Agenda for the Citizens Grassroots Congress this Saturday

The 2009 Citizens Grassroots Congress
Saturday, February 28

9:30am-5pm

Please RSVP
Doug Todd, 614-308-5681, dougsftc@yahoo.com
www.cgcongress.org

Proposed Agenda

Morning Session

9:30am Presentation of Resolutions – revisit, revise and add new resolutions
10:30 am – Prioritize resolutions

Lunch – pizza and bring your own side dish

Afternoon Session

Discussion of implementation of resolutions and activities
Possibilities include:

• City Council Watch, or Franklin County Commission Watch group—to monitor, rate, and report on their activities
• Parallel City Council or other governing organization
• Ballot initiative to enlarge City Council with district representation

Room 100 of the Northwood Building – 2231 North High Street in Columbus
two blocks north of Lane Ave.

Hope to see you there!
The Central Ohio Green Education Fund Board

,

Bob Fitrakis Remembers Cornell McCleary

Former Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism Board Chair and community activist Cornell McCleary died February 11 at the age of 55. Cornell recruited me to run for the NAACP Board in the early 1990s. He was one of the few black leaders in Columbus that reached out the white community surrounding the Free Press, as well as to the gay community. When I began co-publishing and editing the Free Press in 1992, my co-publisher and now U.S. Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy suggested we tap McCleary as Chairperson of our Board.

McCleary spearheaded a Free Press outreach toward African American writers like Jeff Winbush and Jerolyn Barbee. McCleary got the Free Press involved in a long-running investigative series to “out” white supremacists in Ohio. The Free Press began to print the names and addresses of known Klan and neo-Nazi members, and also began to publish “Wanted” posters with their photos and vitals attached. All of this culminated with buses of anti-racist activists demonstrating outside the homes of the white supremacists. McCleary used his extensive ties with black private investigators and police officers to gather intelligence. Five white supremacists left the state rather be “outed.”

In 1995, McCleary brought together a slate of reformers to run for Columbus School Board. I had the pleasure of being one of them. While we didn’t win, much of our agenda advocating multicultural diversity and more transparency by the School Board succeeded. Just last year, I participated with Cornell in a project to screen local political candidates for office and publish our ratings and the interviews on the internet.

Cornell and I occasionally disagreed over the issue of police brutality and the approach of the Columbus Police officers in dealing with black youth. His position was far more sympathetic to the police than mine, probably due to his military background and his business Pro-Private Police Training Academy that trained private security guards. Still, Cornell and I remained friends. I remember our last joint appearance on the WOSU TV show “On the Record” where we engaged in a heated debate, then went outside and laughed about it.

Cornell embodied the style of the “new jack activism” – one that was both highly intellectual and simultaneously street-wise. His commitment to the inner-city and to equality for all people: blacks, Hispanics, gays, and whites – set him apart from most of the more traditional leaders in the community. His voice, his vision, and his laugh will be greatly missed.

The Citizens Grassroots Congress

The Citizens Grassroots Congress
will convene again on
Saturday, February 28
We hope to have the participation of many local individuals and groups to set
a citizen’s agenda for central Ohio.

Why should you attend?

Our public officials guide central Ohio’s policies & progress, but who are they?
A Democratic Columbus City Council who never disagrees on any topic? How many are beholden to the developers — consequently moving Columbus in the sprawl direction?
A Franklin County Commission, who oversees the Board of Elections, and allowed the long lines during the 2004 election?
And, when was the last time you remember being excited about something our state legislature made happen?

At the Citizen’s Grassroots Congress, we will discuss:
Resolutions from local activist groups to better our lives
City Council Watch, or Franklin County Commission Watch group—to monitor, rate, and report on their activities
Parallel City Council or other governing organization
Ballot initiative to enlarge City Council with district representation

We are all responsible for moving central Ohio in the direction of supporting peace, ecologically sound practices, better services, and legislation leaning toward equity and social justice.
If you want to get involved, please join us!

The 2009 Citizens Grassroots Congress
Saturday, February 28 from 9:30am-5pm

Room 100 of the Northwood Building – 2231 North High Street in Columbus
two blocks north of Lane Ave.

Please RSVP to Doug Todd, 614-308-5681, dougsftc@yahoo.com
www.cgcongress.org

Hope to see you there!
The Central Ohio Green Education Fund Board

Columbus, Ohio: THE 2009 CITIZENS GRASSROOTS CONGRESS

THE 2009 CITIZENS GRASSROOTS CONGRESS

WANTS YOU!

On February 28, 2009 from 9:30 to 5:00

At Room 100 of the Northwood Building.

(2231 N. High Street in Columbus).

Bring a potluck item for snack / salad. Pizza will be provided for lunch.

To help advance an enlightened, reform agenda for Central Ohio in the areas of Social and Economic Justice, Sustainability and the Environment, Grassroots Democracy and Peace.

In October 2007 the Citizens Grassroots Congress convened an all day session and formed an agenda of enlightenment and reform for Central Ohio. Many efforts have ensued to promote and draw attention to these issues and resolutions. Some of these efforts were effective and some were not. But many lessons were learned. Do you want a voice in vital local reform following the dark years of the last administration? Do you want to share the opportunities for your most important local issues and concerns during the Obama administration? Then you do not want to miss this meeting!

The purpose of this congress is to plan and think ahead as well as prioritize issues. To develop strategies, tactics and means to effectively let our local officials know what is important to our community. From past experience we know that if we do not influence local priorities others with more self serving goals certainly will. Join us and help make a difference.

For more information contact Doug Todd at Dougsftc@yahoo.com or Joe Keehner at 614/337-9478.