Collage of pictures from salon

The March Free Press Second Saturday Cyber-Salon was hosted by Simply Living, with Chuck Lynd, director of Support Ohio Local Economies (SOLE) as the moderator. Simply Living is a local membership organization that offers the community a way to live simply and sustainably in cooperation with others and with nature. They offer workshops,events, a marketplace and partnerships with businesses and organizations.

See the salon video here.

The first speaker was Mayda Sanchez, Executive Director of the Ohio Sustainable Business Council. Simply Living and the Ohio Sustainable Business Council are partnering to promote public banking in Ohio. They are building a coalition of citizens and organizations who will advocate and spread the word about the benefits of public banks. Mayda spoke about efforts to start a public bank in Ohio, and the importance of community involvement in the banking industry. Public banks offer loans to small businesses and people, and can be set up for specific purposes to invest in the local community.

Find more information on the Public Banking Institute website and the Support Ohio Local Economies site.

Mary Jane Borden recommended reading her article about Huntington Bank’s refusal to handle accounts from businesses working in the cannabis field.

The second speaker was Lynn Stan, outreach coordinator for Support Ohio Local Economies. She announced the start of a sustainable business directory. This is where you can find businesses that are trying to, or have succeeded in having sustainable business practices. The directory is open for people and businesses to add their listings. Please patronize these local businesses and add more names if you know of any.

The third speaker was Cathy Cowan Becker, chair of the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign in Ohio, bringing us up-to-date on Columbus’ Climate Action Plan. She pointed out that many of Columbus’ goals fall short of the goals we see in other cities and is not in line with climate science. For example, the City of Columbus climate plan calls for 25% air emissions cut, but critics say 45% is needed. Learn more and contact the City of Columbus to voice your demand that we step up our climate action plan. Sign the petition here. Join Simply Living’s efforts and write a letter to the City. Another place to give feedback on the city’s plan is here.

Lynn Stan noted that the Smart Columbus electric car movement does not get involved in these efforts, nor does it collaborate with community groups.

Tom Over and Eriyah Flynn of Vegan Shift pointed out that veganism should be a big part of reducing carbon emissions and other forms of ecological harm. No serious conversation can exclude the role of veganism.

A question was asked if during the Covid lockdown period, did the climate improve? We found out in this article, not by much, unfortunately. MORPC released a central Ohio air quality report.

There was much discussion about local transportation and a link shared with information from LinkUs andCOTA.

Steve Caruso wrote in the chat about a Six-Week Photovoltaic Certification workshop April 6-May 23 offered by Blue Rock Station which will partially benefit WGRN community radio (94.1FM).

Bill Lyons of the Ohio Community Rights Network made an announcement about their upcoming democracy film series that begins Sunday, March 28.

He also mentioned the new jail the county is building and working with Amy Wickes’ mother. Amy was very active in working with women and addicts in jail and the new jail has these initiatives. Bill hopes a section will be named for Amy.

Sandy Bolzenius promoted the next Move to Amend event "Your Rights & Risks under New Ohio Protest Laws” to be held on March 25 about the state's roll-out of bills to discourage (and illegalize) public protest.

Michael Doody gave us an update on the continued saga of what’s happening with Kossuth Street community garden. Developers have bought the property and are kicking out the garden. You can write to Nicole Harper in City Councilperson Priscilla Tyson’s office with your demand that this stop.
There is an event “Don't Let Developers Gentrify Southern Orchards!”
SAT MAR 20 2021 AT 01:00 PM UTC-04:00
641 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH.

Bryan Curtiss promoted the 10th anniversary of his WCRS 92.7/98.3 radio show “The DJBC Happy Hour” – Mondays at 8pm.

The Free Press thanks Steve Caruso for being our technical guru for these cyber-salons.

Hope to see you at the next one!

Pete Johnson
President, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism
Contact: 614-253-2571
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