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Help set the agenda for Central Ohio from the bottom up! Don’t leave the future of the greater Columbus area to current out-of-touch public officials and elite titans.

The Pre-Election Citizens Grassroots Congress will be held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 from 1-5pm at the Whetstone Library. Representatives of community organizations are invited to attend the Grassroots Congress to decide what causes we can all work together on in central Ohio to affect this November’s election.

Everyone is encouraged to bring a proposal from you or from your group or just come to vote on the issues. All ideas and perspectives will be welcome, ideas may be large or small. We will vote to approve everyone’s proposals, narrow the list down to the three top issues, and make a plan to help each other and support the causes going forward.

All issues will be compiled into a report and presented to the media and public officials, be they elected, unelected or appointed.Previous Grassroots Congress issues included support for Columbus’ community radio station, citywide recycling, a peace initiative and development of the City Center into a community learning center. In fact, the idea for the expansion of Columbus City Council with the adoption of district representation was approved at the 2009 Grassroots Congress, despite the false claims that the idea originated with Republicans and allies of the Koch brothers, as the recent Issue One opponents suggested.

Issue One, defeated in the August 2, 2016 special election, was an organic outgrowth from local grassroots activists disappointed in the one-party Democratic city government that serves the suburban oligarchs instead of actual people living in Columbus neighborhoods. The multi-million dollar campaign by that very “Big D” Democratic government to maintain their one-party dictatorship tried to scare voters into embracing in the “little d” undemocratic status quo.

Take the words from the Franklin County Democratic Party press release:

“Last week, the Party of Donald Trump endorsed Issue 1. Now Issue 1 has a little bit of everything – allies of the Koch Brothers, a ballot-hopping Republican candidate, an out-of-state SuperPAC, and an endorsement from the Republican Party.”

While it’s true that Republicans, with no members on Columbus City Council, endorsed Issue One two weeks before the election, the idea had not only been incubated in the Grassroots Congress but had been promoted by the local Green Party and the two progressive grassroots Democratic opposition groups this past primary election, Yes We Can and Count Me In.

The Columbus Free Press did investigate whether Koch brothers’ money financed Issue One, but the only ties we could verify were between the Koch brothers and Columbus City Council member Zach Klein, a long-standing member of the right-wig Federalist Society (see cover story).

Social justice concerns regarding police use of excessive force and the need for a civilian review board to oversee law enforcement, the fight for $15 minimum wage, as well as the Columbus City Schools levy are all issues set to come up at this September’s Grassroots Congress. Despite the rhetoric of the one-party Council, the Congress will not be a “power grab,” but will be ordinary citizens unconcerned with passing out tax abatements to their favorite suburban multimillionaires.

The Grassroots Congress will have real discussion on issues and the person presiding will not throw you out of the room if you applaud (again, see cover story). Public policy in Columbus is too important to leave up to the toadies and the cronies. Hope to see you on September 11.

A larger, more comprehensive Grassroots Congress will be held to address local concerns post-election to work on setting the people’s agenda for 2017. The Grassroots Congress is sponsored by the Central Ohio Green Education Fund.

Citizens Grassroots Congress (Pre-Election)
Sunday, September 11, 1-5pm
Whetstone Branch Library, 3909 N. High St.
RSVP: or 614-374-2448. See us on Facebook.

Citizens Grassroots Congress (Post-Election)
Saturday, November 12, 9am-5pm

Northwood-High Building, 2231 N. High St. (behind building, park in “R” spots only)

RSVP: or 614-374-2448.

Appears in Issue: