assistance to low-income and homeless citizens face drastic cuts in public funding. More…
“The Social Areas of Cincinnati” appears to be a daunting work with all its pages of statistics and population charts. Nevertheless, this recent study by urban scholars Michael Maloney and Christopher Auffrey provides a valuable assessment of the social, economic, and demographic trends impacting Cincinnati and the metropolitan region. In fact, it is essential reading for anyone involved with human services or public policies that attempt to assist the diverse residents of this area.The Social Areas of Cincinnati:
A new report shows why environmentalists and citizens who want to protect their communities and farms from natural gas drilling known as “fracking” are ignored by the Ohio General Assembly. Common Cause Ohio just released “Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets” a report that depicts the influence of political contributions by the natural gas industry on members of the Ohio House and Senate. During the last two years, this industry made nearly $2-million in political contributions to State MORE…
What is “ALEC”, and why should we be concerned about its actions? Watch Bill Moyers’ documentary, “The United States of ALEC.” Click here for documentary.
Tribute to John Gilligan
At services and events in Cincinnati and Columbus on September 4th and 5th. Ohioans honored the life and mourned the loss of John J. Gilligan. What is important now is to make sure that people remember what Governor Gilligan stood for throughout his long career. More…