Alumni news and photos: 2006

Dec 9, 2006: Strickland, Brunner add to staff

COLUMBUS -- "Governor-elect Ted Strickland appointed his budget director and tax commissioner Friday. He tapped Pari Sabety, an economic adviser to former Gov. Richard F. Celeste in the 1980s, as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Richard A. Levin, who served as deputy tax commissioner in the Celeste administration, will become tax commissioner," Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Pari Sabety is a former Board President of Ohio Citizen Action.

Dec 4, 2006: Tom Mooney, 52, teachers leader

Tom Mooney
CINCINNATI -- "Tom Mooney, leader of the Ohio Federation of Teachers and a national figure in education, died Sunday at age 52. Mooney rose from a teacher activist in Cincinnati to vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. He also was president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, a post he was elected to in 2000. Before that, he had been president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers since 1979," Janet Okoben, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

CINCINNATI -- Teachers' advocate dies, Steve Kemme, Cincinnati Enquirer.

Tom was one of the founding civic leaders of Ohio Citizen Action (originally Ohio Public Interest Campaign) in Cincinnati. He was an advocate of plant-closing and right-to-know legislation, and an opponent of tax abatements due to their impact on public schools. Long-time friend Brewster Rhoads describes him as, "Someone who genuinely understood the relationship between the environment, education and social justice to the overall quality of life in the state."

Nov 14, 2006: State lawmaker 'stars' on 'Daily Show'

COLUMBUS -- "It didn't take much for State Rep. Dan Stewart to land a role in a segment that appeared Monday night on 'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart. 'I guess I was the only one willing to do it,' the Columbus lawmaker said with a laugh. The Democrat appeared as himself in a skit as Comedy Central's hit taped the first of four shows from Columbus this week. (Monday night's A-list guest: LeBron.) Last week, Dan Stewart played the straight man to 'Daily Show' correspondent Samantha Bee as he welcomed her 'back' to Columbus," Openers blog, Cleveland Plain Dealer. Published October 31, 2006. Dan Stewart was Program Director in our Columbus office in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Nov 6, 2006: Sarah Grutza

EAST LANSING, MI -- "First let me tell you that I am very proud and excited to be an Ohio Citizen Action alumna! I have had some amazing experiences throughout the years thanks to Citizen Action. I am now back at the office where I started my canvassing career - Clean Water Action in East Lansing, Michigan. Since we are a sister organization of Ohio Citizen Action, the tactics we use to win campaigns are very similar. We are out knocking on doors getting folks to put pressure on decision makers. The only difference is that we pressure our local lawmakers instead of individual companies. Our current campaign is to reduce the amount of out-of-state and Canadian waste that comes into Michigan each year. Michigan has become a dumping ground due to a dumping fee of only 21 cents per ton. The rest of the region has fees of three to seven dollars per ton. We want to raise Michigan's fee to $7.50. This would not only make us a leader in the region but also allow us to use the extra revenue for recyling and waste reduction programs."

Sarah was field canvasser director in our Cincinnati office from May 2003 - March 2006.

Oct 11, 2006: Artie Knapp

CINCINNATI -- Artie Knapp is a writer living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Links to his published stories can be found on his personal blog. Knapp wrote and directed the feature length science fiction movie 'Pluto's Plight', which stars former world boxing champ Buster Douglas. 'Pluto's Plight' has been shown at science fiction conventions across the world and is presently playing on Knapp is a graduate of Ohio University.

Artie Knapp worked as a field canvasser in our Columbus office in 1995.

Aug 10, 2006:  Qualls a real class act
Former mayor has left Harvard's halls to teach about public leadership at NKU

COLUMBUS -- "'What was truly humbling about coming back was to see how many people were so positive about my years of service and interested in my future plans. What I miss about being mayor is the very immediate awareness of making a difference every day. I'm talking about something like Mayor's Night In, where you could actually do something for many, not all, of the people who came for help,'" Jim Knippenberg, Cincinnati Enquirer.

Roxanne Qualls was Ohio Citizen Action's Cincinnati area Program Director from 1986-1992. She was the recipient of our Theodore M. Berry Hometown Hero Award
last year.

Aug 2, 2006:  Padi Hallam

AKRON -- "During a recent internship with the Canadian Parliament, I worked on a bill to ban the use of all cosmetic pesticides in Canada, based on medical studies linking pesticide use with harmful reproductive effects, learning disabilities, and a host of other problems. This year I plan to finish work on a study of levels of environmental support in the American electorate and how it relates to voter choices, as part of my Master's thesis. I couldn't have been this interested or involved in what I'm doing without all the lessons I picked up working for Ohio Citizen Action. What I learned about the broad support everyday people have for the environment was absolutely invaluable - that nearly everyone wants a chance to live and raise their children in a clean, healthy world if given the choice. I actually started my research from this premise and hope to publish results soon."

Padi was a field canvasser in our Akron office from October 2002 - August 2003. She is now the head of Akron Freecycle, a computer-based grass-roots group of reusers.


Jun 29, 2006:  Cityfolk calls for festival volunteers

John Harris speaks at Ohio Citizen Action's 30th Anniversary celebration in Cincinnati.
DAYTON -- "Cityfolk's annual arts and music festival downtown needs your help. The festival kicks-off this weekend and organizers are still short on the 1000 volunteers needed to insure a successful event. Part of the problem this year is timing. 'A thousand volunteers is quite a bit, you can imagine. This year it's a little bit tougher because one of the festival days is on a Monday, and many people are working that day, so it's a little more challenging this year,' explained John Harris, Cityfolk's executive director," WDTN News.

John Harris was Ohio Citizen Action's field canvass director in the Cincinnati office in the late 1980's and early 1990's.


April 25, 2006:  Woodbury tiles bring smiles
Fifth-grade mural project has the kids glazing over

SHAKER HEIGHTS -- "Art is not just for art's sake at Woodbury School in Shaker Heights. It's also for learning history, science, math, engineering, politics and environmental issues. The 475 Woodbury fifth-graders encountered all of the above as they created the grand ceramic tile mural that was unveiled at their school Tuesday. They also got lessons in teamwork. 'What would you change in the world?' art teachers Deanna Clemente Milne and Robert Bognar asked their classes in February. They told the students to unhinge their brains and come up with new ways to look at their environment," Karen Kurdziel, The Sun Press, April 20.

Deanna was a phone canvasser in our Cleveland office from August 2001 - August 2002.

Mar 2, 2006:  Forest land might be up for sale
Logging also likely at Wayne wilderness

COLUMBUS -- "Ohio’s only national forest is considering selling 420 acres as part of a federal plan to raise money for rural school districts... Members of the Buckeye Forest Council also are alarmed at the increased logging and the land-sale proposal, Executive Director Brandi Whetstone said. 'The land sale is a really short-sighted policy for school funding in rural areas,' she said. 'Our public lands are a legacy for future generations and the policy should be geared toward preservation,'" Mary Beth Lane, Columbus Dispatch. Published February 19, 2006.

Brandi Whetstone was a field canvasser in our Toledo office from 1998 - 2000. From 2000 - 2005 she worked on campaign finance reform in our Columbus office, serving as Research Database Manager since 2003.

Jan 25, 2006:  Rachel Gelbmann

BERKLEY, CA -- "From January through April I will be working part time at two amazing environmental organizations, Environmental Working Group and Global Community Monitor. At Environmental Working Group I will be doing administrative work and other typical intern grunt work. In the process I will be working with a team of inspiring activists who are briefing me on the various campaigns they are working on. At Global Community Monitor I will be working very closely with Denny Larson who is currently bringing me up to speed on all the work he's doing. With Denny, I will be doing a little bit of everything from building buckets for air monitoring, assessing where existing bucket brigades are standing to administrative work, and everything in between."

Rachel was a field canvasser in our Cleveland office, May through August 2005.

30th Anniversary

News from May - Dec 2005:
Noreen Warnock, Jay Westbrook, Debanuj Dasgupta, Atossa Soltani, Sarah Strayley, David Williams, Trish Lanahan, Anna Tinsly, James Thindwa, Nathan Sooy, Colleen Trickett, Merrill Goozner, Erik Dumont, Kristin Plambeck.

News from Jan - Apr 2005:
Harriet Applegate, Glen Brand, Jim Draper, Melissa English, Kevin Everett (Schneider), Carrie Garnes, Dave Gee, Vic Gideon, Ken Ilg, Pete MacDowell, David McCann, Beatrice Miringu, Jane Reilley, Brian Riggle, James Thindwa, Shari Weir, and obituaries for Cindy Dublo and Coleen Tracey.

News from Jul - Dec 2004:
Marc Anderson, Steve Cerny, Aamir Deen, Stu Greenberg, Jim Grossfeld, Brantt Hamilton, Ed Hopkins, Kendall Jackson, Wendy Johnson, Chris Kuwamoto, Sue Lacy, Mark Leddy, Gavin Leonard, John Lynch, Pete MacDowell, Todd Main, Marianthe Manak, Bobbi Jo Medlen, Kathy Remias, Paula Ross, Joseph Rugola, Chris Shumway, Atossa Soltani, Roxane Staples, Dan Stewart, Craig Stuntz, Shari Weir, and Darlene Wolnik.

News from Jan - Jun 2004:
Bill Callahan, Merrill Goozner, John Greenman, Pete MacDowell, Mark Real, Brewster Rhoads, Paula Ross, Noreen Warnock, and Laura Yeomans.

News from 2003:
Roxanne Qualls, Jane Forrest Redfern, Rich Swirsky, and James Thindwa.