Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Strickland/Fisher Turn Around Ohio

Just a quick post for now, but something more hopeful to focus on for Ohio than the recent threads. Demetrius and I just came back from this event in Columbus. Both Ted Strickland and his running mate Lee Fisher spoke about their vision for moving Ohio forward. The event was held at St. Stephen's Community Center in Linden, a working class neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. They both addressed the need for a comprehensive, unified approach to turning things around in Ohio, connecting the dots between education, employment opportunities, and making young people more likely to choose to stay here to raise their families.

From the materials we received at today's event:

We know that healthy, happy children are able to learn; that good learners in effective schools become educated adults ready to contribute as workers; that able workers stay where there are worthy opportunities. We know that when good jobs are performed well, for fair pay, we start a cycle of success that builds its own momentum, creating opportunities for new investment, a growing tax base, stable families...everything Ohio has been losing for almost two decades.

Ted Strickland has been both a minister and a psychologist as well as a legislator, and I think that helps him see the big picture and how it's all connected in a way that other politicians might not. (He did this interview at Street Prophets, where I occasionally front page.) At this point, even though there are technically still two candidates in the Republican primary, it is very likely that Strickland's opponent in the general election will be Ken "Diebold" Blackwell. He is quick with the sound bite, easy answers, but the truth is, we know that quick fixes won't work. And appealing to people's prejudices, as he did in promoting Issue 1, may be a good way to motivate his base to get out to the polls, but it doesn't make the lives of ordinary Ohioans any better. It just gives them a scapegoat to distract them for a little while.

I look forward to hearing more from Strickland and Fisher, and to the efforts of the grassroots to help them win this November.

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