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MEDIA ADVISORY                        

Contact: Andy Richards, 614-477-6284

MLK, Jr. in ‘68: “Work That Serves Humanity…It Has Dignity And It Has Worth.”  
Across Ohio, We Are One events are planned to mobilize, educate and inspire

As the anniversary of his assassination approaches, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tireless advocacy for the social and economic justice echoes against the backdrop of today’s assaults on worker rights

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Forty-three years ago, a struggle by 1,300 city sanitation workers for economic justice brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis. On the eve of his death, hours after marching with the AFSCME sanitation workers being denied the fundamental right of collective bargaining and facing down the armed forces of a city and state, Martin Luther King, Jr. declared: “Work that serves humanity…It has dignity and it has worth.”

Today here in Ohio, in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and more than a dozen other states, well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for.  This year, as we commemorate his sacrifice, Americans are organizing and mobilizing throughout the country to revive the Dream.  

April 1 through 4, working families, people of faith, civil and human rights activists, students and other progressive allies will host a range of community- and workplace-focused actions, including rallies, teach-ins, vigils and forums throughout the United States.  The theme for these events:  We Are One. 

Over 1,000 events are being organized throughout the country for the We Are One National Day of Action.  Events are happening in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Findlay, Hillsboro, Marietta, Oberlin, Portsmouth, Sandusky, Toledo, Warren, and Youngstown.  See below for full list of events.


April 3

Vigil for Hope
234 N. High St.
Starts at 7 p.m.

April 4

United We Stand in Ohio Demonstration and Forum
Hardesty Park, 1615 W. Market St.
Starts at 6:00 p.m.

We Are One Forum and Rally
Mayfield Senior Center, 3825 13th St.
Starts at 5:00 p.m.

We Are One Solidarity Demonstration to Support Federal Workers
Federal Building, 1240 E. 9th St.
Starts at 11:30 a.m.

March in Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
March starts at Greater Abyssinia Towers, 10401 Superior Ave.
Starts at 5:30 p.m.

We Are Working America Demonstration
Ohio State University campus, East 15th Ave. and N. High St.
Starts at 1:00 p.m.

Community Forum:  Labor Honoring American Hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Kings Art Complex, 867 Mount Vernon Ave.
Starts at 4:00 p.m.

Solidarity Day Rally
UFCW Local 75, 7520 Poe Ave.
Starts at 4:30 p.m.

Workers’ Rights are Human Rights Community Forum
USW Local 207L Hall, 1130 Summit St.
Starts at 6:30 p.m.

We Are One Rally
East Muskingum Park, Front St. and Putnam St.
In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall, 201 Front St.
Starts at 4:30 p.m.

We Are One Teach-In and Panel Discussion
Oberlin College in Wilder Hall Room 112, 135 West Lorain St.
Starts at 5:30 p.m.

Screening of “At the River I Stand” with Discussion
14th St. Community Center, 2313 17th St.
Starts at 5:30 p.m.

We Are One Solidarity Demonstration to Support Striking U.S. Tsubaki Workers
In front of U.S. Tsubaki Inc., 1010 Edgewater Dr.
Starts at 12 p.m.

We Are One Rally
Walbridge Park, 2801 Broadway St.
Starts at 5 p.m.

We Are One Community Forum
Owens Community College, Law Enforcement Building, 30335 Oregon Rd.
Starts at 4:00 p.m.

Stand Up for Workers’ Rights Informational Picket
1210 N. Park Ave.
Starts at 2:00 p.m.

We Are One Demonstration
Mahoning County Courthouse, 120 Market St.
Starts at 11:30 a.m.

Community Forum:  Piecing Together Ohio’s Budget and It’s Effect on Seniors, Retirees, Human Service and Social Security
Mahoning Country Club, 710 E. Liberty St.
Starts at 10:00 a.m.

Click here for more information about these We Are One events and other events around the country.

More information about Dr. King’s support for working families and his final journey in support of the AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis, click here.





Brothers and Sisters,
Information has been added to the website in the documents section under the OAPFF folder.  These documents are an overview of the ammended bill which shadily passed the Senate yesterday by one vote and a contact sheet with a map for all the senators and reps.  The second document was created by brother Mike Battle.  Thanks to Mike for his work.
The bill will now be presented to the house as early as Tuesday.  Who knows what the process will be.  Hopefully there will be hearings so that the flaws can be pointed out.  One thing is certain, they want this bill passed by both houses and signed by the governor by April 5 so that the referendum is on the 11 ballot, not the 12 ballot where there will be a high democratic turnout.  This bill as it stands is devastating.  This bill for lack of a better term "cuts our nuts of"f.  It will be collective begging since all the city has to say is no, we don't want to talk about staffing, about safety, about transfers, about management rights.  When it comes to wages, city council makes the ultimate determination if they don't agree to the fact finding report.  They can then impose it for 3 years.  Lt's and above are out of the union and have no collective bargaining.  That means furlough days like unrepresented get as well as other things.  Healthcare will go from 5% contribution to 15% and the city decides what plan you get.  I would fully expect to lose 15% of wages and benefits at a minimum if this bill goes through.
As the bill stands, our contract would remain in effect until it expires in may 2012.  If the city declares financial crisis that is validated by the Governor, they can open up our contract prior.  I can just imagine December's budget hearings with this in place.  The good news is no layoffs, bad news is a 10-15% pay cut.
Some may say this is just fear mongering.  Read our attorney's overview in the documents section.  Some are finally understanding why we endorse more democrats than republicans.  So far we have seen who our friends are, both democrats and republicans.  Some will say this is just one issue.  That is true, but this one issue affects the very basis of every other issue that affects us.
Please stay informed.  Read the documents.  Register on the OAPFF site.  Contact your reps and senators.  Thank those who voted no on SB5 and ask your rep to vote no SB5.  In our area, we need people to contact Mecklenborg (Green Township area).  Denise Driehaus, Alicia Reece, Dale Mallory and Connie Pillich are with us on the issue.  Either way, contact your rep.  A simple phone call of "My name is ______, I live in the reps district and I'd like for him/her to vote no on SB5 (not sure what the house number is yet).  Call Mecklenborg daily if you live in his district (the map in the docs section will show you who your rep is).
We knew SB5 was an uphill battle and we would not likely prevail in the senate or the house, but we can't go down without  a fight.  The next step will be a referendum.  We will need lots of signatures and money for ads.  We have a dues increase working through the ammendment process which will be voted on at the april meeting and then go to referendum vote in May.  The OAPFF is having a special conference to vote on an assessment to get the ball rolling.  They have also been working tirelessly on this issue.  Thank Mark Sanders, the OAPFF board and Columbus Local 67 for their hospitality over the last few weeks.  Our opponants will have millions of dollars to spend as they are already doing in Wisconsin. 
The next issue that will start making it's way through the legislature is pension reform.  From the sounds of it, they are gunning for us there too. 
This is a national trend.  Wisconsin was leading the charge, but Ohio just passed them.  Pay attention to what's happening to your future and get involved in any way possible.  We will pass on information as it becomes available.