As always, The Ohio Student Association had a busy week, here is a peek of what 48 hours of organizing in Central Ohio looks like!
The recent fight against a corporate takeover of Columbus City Schools brought OSA leaders to a Columbus City Council meeting. Amber Evans, A CCS graduate, future librarian, and big sister of four students currently in the public schools came and voiced her concerns about the possibility of legislation taking away the community’s ability to democratically elect the school board. The Council refused to comment on whether or not they supported a takeover and the Ohio House put in the legislation the following week. Click here to like the No School Takeover facebook page!
Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion:
Organizers had to turn people away from the overflowing theatre for a free screening of The House I Live In – a documentary about the failed “war on drugs” and the havoc it has wreaked on communities across the country. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with community leaders, specialists, and people who have been affected by the war on drugs and the school-to-prison pipeline. Various student organizations sponsored the event including OSA, Band of Brothers, NAACP, College Dems, and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity. Read this blog post about the event!
Students Give Testimony at House Finance Committee
OSA organizers Stuart, Meagan, Lauren, Ilhan and Lainie sought support for legislation that will help give Ohio students more opportunities to succeed with less student loan debt and more fully funded schools. Ohio students told their stories, and brought the voices of thousands of other students around the state with them, to the Ohio House Finance Committee. Students ably fielded questions from legislators in their powerful display of what happens when students speak on behalf of themselves in front of their elected officials. Check out the footage of the testimony here.
Die-in at the State House
OSA joined leaders from Caring Across Generations, Ohio Prophetic Voices, and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative at the Ohio Statehouse to give testimony and demand for the inclusion of Medicaid expansion in the biennium budget. After testimony was given, a dozen leaders seated directly in front of the committee fell onto the ground in a symbolic “Die-In” to represent the thousands of Ohioans that will die within the next three years without Medicaid expansion. Click here to watch the video of the action!
Students & Community Members Phone Bank
Leaders from Students United for Public Education (SUPE) spent the evening phone banking for the Town Hall on the Future of Public Schools. The Ohio Student Association has joined together with a labor and community coalition to stand up for public education and fight a hostile takeover of Columbus City Schools. Click here to like the No School Takeover facebook page and email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!