Alumni news and photos
Jan - Apr 2005



Apr 18, 2005:  Kevin Everett



CINCINNATI -- Kevin Everett is a sociology professor at Radford University in southern Virginia. He met Holly Morrow when she was a canvass-director-in-training (CDIT) in our Columbus office, and they have been married for 17 years now. They have a 7 year old son, Aidan, and a 12 year old daughter, Clara. Kevin writes, "We live in the mountains. Holly is a public health nurse. Check out the local music festival we're involved with. I'm making a presentation to the local chamber of commerce tomorrow on the economic impact of the festival. Come on down! It is an excellent, family-oriented festival with very diverse, high-quality music and crafts."

Kevin Everett, then known as Kevin Schneider, was a field canvass director in our Columbus office.

Melissa EnglishApr 11, 2005:  Downtowners. . . movers and shakers

CINCINNATI -- "The Cincinnati Arts Association has hired Melissa English as membership manager, Beth King as marketing manager, and Scott Santangelo as director of operations for Music Hall. English's position emphasizes recruiting, renewing and servicing individual members. For over 18 years, she has worked with various non-profit groups, from PBS to Greenpeace to her most recently held position with the Urban Appalachian Council. English is originally from Evansville, Indiana, and currently resides in Northside," Downtowner, April 5, 2005.

Melissa English worked for Ohio Citizen Action from 1995 - 1999 as a canvasser and field manager in Cincinnati and Canvass Director in Columbus. She was just elected to the Ohio Citizen Action Board of Directors.

Apr 11, 2005:  Shari Weir and Cody

RTA board

CLEVELAND -- The Board of Trustees of the Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority is responsible for 55 million passenger trips a year, 650 buses, 108 rail cars, 47 bridges, an annual operating budget of $224 million, and a capital fund of $100 million.

Shari Weir was our Cleveland Program Director, Statewide Consumer Issues Director, and Executive Director of the Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund.

Apr 4, 2005:  Cover the Uninsured Week, May 1 - 8, 2005

Cleveland staff

1979: Cleveland organizers Tom Walker, Sandy Buchanan, and Ray Dennis, and Cleveland field canvass director David McCann.

WASHINGTON, DC -- David McCann is Director of the Health Security Campaign at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). "From May 1- 8, individuals and organizations from every sector of society will join together to tell our leaders that health care coverage for all Americans must be their top priority. The Week will mobilize thousands of business owners, union members, educators, students, patients, hospital staff, physicians, nurses, faith leaders and their congregants, and many others. In hundreds of communities across the country, events will spotlight the fact that too many of us are living without health care coverage. Cover the Uninsured Week 2005 events will include: (1) Kick-off News Conferences to release new research about America's uninsured; (2) Health and enrollment fairs to assist those without health care coverage; (3) Seminars for small business owners to discuss ways to provide affordable health plans for their employees; (4) Campus seminars at universities and medical schools to inform future health care providers; (5) Interfaith activities to highlight the moral urgency for solving this problem."

David McCann was our second Cleveland Field Canvass Director.

Mar 28, 2005:  "How children in Kenya relate to their environment"

Beatrice MiringuSYLVANIA -- Lecture by Beatrice Miringu, Past Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, Tuesday, March 8, 2005, sponsored by Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (S.A.V.E., Inc.) at the Franciscan Theater and Conference Center - Room A. Lourdes College is a coeducational liberal arts college sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Sylvania, 10 miles west of Toledo.

Beatrice Miringu was our Northwest Ohio Program Director.

Mar 23, 2005:  Jim Draper will officially run for mayor

Jim DraperCLEVELAND -- "We were first to tell you he would -- Wednesday Jim Draper made it official. The former Cleveland safety director is running for mayor. Draper pledges real leadership and finding real solutions to real problems. His platform: better schools, jobs, and safety. The presidents of the police and firefighters unions are lining up behind him, but Jane Campbell's campaign chief claims Draper has 'delusions of grandeur.' 'Delusions of grandeur . . . I hope 470,000 Cleveland residents adopt delusions of grandeur and let's take this city where it will go,' Draper said. Draper joins Council President Frank Jackson in challenging Jane Campbell this fall," WKYC TV 3 News.

Jim Draper was a board member of the Citizens Policy Center, now known as the Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund, through the 1990's.

Jane ReilleyMar 21, 2005:  Jane Reilley

VISTA, CA -- "I wanted to let you guys know that I am starting my new job tomorrow at the Vista Community Clinic here in California. It's a non-profit health care and resource center. I will be doing outreach for the Teen Center, which mostly involves doing presentations for local schools about reproductive health issues. It seems like its going to be a great experience, and I probably would not have gotten the job without my experience working at Ohio Citizen Action. In fact, they told me they were most impressed with the fact that I had canvassed!" Jane Reilley.

Jane Reilley was office manager, program assistant, and field canvasser in our Cincinnati office.

Mar 16, 2005:  Race to the bottom

James Thindwa

CHICAGO, IL -- ". . .this ad campaign was only the latest salvo in Wal-Mart's fervent battle for the goodwill of black America, inspired by the difficulties the company is having as it tries to move into urban areas. . . . James Thindwa, a Zimbabwean who heads Chicago's Jobs With Justice, says, 'A lot of good, decent people bought the argument that any job is better than none.' . . . Most destructively, Thindwa says -– and other Chicago activists agree -– 'Wal-Mart played the race card.' The company told the city's black leaders that the unions fighting the retailer were racist, effectively exploiting existing racial tensions in the city. . . Thindwa says, 'Wal-Mart was able to paint this as white unions protecting their turf, instead of as a broad-based community issue,'" Liza Featherstone, Nation.

James Thindwa was Canvass Director in our Columbus office in the 1980's.

Mar 13, 2005:  Dave Gee

Dave GeeGUAM -- "I'm a Wildlife Biologist. We do a range of different things here. We have captive breeding programs for local endangered species (Guam Rails, Micronesian Kingfishers, and Mariana Crows), release programs on other islands (releasing Rails on Rota), and snake control in support of endangered species recovery, which is my program. We also offer presentations to local schools on our programs. Right now I'm working on four things:

(1) A media campaign for public awareness about coqui frogs and the damage they can cause if introduced to Guam (see what they've done in Hawaii).

(2) A survey of the lizard species present on Cocos island, a small atoll off the southern coast of Guam, to determine what impact the introduction of Rails may have there.

(3) Creation and maintenance of the Guam Invasive Species Council, which is based on the National Invasive Species Council (NISC). I have helped to create an Executive Order for the Governor to sign, which is still pending, and am currently preparing a publication for the next regional Chief Executives' Summit, in which we will detail which invasives are the most threatening and on which islands they are present. The ultimate result is the creation of a database that will allow cross-referencing between our islands in the region.

(4) A study of snakes' diet to determine whether they are consuming introduced frog species as a part of their diet."

Dave Gee was a Field Manager in the Akron office and a Senior Field Manager in the Cleveland office.
Mar 3, 2005:  Transforming politics

Optimism drives the success of Pete MacDowell’s organizing

Pete MacDowell DURHAM, NC -- "'I credit Pete MacDowell totally with my initial involvement in the whole issue of campaign finance reform,' says Rev. Carrie Bolton of the Alston Chapel United Holy Church in Pittsboro. Bolton is now at the forefront of that effort. She is a co-founder and acting executive director of the Fanny Lou Hamer Project, a national organization that advocates for campaign finance reform as a civil rights issue, and sits on the board of the Washington, D.C.-based Public Campaign. In 1993, Bolton was one of the community leaders MacDowell worked with in his role with the foundation. Together with a handful of other committed activists, they formed the Chatham County Political Reform Group, which still meets at Bolton's church 12 years later. 'Pete exposed me to the first multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-gender, multi-age group of organizers that I have worked with,' she says. 'He has a real sense of how you create diversity in organizational structures so that the organization will reflect the community,'" Fiona Morgan, Durham Independent, Nov 24, 2004.

Pete MacDowell was our legislative director in the mid-1980's.
Feb 21, 2005:  Vic Gideon: Gideon's Guide for the Weekend

Vic Gideon CLEVELAND -- "Vic joined WKYC in June 1998 and has done feature and general assignment reporting in addition to his weekly contributions to the morning show. Vic has worked in the Cleveland radio and television market since graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He won two Ohio Associate Press Awards and two Cleveland Press Club Awards for his reporting while at WWWE AM 1100 (while later workig for WTAM AM 1100) and became a recognizable and popular part of the morning shows at WENZ 107.9 The End during his two stints at the Alternative Music station. Akron viewers are familiar with Vic for his two years at WAKC TV23, where he anchored the 5:00 p.m. news/magazine Your News. You can currently hear Vic on Kelly & Company on WRMR AM 850 and filling in on WDOK, Soft Rock 102.1's morning show with Trapper Jack. An accomplished performer, Vic traveled around the country as a comedian, working with Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Coulier, Steve Harvey, Jeff Foxworthy, and Drew Carey among others. He's currently a regular participant in Cleveland Public Theater's Vaudeville," WKYC-TV NBC.

Vic Gideon was a field canvasser in our Cleveland office in the late 1980's.

Feb 14, 2005:  The Media's Liberal? (Pssst. Don't tell this to the union guys.)

Ken Ilg CLEVELAND -- "Every labor leader seems to have a tale about the [Plain Dealer] killing union stories. 'Writers privately have indicated to me that the real problem at the paper is the editors themselves,' says Ken Ilg, head of the hotel-and-restaurant-workers union. The PD also refuses to cover rallies, 'labor's traditional way of expressing itself,' says [AFL-CIO Executive Director John] Ryan. 'That's like not covering ballgames if you're a sports reporter.' Ilg tells of a demonstration at Case Western Reserve in which 1,000 people protested the treatment of cafeteria workers, who are paid less than part-time student-employees. 'Here are people literally struggling for their livelihoods,' he says. 'The next day they had a story that said a union leader was arrested in a protest. Whenever we get carted away in handcuffs, or one guy gets caught dipping his hand in the till, they love to write about that.' By comparison, he points to another 'rally for dog lovers or something, and they had 30 people, and they got a picture in the Metro section,'" Pete Kotz, Cleveland Scene, July 14, 2004.

Ken Ilg was a field canvasser in the Cleveland Citizen Action office in the late 1980's.
Feb 7, 2005:  Brian Riggle

Brian Riggle

Brian Riggle was our Cincinnati Canvass Director.

Jan 31, 2005:  Garneses are 'eyes and ears' of community

Couple has stayed active in South Side neighborhood through good times and bad

Linda Henry, Harold and Carrie Garnes
Carrie Garnes (right), along with her husband, Harold, and their friend, Linda Henry.
COLUMBUS -- "Carrie and Harold Garnes never expected to be honored, as they were recently, by the Columbus City Council or the Council of South Side Organizations. . . 'I didn't realize all that meant much to anybody,' 81-year-old Carrie Garnes said. 'I've lived here practically all my life and I don't feel like I am doing any particular job. I am just looking out for my neighborhood.' . . The Garnes have lived on Barthman for 50-plus years and have been married for almost 61 years. They are co-founders of the Reeb-Hosack Planning Committee and were awarded the Roberta J. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award by the CSSO earlier this month. Columbus City Council also honored the couple with certificates of achievement for their volunteer efforts in the community earlier this month. Carrie Garnes was honored with a Spirit of Volunteerism Award by the South Side Settlement House earlier this year. Carrie Garnes said she became a concerned South Side resident in the 1940s, when her mother tried to lobby Columbus City Council for a four-way stop sign at the corner of Barthman Avenue and Bruck Street," Mark Claffey, Southside ThisWeek, December 30, 2004.

Carrie Garnes was an Ohio Citizen Action board member in the early 1990's.


Jan 24, 2005:  Coleen Tracey loved music

WGUC events planner remembered as 'an angel'

Coleen TraceyCINCINNATI -- "Coleen Tracey was a carnivore. Her husband, Adam Fischer, was a vegetarian. 'But she would go to great lengths to make me something like vegetarian lasagna,' he said. 'The kind of lasagna that would take all day.' That's the kind of person she was - selfless. Mrs. Tracey, 34, died Friday from an aneurysm. She was in Athens County with her husband, spending the weekend on his family's property. Mrs. Tracey's big heart carried over into her work and philanthropy. She threw herself into her jobs at Tender Mercies, Planned Parenthood, Stonewall Cincinnati and the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. She later worked at City Hall for then-Councilman Tyrone Yates. Most recently, she was media relations specialist for classical public radio station WGUC-FM. She planned special events for the station, such as the Great Miami Arts Jam, a visual and performing arts showcase. 'She really was the heart of our operation,' said Rich Eiswerth, WGUC general manager. Her supervisor, Chris Phelps, said Mrs. Tracey had 'passion and enthusiasm for everything she worked on,'" Maggie Downs, Cincinnati Enquirer.

CINCINNATI -- WGUC remembers Coleen Tracey, WGUC 90.9 FM.

Coleen worked in our Cincinnati office in the early 1990s and was a board member from 2000 to 2001.


Harriet ApplegateJan 17, 2005:  Harriet Applegate

CLEVELAND -- "Staff Representative Harriet Applegate works for AFL-CIO President John Sweeney but works out of the Cleveland office. Her passion for educating rank-and-file on 'common sense economics' and the true cost of 'free trade' is as strong as her skills. Applegate concentrates her efforts throughout Northeast Ohio on improving the labor movement's political infrastructure, trying to get more members involved in our political action program. Applegate helps to connect national AFL-CIO resources into Northeast Ohio. Applegate is a graduate of the University of Rochester and has a masters from the University of Cincinnati. Her two grown sons live out of the Cleveland area. Harriet is the proud grandmother of Ian Sequoia Thompson Applegate, the newest family addition! Harriet resides in Cleveland Heights, Ohio," Cleveland AFL-CIO.

Harriet Applegate was our Cincinnati Program Director in the 1980's and a board member in the 1990's.
Jan 10, 2005:  Cynthia J. Dublo

Cindy Dublo CLEVELAND -- "Cynthia J. Dublo, age 47, beloved daughter of the late Sandy and Dorie (nee Chait); dear sister of Thomas (deceased) and Michael (Annette); loving aunt of Denise Penza (Jim), Sandi Racic (John), Tracy Eade (Andrew), Michael Mathes (Eva), Michael, Anthony, Sandy and Nicole; great aunt of Robbie, Allie, Kaylee, Jonathon, Ryan, A.J., Emily, Brian and Michael; beloved niece, cousin and friend of many. Services at the funeral home, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005 at 11 a.m. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Friends received at Ripepi Funeral Home, 5762 Pearl Road (at Snow), Monday 4 - 9 PM. 440-888-0800," Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Cindy Dublo was a field canvasser at Ohio Citizen Action's Cleveland office from 1996 to 1999.
Jan 3, 2005:  Environment loses voice in Cincinnati

Glen Brand CINCINNATI -- "Glen Brand established the Sierra Club's presence in town when he accepted a job with the longtime environmental watchdog in 1998. Over the past six years, Brand has become a manager of the club's eight-person staff in the Midwest and Northern Kentucky and established himself as the go-to spokesman for local environmental issues. Brand's last day on the job in Cincinnati, where he has occupied a tiny office on Ludlow Avenue from the start, is Friday. He is moving with his family to Maine, where he will manage the Sierra Club's eight-person national team responsible for working on issues related to energy policy and global warming," Dan Klepal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec 8, 2004.

Glen Brand was our Cincinnati Office Manager in 1997.