Organizing with gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich

Organizing with gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich

Progressive Dems organize with gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich addressed the first town hall forum of the Progressive Democrats of America Central Ohio chapter on February 5. Kucinich emphasized that he is for universal health care and when in Congress had written HR 676 a Health Care for All bill, co-sponsored by Representative John Conyers. While pitching universal health care, he also put in a plug for veganism, saying that his switch to a vegan diet in 1995 allowed him to get off of six of seven pharmaceutical medications. He told the crowd that he fights to keep community hospitals open but he warned them that closing hospitals is often a tactic to break health care unions. Kucinich explained that his approach to politics is based on the fact that “I’m an activist at heart.” He claimed that his ultimate agenda is to “empower the people of this state to make their own decisions.” He supports the Community Bill of Rights. The biggest laugh line of the night was when he was asked his position on gerrymandering. He pronounced: “I know about gerrymandering. I lost my seat not to nasty Republicans, but from nasty Democrats.” Kucinich’s House district was re-shaped into the infamous “snake on the lake” district that favored Democrat Marcy Kaptur in Toledo. When asked why the Dems wanted to get rid of him, his answer produced the loudest applause of the night. He said “I raised hell against the wars. That’s why they wanted to get rid of me.” He argued that his campaign offers a chance for progressive activists to “Seize this... read more
Overturning Ohio HB 463

Overturning Ohio HB 463

Overturning Ohio HB 463 – Dismantling a corporate state and building something new by Thomas Linzey and Tish O’Dell February 2, 2018 President Trump says – and the Supreme Court affirms – that we are “a nation of laws,” but no one questions “who” is making those laws.  It takes a people’s movement to overturn unjust law and advance rights. And Ohioans are launching just that: a Community Rights movement to protect and enforce rights to clean air, water, and local community self-government. It is a movement born out of necessity in this state. The oil and gas industry owns state legislators, and local government officials carry out state directives under threat of being sued and facing bankruptcy. In Pennsylvania, even the judiciary is punishing lawyers defending communities from fracking harms. As fracking, pipelines, compressor stations, and wastewater injection wells inundate communities, it’s clear to residents they will find no remedy in the EPA, ODNR, and certainly not in their legislators. Thus, they are turning to themselves and each other. They are building a rights-based movement to end their communities becoming sacrifice zones, and to build what they envision for their communities: clean air and water, a healthy environment, strong local economies, and a future for their children. Community Rights Laws For five years, Ohio residents – finding no remedy in the current system – have requested help to draft local Community Rights laws and charters to stop fracking activities. These laws establish rights to clean air and water, and the right to local community self-government.  They ban fracking activities as a violation of those rights. Nearly a half... read more

Community Rights for Social Justice: Growing Roots and Rights – Break-out Session at Case Western Reserve University – February 10, 2018

Ohio Community Rights Organizer, Tish O’Dell will be leading one of the breakout sessions at the Teach-In for Social Justice at Case Western Reserve University on Feb. 10, 2018. More info will be available soon at this link:  In this session, we will just give a brief introduction to Community Rights and begin exploring why we don’t have the power to establish minimum wage laws, LGBT rights, stop pipelines, and other issues facing our communities. We look at how the corporate state overrides local democratic decision-making and forces unjust labor, environmental, and discriminating practices into our communities. And we will see some examples of communities using Community Rights to elevate the rights of people and nature over the corporate state.... read more

Ohio Community Rights Workshop in Bowling Green February 17, 2018

WHAT’S HAPPENING? The Nexus pipeline threatens communities across northern Ohio, including Bowling Green. BGSU students and residents are organizing to stop the pipeline and protect their community from the increasing harms from climate change. As part of their organizing, they are hosting an Ohio Community Rights Workshop. In this workshop, the Ohio Community Rights Network and CELDF explore why we don’t have the power to establish protections and stop fracking, compressor stations, pipelines, and others harms facing our communities. We look at how the corporate state overrides local democratic decision-making and forces unjust practices into our communities. And we delve into what communities are doing to elevate the rights of communities and nature over the corporate state. WHEN? Saturday, February 17, 2018   8:45 AM-5:00 PM WHERE? Bowling Green State University 219 Olscamp Hall Bowling Green, Ohio 43403 JOIN US! Registration is required by February 15th and can be made at this link: Cost: $35 for non-students, $20 with valid student ID. Registration includes curriculum and lunch. Free parking! For more information, contact or call... read more
Ohio Activists Push Amendments to Restore Community Rights

Ohio Activists Push Amendments to Restore Community Rights

Ohio activists are joining ballot efforts around the country that supporters say are aimed at restoring rights to communities to challenge a growing list of corporate incursions. The oil-and-gas industry says their amendment would devastate Ohio’s economy. Nov. 28, 2017, at 3:17 p.m. By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Activists in Ohio are joining efforts around the country that supporters say are aimed at restoring rights to communities to challenge a growing list of corporate incursions. The campaign to pass an Ohio Community Rights Amendment stems from mounting frustration among environmental groups that have failed for years to push anti-fracking measures onto local ballots. But the latest effort is broader, said spokeswoman Tish O’Dell. State laws are making it increasingly difficult for communities to regulate predatory lending, puppy mills, wireless equipment location, minimum wages, pesticide treatments and a host of other issues, O’Dell said. “Only a century ago, we the people wrote laws that corporations followed,” said O’Dell, a community organizer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. “That’s what it should be again: The people should be writing laws that corporations follow, non-living entities. It’s like we’ve created a Frankenstein that we now can’t control.” Two constitutional amendments proposed in Ohio would prevent further setbacks from election officials, courts and the state’s Republican-led state Legislature, O’Dell said. Similar efforts are underway in Oregon and New Hampshire. An earlier attempt failed in Colorado. The first would extend the right of initiative and referendum enjoyed by residents of municipalities to those living outside them, in counties and townships. The second, dubbed the Ohio Community Rights Amendment,... read more
Ohio local governance amendments certified by Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ohio local governance amendments certified by Attorney General Mike DeWine

By Jackie Borchardt, COLUMBUS, Ohio — Efforts to give Ohioans more power to pass and enforce local laws that might conflict with state laws gained initial approval Monday. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday certified petitions for two proposed amendments to the state constitution: the Ohio Community Rights Amendment and the Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships. DeWine’s certification is the first in a long series of steps for the measures to appear on a statewide ballot. The community rights amendment would establish a constitutional right to local community self-government for the “health, safety and welfare of community members.” The county and township amendment would extend Ohio’s constitutional right to initiative and referendum on state and city laws to county and township laws. The amendments were drafted to address what supporters say is growing influence from the Ohio Statehouse on local, community decisions. The amendment is backed by the Ohio Community Rights Network and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Tish O’Dell, the legal defense fund’s Ohio organizer, said communities should be able to pass local laws to regarding the environment, predatory lending, minimum wage, puppy mills and other issues without being preempted by state legislators. “We believe people locally have the right to certain things,” O’Dell said. “Just because it isn’t in our federal constitution doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to expand our rights locally.” Colorado and Oregon have passed community rights measures in recent years, according to amendment backers. The amendments now go to the Ohio Ballot Board to determine whether each amendment is one or multiple issues. Once approved by the... read more
Two proposed amendments get initial OK

Two proposed amendments get initial OK

By Marty Schladen The Columbus Dispatch Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday announced that he had OK’d the first batch of signatures for each of two efforts to amend the Ohio Constitution. Both are intended to keep moneyed interests from overriding the will of local voters by pressuring the Ohio General Assembly, said Tish O’Dell, spokeswoman for the Ohio Community Rights Network, the four-year-old-group pushing the amendments. “It’s ‘we the people,’ not ‘we the corporations,’” she said. One of the measures is the Ohio Community Rights Amendment. “This amendment secures the right of local, community self government for the people of Ohio by guaranteeing local authority to enact laws to protect the unalienable rights and the health, safety and welfare of community members and natural ecosystems, free from state pre-emption or corporate interference,” it says. O’Dell said it’s intended to keep the legislature from overriding local ordinances such as Grove City’s puppy mill ban or a predatory lending law in Toledo. The Ohio General Assembly overrode both, O’Dell said. The other measure, The Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships, would give residents in those bodies the ability to initiate statutes and referenda. “Currently, they don’t have the same rights as cities and villages do,” O’Dell said. Both measures are a long way from becoming part of the Constitution. So far, 1,000 signatures have been validated for each. Now the Ohio Ballot Board must determine if the amendments each contain a single issue or multiple issues, the attorney general’s office said. Then supporters must gather a number of signatures equal to 10 percent of the total number who... read more

Press Release: Bowling Green Residents Tip OH Supreme Court in their Favor, Win Fight for Right to Vote

Oct 19, 2017 HB 463 – corporate state legislation to block citizen initiative – struck by Court BOWLING GREEN, OHIO:  Today, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the right of Bowling Green residents to vote, ordering their first-in-the-state Right to Climate charter amendment on the November ballot. The Wood County Board of Elections (BOE) approved the measure for the ballot last month. One resident challenged the decision, arguing in part that the substance of the initiative was unconstitutional and, under HB 463 should be kept off the ballot. HB 463 was adopted by the people’s legislators last December. The legislators granted BOEs broad authority to keep measures off the ballot based on content, making it difficult for residents to propose legislation that challenges unjust law. The Ohio Supreme Court would have none of it, striking HB 463 down as a violation of the separation of powers, and ordering the charter amendment on the ballot. The Court stated, “To the extent that [HB 463] authorizes and requires boards of elections to make substantive, preenactment legal evaluations, it violates the separation-of-powers doctrine and is unconstitutional.” The charter amendment emerged out of Bowling Green residents’ growing alarm when they learned of the proposed Nexus pipeline threatening their City’s water supply. Students and residents joined together to work with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to draft their charter amendment, which asserts the community’s right to a healthy climate, and bans the pipeline as a violation of that right. Brad Holmes, a Bowling Green University student, celebrated the decision. “When the people rise up and take action to stop climate change, state actors... read more

Lowe-Volk Nature Center

Community Rights in Crawford County, OH

What’s Happening?

CELDF’s Tish O’Dell is speaking in Crawford County on the growing Community Rights Movement in Ohio. Fracking and its infrastructure are accelerating across the state, driven by the oil and gas industry, and Ohio communities have had enough.


Thursday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m.


Lowe-Volk Nature Center on SR 598 in Crawford County, in the Nature Center auditorium.

Join us!

For more information contact Michael Veloff at

Thomas Linzey Stops on the 2015

Ohio Community Rights Tour:


November 12, 2015    7:00 PM  Ohio Tour Youngstown

Youngstown, Youngstown State University

210 Lincoln Avenue, Cushwa Hall B100


November 13, 2015    7:00 – 9:00 PM   OhioRevolt Athens

Athens, Ohio University, Morton Hall (East Green)

Room 201


November 14, 2015    12:00 PM    OhioRevolt Oberlin LWV

Oberlin,  LWV Luncheon  ­ Oberlin Inn

7 N Main St, Oberlin, OH 44074


November 14, 2015     7:30 PM  OhioRevolt Oberlin College

Oberlin,  Oberlin College, Craig Lecture Hall

119 Wooldand Street Oberlin, OH  44074


November 15, 2015   1:30 PM   OhioRevolt Defiance

Defiance,  UAW Local 211 Union Hall

2120 Baltimore Street, Defiance, OH 43512


November 16, 2015    6:30 – 8:00 PM   OhioRevolt Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Bowling Green State University,

Olscamp Hall, Room 117


November 17, 2015     12:00 P.M.   OhioRevolt Columbus OSU

Columbus, The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, William B. Saxbe Law Auditorium, Drinko Hall

55 W 12 Ave, Columbus, OH 43210


November 17, 2015     5:00 – 6:00 PM    OhioRevolt Columbus Capital

Columbus, Capital University Law School

303 E. Broad Street, Room A-122, Annex Columbus, Ohio, 43215.

Parking is available in the lot off Capital Street which is the entrance that everyone will need to use. The lot is attached to the building.