Freep Hero: Tish O’Dell and CELDF
The Free Press hero is Tish O’Dell, who campaigned for and won a Community Bill of Rights that banned fracking in Broadview Heights, Ohio. O’Dell and her group, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) have helped 28 communities including Columbus fight to protect clean air and water as a right. There will be a CELDF “Community Rights for Social Justice” conference at the Northwood-High building in Columbus Saturday, March 4. CELDF is making civil disobedience a democratic and civic duty.
The Free Press Salutes
The Free Press salutes those who opposed the city’s unconscionable tax giveaway to wealthy Easton developers: Columbus City School Board candidates Amy Harkins, Erin Upchurch and Abby Vaile – and incumbent School Board member Dominic Paretti. Thanks to the City’s massive welfare check to the 1 percent, Columbus City Schools will lose approximately $46 in tax money. Historically, School Board members understood that while the City of Columbus had a right to give away their own taxes, they have no right to steal money from urban, underprivileged schoolchildren. These individuals are to be encouraged to continue standing up for the children.
Thumbs Down: Also, we need to ask “What’s What?” with School Board member Michael Cole who supported the Easton agreement, clearly one of the most unprincipled members in the school’s long and tortured history.
Enemy of the People
This month’s enemy is Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther for expanding the police “Summer Safety Initiative” so undercover police can now terrorize inner city neighborhoods year round, and the "jump-out boys" can continue to shoot people in the back with no accountability. Miami and Los Angeles police departments have abandoned the destructive practice and over 60 percent of people in Columbus feel it does not make them feel safe.