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 (link coming soon!). Cost: $35 for non-students, $20 with valid student ID. Registration includes curriculum and lunch. Free parking! For more information, contact environmental.action.group.bg@gmail.com 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, cleveland.com jborchardt@cleveland.com 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

Columbus Free Press:

Corporate State says DEMOCRACY is too EXPENSIVE by Tish O’Dell August 18, 2017 In several “news” articles posted over the past few weeks, oil and gas industry and their allies argue that a local Community Bill of Rights ballot initiative submitted by Youngstown voters is “too expensive” for the community. Inside Sources  (http://www.insidesources.com/activists-costing-youngstown-anti-fracking-bill-of-rights/), WKBN News (http://wkbn.com/2017/07/27/keeping-fracking-issue-on-ballot-costly-for-youngstown/) and The DailyDigger  (http://www.thedailydigger.com/) present facts and figures provided by the industry (note: Inside Sources and The Daily Digger are the industry), leaving out the full story. The Bigger Picture The oil/gas industry lobbyist quoted in the articles is Jackie Stewart. Contrary to Stewart’s claim, there have been no special elections. Each community rights measure has been either on the primary or general election ballot. Yet, she claims the initiatives account for the cost of holding regularly scheduled elections. There are approximately 40,000 registered voters in Youngstown. The only expenses that can be directly attributed to the people’s initiatives are the required advertising costs of $19,000. Over the course of six elections, that is approximately 8 cents per voter. In her analysis of the cost of democracy, Stewart neglects to mention the cost of contaminated water sources and poisoned air. Who pays for clean water supplies? For repairs from earthquakes? For illness from the leaks, spills, and venting of toxic chemicals into the air we breathe? For the loss of property values? Read... read more

Vindy.com: LTE: Outside money suppresses voice of people in Y’town; the time has come to act

Vindy.com: LTE: Outside money suppresses voice of people in Y’town; the time has come to act Aug 13, 2017 Residents of Youngstown concerned about our community, our water and our health have tried for years to pass a local law asserting our right to do so. I am one of those residents. Each attempt has been fiercely opposed by those who have much to gain, but little to lose because they don’t live in Youngstown. These opponents provide large amounts of money to defeat the people’s initiative. I mean a lot of cash, like 50-1 compared to what the people can raise and spend. This money and other support comes from unions, chambers of commerce and even political parties that do not want the people to have an equal voice in the election process. In a way, it is a form of voter suppression because their paid messages can be so “loud” that the people’s message is suppressed. For every glossy color mailer you get telling you to vote against the people’s proposed initiative, to the dozens of robo-calls telling voters how to vote, to the people at every polling location telling voters to oppose the people’s initiative – the opposition buys the results they want. This is why “we the people” felt it was time to level the playing field in Youngstown elections. Besides limiting how much can be donated to a local campaign, only voters of Youngstown can make contributions to campaigns. We also felt that in order to give more residents a fair chance at running for office and to allow all voters to choose who... read more
Ohio Community Rights Workshop in Medina County, OH

Ohio Community Rights Workshop in Medina County, OH

Ohio Community Rights Workshop in Medina County, OH October 14, 2017 what’s happening? Medina County residents are fighting the Nexus pipeline and compressor station. The fracking infrastructure projects threaten clean air and water, and community health and well-being. For the third year, the corporate state of Ohio has blocked residents from advancing a county charter ballot measure that would protect residents from fracking harms. As frustrations mount and growing numbers of residents are demanding answers, Sustainable Medina County and Medina County Together are hosting the Ohio Community Rights Workshop. In the one day workshop, we examine why we don’t have the power to stop compressor stations, pipelines, and others 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 delve into what communities are doing to elevate the rights of communities and nature over the corporate state. when? Saturday, October 14th, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. where? The Medina Library 210 S. Broadway St. Medina, OH join us! Register here:... read more

Ohio Community Rights Workshop in Bellbrook, OH

Ohio Community Rights Workshop in Bellbrook, OH September 23, 2017 what’s happening? Greene County Progressives and Miami Valley Progressive Caucus are hosting the Ohio Community Rights Workshop, presented by the Ohio Community Rights Network and CELDF. In the one day workshop, we examine why we don’t have the power to stop factory farms, pipelines, and others 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 delve into what communities are doing to elevate the rights of communities and nature over the corporate state. In preparation for the workshop, the groups are hosting a screening of We the People 2.0 – The Second American Revolution, on August 27th. when? Saturday, September 23, 8:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. where? Roaring Brook Experimental Farm 691 S Alpha Bellbrook Rd. Bellbrook, OH  45305 join us! The cost is $50. Brown bag lunch. Sign up... 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.

When?

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

Where?

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

Join us!

For more information contact Michael Veloff at michaelveloff@ymail.com.

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.