On Saturday, November 2, 2013, Harry Coffey, Alexa Ross and Lois Whealey participated with 75 other Ohioans from Ohio-Meadville and Mid America Districts at the UU Justice Ohio Assembly. It was held at the UU Church of Columbus, Weisheimer Road, where we encountered former UUFA members John Kachuba and his wife Mary, and Don Hippensteel.
Lois attended sessions on developing UUJO’s bylaws and reproductive rights. Harry was also at the RR session, and asked why women attendees were so overwhelming in number, and men so few. He has experienced the difficulties of reproductive justice throughout his 40 years as a psychologist, and is volunteering to liaison with the developing Reproductive Justice committee of UUJO. Lois and Alexa attended the workshop on the environment, during which Ron Prosek of northeast Ohio showed a video, “Fracking: an Assault on the Web of Life,” which can be viewed online. Alexa taped this workshop, and also some of the afternoon rally. It should eventually appear on her show on Channel 9, Time-Warner Cable ACTV.
Ann Cooper joined the UUFA three at the “Standing on the Side of Justice” Rally beginning at 4 PM at the Statehouse. Organized mainly by the UU Council of Greater Cincinnati for UUJO, almost 300 people rallied, including a 75 voice choir. Partners with UUJO were ACLU, Ohioans to Stop Executions and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative with a coalition of 20 support groups.
Alexa Ross attended the 25th anniversary celebration of Ohioans to Stop Executions, which honored long-time activist Sister Helen Prejean of Cincinnati, who was a featured speaker.
Howard Tolley of Cincinnati, co-chair of UU Justice Ohio, is scheduled to speak at the Fellowship on December 1. Joining UUJO as a Congregation would cost $1 per member annually for our congregation, about $60. We could then appoint a UUJO liaison. Individuals can also join UUJO as an “Advocate”, with a donation of $25.
Four local UUs–Education graduate student Alice, Geoff Greenfield, Alexa Ross and Lois Whealey–rallied at noon November 16 at the Statehouse with 30 other Athenians. The “Act on Climate” rally supported the US EPA’s new rules limiting Carbon emissions from power plants. Callie Bruley, who spoke at the Fellowship last month, has been organizing here around this issue for Environment Ohio. Pictures were taken to encourage Sen. Sherrod Brown to become a Climate Champion, and enthusiastic chanters rang echoes from the tall buildings on High Street. Geoff was a speaker, representing the alternative energy business, and he was a carpool driver with his fascinating hybrid auto.
Some years ago, UUFA was active in the local religious environmental coalition, Earth Justice, including the Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian and Quaker congregations and UCM. We participated in a large gathering at the Catholic church, emphasizing environmental action. A call is out for revitalizing this coalition, particularly in opposition to fracking. UUFA has been invited by Carol Kuhre, for Earth Justice, to attend an interfaith potluck on Sunday, December 15 at 1 PM at Christ the King church on Stewart St. UUFA has been asked to provide bread. We could bring some home-baked bread and some from our good local bakery, Crumbs. Please let Lois Whealey know if you are interested in attending and/or providing bread.
Submitted by Lois Whealey