An important announcement just happened that you may have missed.
Transgender workers on the payroll of state and local public employers are now officially protected against workplace discrimination. The U.S. Department of Justice will be able to bring suit on behalf of people who say they have been discriminated against by public employers on the basis of gender identity.
It’s an annual tradition to make resolutions and set goals for improvement in the New Year. Losing weight, taking classes, and crossing items off your bucket list are some of the few perennial favorites that come to mind.
In a way, it’s no different for the ACLU of Ohio, except our goals are to protect and define civil liberties in our state.
Is policing really broken in America?
There are plenty of tweets, talking heads and letters to the editor agreeing that it is working just fine. They paint the national dialogue in a metaphorical black and white; obey the police and you won’t get shot.
It’s that time of year again! It’s the season when sleigh bells ring, halls are decked with holiday decorations, and when talking heads appear on our TV or in newspapers with dire warnings of the “War on Christmas.”
Breathlessly, they exclaim that organizations like the ACLU are attempting to use the courts to take candy canes out of children’s hands, forbid the singing of carols, and dash a few dreidels while we’re at it.
Life changing moments often come at us out of the blue and so it was for Dollree Mapp.
Early on May 23, 1957, Dollree was alone in her Cleveland home, enjoying her privacy. When her doorbell rang, she had no idea that what happened next would change state laws on how evidence should be handled and establish her legacy as a woman who spoke up for her rights.
As the end of the year approaches, what went on in the final days of the 130th Ohio General Assembly?
When last I wrote about the Ohio legislature’s “lame duck” session, I provided updates on the so-called Heartbeat Bill and the lethal injection bill.
Photograph courtesy of Rachel Woods
It was pure activism in motion. The call went out and thousands came to have their voices heard by those in power.
This past weekend, several ACLU of Ohio staffers traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the National March Against Police Violence, sponsored by the National Action Network.
The cost of poor policing is difficult to quantify. Some costs can be measured in dollars, but other costs—loss of trust, life, or missed opportunities—are too great to measure.
Loss of Public Dollars
A recent investigative report found that Cleveland taxpayers have paid a minimum of $10.5 million between 2004 and 2014 related to police misconduct settlements.
Our country’s public health is at risk. No, it’s not from Ebola or this year’s virulent strain of the flu.
It’s from mass incarceration.
A new report, “On Life Support: Public Health in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” issued by the Vera Institute of Justice, focuses on the alarming impacts of imprisonment on individual and community health.
To combat abuse of heroin and prescription opiate pain killers there are several principles we need to keep in mind and actions we need to take.
We must shut down all the pill mill pain clinics, imprison the doctors who run them, and make every other doctor too scared to prescribe opiate pain killers at all.
It happened in a blink of an eye.
On November 22, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot immediately after Cleveland Police officers pulled up to him at Cudell Recreation Center. Tamir’s is the most recent in a series of deaths caused by Cleveland police.
“NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!”
That age-old protesters’ rallying cry has been echoing across the country since November 24 when a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, failed to indict the police officer responsible for killing Michael Brown. The following day, people in several Ohio towns and throughout the nation gathered in protest.
If you are a member of the ACLU of Ohio, you are no doubt used to hearing from us about our work. Perhaps it is no surprise an organization known for protecting the First Amendment often exercises its own right to free speech.
Update – 12/17/2014: Ohio Senate Bill 266 was amended to House Bill 178 and passed unanimously, extending the seclusion and restraint provisions of rule 3301-35-15 to public charter schools.
Last month the Ohio Department of Education released its first analysis of the use of restraint and seclusion in Ohio schools.