From the Civic Commons blog:
The Civic Commons’ tagline is “Turning Talk Into Action.” But how do we even begin to talk about an issue as complex, life-threatening and, frankly, frightening as teen abuse of prescription drugs?
Your Teen Media believes that performance can open up roads to dialogue, making it then possible for parents and teens to explore the topic and progress toward healthy behavior. Courtesy of Your Teen and numerous sponsors, “LEGALLY ADDICTED: Prescription Drug Abuse,” a play from Recovery Resources, will be presented at the Westlake Performing Arts Center in Westlake on Monday, April 15 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm and again at the John Carroll Annex in University Heights on Monday, April 22 also from 7:00pm-8:30pm. (You can see the flyer with the exact address and other information here.) The expectation is that, through performance and a discussion that will be moderated by Kim Wheeler, WKYC News Anchor, we can start a conversation in a little less threatening a way than it otherwise might get started.
Please read the rest of the post, spread the word, share this information with everyone and anyone you think could benefit. It is easy to turn our heads but families and individuals are hurting because of this epidemic. Many thanks to the good people at Your Teen for taking on this topic and helping us learn how we can engage parents and kids and community.
I’ve sent this letter or a very near version of it to every member of the State Board of Education of Ohio, to Governor Kasich and to State Senator Lehner and State Rep. Stebelton who are Ex Officio members of the state board. I’ve had phone calls with both Mary Rose Oakar and with Ann Jacobs, both board members (Mary Rose is my state rep for the board and originally I only sent the letter to her). I’ve received a more or less pro forma email from Ms. Terhar stating that there’s not enough time to give notice for a special meeting so she says that she will speak on February 11. I wrote her back to assure her that she has a right to speak before that if she wanted to tell us she’s stepping aside as the board president and going for sensitivity training and social media bootcamp, rather than hide behind a rule. No meeting of the board is needed for her to announce a decision. Maybe for a vote on it, maybe, but certainly not if she wants to tell us all about it. In any case, my letter pretty much says it all. Also, if you are able, the next regular meeting is Monday, February 11 at 8:30am. It is a public meeting – please try to attend. They’re at the School for the Deaf in Columbus, 500 Morse Road.
Dear Board Member Oakar,
My name is Jill Miller Zimon and I’m a resident of Pepper Pike and therefore in your School Board district. My three children have attended the Orange schools, and two are still there (oldest is now in college). I’ve been dedicated to public education my entire life and find wholly unsatisfactory Ms. Terhar’s inability to comprehend that her actions this week have been inappropriate, offensive, inaccurate and unworthy of someone whom you and your colleagues have placed in the position as the nominal and actual leader of our state’s top public body related to the education of millions of Ohio children.
I realize that unless you were absent, you must have voted to affirm Ms. Terhar’s place as president of the Board (my understanding is she was re-elected to being president unanimously), but clearly the Board must possess better alternatives among the remaining 17 of you (I note that there is one at-large vacancy at this time). For if there is not a better option at this time than Ms. Terhar, we should all be questioning the fate of our state’s education system. I am asking you to do everything within your power to remove Ms. Terhar as president of the Board and install a member who can appreciate the wholly inappropriate actions and reactions of Ms. Terhar.
In addition, I would urge that the following steps also be taken:
1. Social media policy for the Board members be reviewed, modified and adopted as necessary.
2. Social media training for the Board members be designed, implemented and required for all Board members.
3. Sensitivity training be procured and implemented with all the Board members. Facing History and Ourselves is an outstanding, award-winning program that could be contacted, but groups like the Anti-Defamation League as well as the NAACP and I’m certain many others (we have the Diversity Center here in Cleveland) could also handle such an assignment. Read more
Did you know that working moms who don’t watch Fox are socialists? Neither did I.
But then I asked some folks on Twitter, who were beating up on a friend of mine who is a left of center lady, not unlike myself, and was on Fox this morning (the national cable version, not the local), if they could link to the clip about which they were razzing my friend, since, being a working parent, I don’t watch the morning news shows because, well, I’m working – and parenting. (I know – many of us have the television or radio on in the background while parenting and working but that is not the norm in my home at all – way too distracting; I can parent & work at the same time, but add cable morning news shows to the task list and I’m on overload.)
And their response to my simple and, if I might say so myself, civil request (intended to allow me to make an actual judgement on the razzing they were giving my friend which included them saying that the way she said the word “privilege” regarding Ann Romney was in a perjorative way) was to tell me that, for saying I was working, parenting and not watching Fox, I spoke like a “true Socialist.” Later tweets included mentions of their belief that I envy male anatomy and some other things that have nothing to do with anything, except to demonstrate perfectly how the motherlode of all linkbait is the often-called always-maligned Mommy Wars.
If ever there was a subject in need of being limited to civil discourse-only, this has got to be it.
Read the rest at the Civic Commons (where this working mom works, from home and from wherever civic engagement takes me).
WARNING: Expletives used.
Here in Northeast Ohio, Monday morning shattered when news of a high school junior shooting several of his schoolmates started streaming into my inbox via news alerts.
At 8:18 a.m., I read: Breaking News: Report: Geauga County Sheriff’s Department and OSHP heading to Chardon High School (the original item isn’t even there anymore, there’ve been so many updates)
I didn’t have to read another word before saying the trifecta out loud to an empty house, “G-ddamnit. Shit. Fuck.”
Even as I write this, my stomach cramps up, my lower lids fill up and I bite my lip drawing in a huge sigh.
I thought that the first thing I’d write about in this post would be about what we know. But ha. Really — just ha. Because I also think about all that we don’t know. And what of either category simply doesn’t matter?
For anyone wanting to keep up or catch up, so far, the best source for information has been the Cleveland Plain Dealer and you can find all their reports on the Chardon shooting here. I’ve heard multiple news outlets congratulate them throughout the week, and I’d say they’re deserving.
You’ll have to go here (pg 38) for the text. Or look for a copy in any local grocery store or library.
From the Indianapolis Star article, “Can private companies turn around failing schools?”
So why do states consider this [for-profit charter schools] route? Mathis said it’s good politics.
“It’s pretty much across the board that these things do not work, but that doesn’t keep them from being politically popular in some places,” he said. “It looks like, ‘By golly, we’re going to show them. We’re going to get tough.’ ”
He and other critics say Indiana doesn’t need to look far to see some of the problems. In Ohio, the state and 10 schools are suing a for-profit charter school operator, White Hat Management, complaining that the schools are failing and the company won’t account for how it has spent the $230 million in taxpayer funds it has received.
MAKE THEM RUN THE OTHER WAY, MITCH! And listen to your own:
Dale Chu, assistant superintendent for policy at the Indiana Department of Education, said Indiana has learned from the experiences of other states and won’t make the mistakes of trying to do too much too fast, as happened in Philadelphia, or fail [sic] to keep state oversight, as appears to have happened in Ohio.
And WLST is hanging in – thank you to everyone who has been voting daily. You have through midday Monday to keep doing so. It’s EASY – just go here and click on the thumbs up. And, as always, thank you.
Those children’s drawings and many more can be found here and here, courtesy of Ohio Citizen Action. The posts are titled, “Children’s Drawings for Duke Energy.” And while the images illustrated by the children reflect their awareness about the air quality around them, thanks to a 2008 USA Today multi-part, multi-media series on air quality around school buildings, findings are now coming out that highlight how those industrial pollutants endanger schoolchildren. The premise of the 2008 articles:
I’ve been featured before, and left off before, and while I can be a great competitor, I do try to stay grounded away from listmania – but it is nice, now and then, to learn and have it reaffirmed that I’m not just writing for myself (though I do wish I was writing even more for myself these days!).
Writes Like She Talks has been added to the Circle of Moms effort to name the Top 25 Political Mom Blogs. You can check out the list here and you can vote for WLST here, once a day, each day, through June 13 if that’s your wish.
Many of my favorites are already on the list but what I really love is that after blogging for nearly seven years, I’m finding new blogs about politics that are written by women.
Now if I could just convert some of them to candidates and political office holders.
This morning, I had coffee with a friend who is a mom, a lawyer and a constituent of mine. She also happens to be a woman who, with a group of other women who had supported John Kerry in Ohio only to see his candidacy fall short, formed what is now what I would consider to be the preeminent women’s caucus in our region if not our state, the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus.
Although she is perpetually, like so many of us, in the midst of several other very time-sensitive situations that demand her attention, we made ourselves find time to sit down together to talk about an issue that is identical to what I believe the Moms Clean Air Force is all about: getting people to care, notice and take action, at whatever level they can muster, in regard to issues we believe are critical to not only our quality of life, but our children’s and our children’s children’s quality of life. For my friend and I, this issue is getting women into public service, politics and positions of leadership. And equally vital to me is the MCAF end goal of taking action and moving others to take action in order to guarantee no backsliding and only forward motion in protecting our environment, primarily in the MCAF case, clean air.
How do we do this, my friend and I asked – how do we get women to care about politics, let alone consider running for office? As we were trying to brainstorm (in between getting sidetracked onto a number of other topics that excite us), it occurred to me that this question is very similar to the questions we ask ourselves in the MCAF effort: what can we tell you that will compel you? Read more
The Moms Clean Air Force is hosting a Mother’s Day-themed blog carnival through Sunday, May 8 (you know, Mother’s Day!? – get it) to honor our efforts today on behalf of the world we hope to create and one day leave behind for our kids in the proverbial tomorrow.
Got something to say about that? Said something already, or thinking about it? Please follow the directions here and add to the voices we’re making heard on the incredible importance of environmental issues, and clean air in particular.
This year, mothers need to think big about what we want for Mother’s Day, because there’s just too much at stake. Threats to the natural environment – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat – are threats to our very motherhood, which is our ability to love and nurture our children and see them grow safely into adulthood.
Please join the MCAF blog carnival, A Mother’s Day Gift, and share your hopes and dreams about what kind of world you want your kids to grow up in. This should take the form of a letter from you to your children about what YOU want to give THEM for Mother’s Day.
And Happy Mother’s Day.
Filed Under Cleveland+, Government, Health Care, Law, leadership, Moms Clean Air Force, Ohio, Parenting, Politics, Research, Resources, Science, Social Issues, Utilities, Women, Writing, Youth | 1 Comment
Norm Roulet’s lengthy, in-depth post at REALNEO, “Happy Air Quality Awareness Week? Not in Cleveland, where air quality is poor, and awareness is worse! Meaning Modeling Matters!” is one of an abysmally few pieces of evidence that May 2 through 6 has been Air Quality Awareness Week.
Other pieces of evidence (scant themselves) that folks in Ohio would be made aware, during an effort dedicated to awareness, come from the Ohio EPA and Earth Gauge at WKYC (Channel 3). But that’s all I could Google up – I hope I’ve missed other coverage, because these results are terribly disappointing.
Worse yet, however, is that the scant publicizing of Air Quality Awareness Week is not nearly as disappointing, or upsetting, as how bad our air quality in Ohio actually is (although the number of inhalers I see in my youngest child’s elementary school nurse’s clinic indicates backs up this assertion without the need for much else, if you ask me). Read more
By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:39 am May 5th, 2011 in Cleveland+, Government, Health Care, Law, leadership, Moms Clean Air Force, Ohio, Parenting, Politics, Research, Resources, Science, Social Issues, Utilities, Women, Writing, Youth | 1 Comment
In the Senate:
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (both Maine) do not want to defund Planned Parenthood.
Newly elected Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) waffles when not emitting talking points so I construe that to be in favor of letting Planned Parenthood get defunded.
Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) – I can’t find anything from her on this but her voting record seems to indicate that she might allow it to be defunded.
Update on Hutchison: She’s a motivator behind a military troop funding through a governtment shutdown bill in the US Senate that appears to have at least 60 supporters, including other women and other Democrats. It does not appear that there is anything connected to Planned Parenthood in it.
In the House (all the women newby Republicans):
Kristi Noem (SD): will allow defunding of Planned Parenthood (“Noem said she believes the riders and the budget cuts are “intertwined” and that she supports them.”)
Nan Hayworth (NY): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Vicky Hartzler, (MO): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Martha Roby, (Alabama) and Sandy Adams (FL) appear to support defunding Planned Parenthood, reportedly agreeing that $61 billion in cuts for 2011 is reasonable (the reports right now are that there’s consensus on $38 billion between Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner)
Renee Ellmers (NC): leading the way to defund Planned Parenthood
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Update: Left out two women (thanks to the commenter who drew my attention to that!):
Ann Marie Buerkle (NY): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Diane Black (TN): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
From the Ohio Association of Gifted Education Action Alert, 3/17/11 (in part, but please – read it all):
I should note that in the governor’s town hall meeting on the budget on Tuesday, a father of a gifted child asked why the gifted funding was eliminated. The governor’s education policy director, Bob Sommers indicated that gifted education remains a high priority and that gifted funding was maintained. Tim Keen, the director of the Office of Budget and Management, then said that districts all gifted funding in the basic aid funding for gifted children and will have to make the local decision about how to serve these students. Governor Kasich then took the microphone and said that Ohio is in the bottom ten of all states for having money in the classroom and the in the top ten for having bureaucracy. He recommended that if a parent has a gifted child that the parent should go into the local superintendent’s office and stand up for their child by demanding services. The interesting response seems to indicate that perhaps the unintended consequences for the gifted budget recommendation may not be fully understood by the governor and his staff. As gifted education is a small and unusual part of the education budget, that isn’t too surprising. But it does need to be fixed if gifted services are to be maintained in the majority of districts in the state.
Sigh – I’m not even going to respond to Kasich’s recommendation – thank goodness Ann addressed it very, very diplomatically (I would not have).
I’d been watching the action alert page anxiously last week and am glad that I’ve gone back to the twitter feed of OAGC’s Ann Sheldon (on Twitter, @anngift) to see that an alert has now been posted.
Here’s what you can do (and what you know I’ll be doing), also from the Action Alert: Read more
Yesterday, I was the speaker at the Strongsville Youth Commission’s Modern-day Talk on Gender Equality. The audience ranged in age from elementary or middle school through seniors – not just in high school but as in our senior citizens. They let me talk for quite a while and then we discussed several deeper issues related to this topic. Their grasp and concern was as great as anyone would wish for. My goal was for them to leave with more questions than answers, and I do believe that was achieved, especially since, just on my way out, a few attendees were continuing to ask questions!
It was a delightful event and I’m grateful for having been asked to participate. Many thanks.
Early one December morning last year, my husband and I, our three kids, their respective computer bags and rolling carry-on luggage spiraled through airport security lines as we got closer to our Florida vacation.
As anyone who has snaked through this routine knows, there’s little to do while waiting to move forward. The options involve obsessing over what might have been forgotten or staring at everyone around you who is doing that too.
On that particular day, I chose to stare at and then start a conversation with a 30-something mother and her family of five who were in line just behind us.
We engaged in the usual chatter about where we were going, how long we would be staying and the ages of our kids. Even as I listened to her answers and responded to questions myself, I also absorbed the sight of her three kids, ages 5 and under, her husband and all their accoutrements: diaper bags, jackets, shoes, stuffed animals and toddler-sized Disney-fied tote bags. Read more
I took Sarah Palin aide Michael Goldfarb to task for blaming Sarah Palin’s motherhood for why she has troubles others don’t when it comes to allegations about how she does and doesn’t make commitments to do some politicking. You can read about that here.
Interestingly, since then, the Oklahoma governor’s race has heated up over the opposite direction of this debate: the supposed family values GOP candidate (who had an affair while in office and later divorced and re-married) has explicitly asserted that she is a better candidate for governor because she is a mother and her Democratic opponent, Jan Askins, is not. You can read about that here.
On Facebook, I was asked who I would consider to be the “major players” in the Republican Party at the moment, whom Goldfarb said didn’t have the pressures Palin has when it comes to kids, the sentiment being that having young children does in fact limit how much a parent – male or female – can extend him or herself.
Here’s what I found out in going through who is a major player – and who has young kids: Read more
My very first time on CNN was with Michael Goldfarb. I liked the guy – he seemed like a regular guy. Sadly, now we know just how regular a guy he is.
Yesterday, Politico published a lengthy piece by Jonathan Martin called, “Sarah Palin is wreaking havoc on the campaign trail, GOP sources say.” It’s a pretty normal flow of information, until you get to this:
“There is an enormous volume of requests for Gov. Palin to do all kinds of activities to help the party and individual candidates,” said Michael Goldfarb, an adviser to Palin. “She’s done as many of these events as she possibly can.”
He framed it as a matter of Palin putting her family first.
“People lose sight of the fact that this is a woman with certain responsibilities that other major figures in the Republican Party don’t have — in her case, five kids, one of whom is very young,” Goldfarb said.
I know when I read it I thought, “Aw man – you did not just say that – you did NOT just say that – did you just say that?”
Some of you are probably thinking, “What’d he say! What’d he say!” Here’s what he said:
…this is a woman with certain responsibilities that other major figures in the Republican Party don’t have — in her case, five kids, one of whom is very young.
Thank you, Michael, for highlighting the ultimate double standard that women in politics face: The menz simply are not expected or thought of as having responsibilities to their families. Period. End of story. No debate.
Read the whole story on why what Goldfarb said is the oldest double standard and chauvinist trope in the book here at Women and Politics.
If you need to catch up on this one, read here.