2014 November

  • 11.28.14

    Check Yourself: Five Tips for Becoming a Better Advocate

    We all have biases.  It’s part of being human.

    After all, we expect the world to work in certain ways and situations outside our assumptions can be jarring. Although the process may be uncomfortable, it is by recognizing and challenging our prejudices and preconceptions that we are better able to help others.

  • 11.26.14

    The So-Called “Heartbeat Bill” Gets Revived

    Another day, another attempt to promote government intrusion into the lives of thousands of women and their doctors.

    Last week, the Ohio House Health and Aging Committee snuck onto its agenda House Bill 248 (HB 248), often called the “Heartbeat Bill,” which restricts reproductive freedom and promotes poor health care practices and overreaching governance.

  • 11.25.14

    The Ferguson Near You

    Like many of our nation’s cities, we find Cleveland a teeming cauldron of hostility. The citizens of the Negro community reflect the alienation of the total community, which has constantly ignored their cries for justice and opportunity and responded to their joblessness, poor housing and economic exploitation with crude methods of police repression rather than compassion and creative programming.

  • 11.21.14

    Marriage Equality: Being Right Versus Being Popular

    The ACLU is not one to follow popular opinion.

    It was socially acceptable for schools to segregate African American students until 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the practice in Brown v. Board of Education. The public supported the confinement of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.

  • 11.20.14

    Drug Law Reforms: Ohio Pay Attention!

    Prison fence

    Imagine what would happen if people of different walks of life decided that they were done with the insanity of mass incarceration and the War on Drugs. Imagine if people proclaimed that they were tired of:

    » Criminalizing people unnecessarily.

    » Tough on crime laws that do nothing to improve safety.

  • 11.17.14

    Community Safety: A Call for a Moratorium on 1033

    What makes us feel safe in our communities?

    When you know your neighbors, when youth have connections to positive people, and when residents feel pride in the appearance of their street, this keeps a community safe. When men armed with assault rifles and flash grenades spill out of an armored personnel carrier in the middle of the night to break down a door searching for drugs, this has the opposite effect.

  • 11.14.14

    Respecting the “T” in LGBT

    “Repent! He needs to repent!”

    These words echoed around the halls of Cleveland City Council as a man began yelling dramatically at a woman who got up to go to the bathroom.

    Why was he yelling at this woman? Because she was a transgender woman.

  • 11.12.14

    Pope Francis: Solitary Confinement Is Torture

    Ever since smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel heralding Pope Francis as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, he has made headlines for addressing controversial social issues. So, it was no surprise when he recently discussed mass incarceration, he did it with the gusto politicians have never been unable to muster.

  • 11.10.14

    Mayor’s Courts’ Caseload Declines But Big Problems Still Exist

    Scales and Gavel

    The Ohio Supreme Court recently issued a new report documenting the use of mayor’s courts in 2013 and highlighting a decade-long decline in caseloads. But don’t let that fact fool you.

    Sure, mayor’s courts in Ohio are hearing 14 percent fewer cases than 10 years ago, but other kinds of courts are hearing fewer cases, too.

  • 11.07.14

    A Setback for Marriage Equality: It’s Not Over

    What a disappointment!

    After 92 days of waiting we finally got a decision from the U. S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld gay marriage bans in the four states it oversees—Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. This is the first ruling in the country from a circuit court, which is one step down from the Supreme Court, which has gone against marriage equality.

  • 11.05.14

    Is It Legal for Your Boss to Call You a “Gaytard?”

    It shouldn’t be. But unfortunately in some states, the answer is yes.

    In case you missed it, in late September, the national ACLU filed a federal discrimination charge in defense of 16-year-old Tyler Brandt, a summer employee at a Taco John’s franchise in South Dakota.

  • 11.04.14

    Shake Off Those Election Day Blues: The Top Five Reasons to Vote

    Ballot Box

    So, what’s the use if I don’t know the good it’s gonna do
    And I’m standing on the doorstep of a country with the election day blues

    Patrick Dunn, From “Election Day Blues”

    Elections Day is tomorrow, November 4.

    Are you underwhelmed by the midterm elections—I mean, more so than usual?