Nov. 2 rolls around, and you awaken full of excitement at the prospect of voting for regime change in the White House and an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians in Cincinnati. You go to your polling place ready to do your civic duty, and without warning you find out you're not registered to vote. It could happen. So many ad hoc groups are registering voters at concerts, festivals and even strip clubs that a certain percentage of error has to be expected. Author Stacy Sims learned just in time to double-check.
"A very underwhelmed fellow told me that the board of elections has no responsibility or relationship to these groups and that, yes, in fact, huge numbers of people can be registering to vote and waiting for their information but will not be able to vote in the election as somehow the link isn't being made," she says.
If you live in Hamilton County, check your registration online by visiting www.hamilton-co.org/boe/ votersearchs.asp. If you're not registered, get to a public library and fill out the paperwork. The deadline is Monday.
The Cincinnati Pride Committee, which has sponsored the fabulous Pride Parade and Festival in Northside every summer, has called it quits, according to Ken Colegrove, chair of the organization.
The committee has dissolved after the largest festival in its history.
"Although the event itself has grown, the volunteer base of Cincinnati Pride Committee has not," he says. "It had been our hope that new volunteers would join the ranks of our organization to whom we could pass the torch and eventually take over the planning of Pride. Sadly, this has not happened. Although the Cincinnati Pride Celebration has grown to be the largest event in the local GLBT community, it remains one that is planned and executed by less than 10 dedicated volunteers. ... We now find ourselves burned out, and rather than compromise the integrity of the event we prefer instead to leave it behind while we are still on top."
Committee members say they hope someone will pick up the torch song so the parade returns in 2005.
Documentary filmmaker Barbara Wolf last week won a legal victory for all the wrong reasons. The Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals has thrown out her conviction for disorderly conduct — Wolf was one of five protesters arrested for blocking rush hour traffic on Fifth Street downtown the day after the Bush regime attacked Iraq. Wolf appealed, and a three-judge appeals panel unanimously agreed with her.
Unfortunately, the court said Hamilton County Municipal Judge Nadine Allen erred twice — first by acquitting Wolf of the original charge of obstructing official business and then by convicting her of disorderly conduct. The court went on to criticize Wolf and said she should have been found guilty as originally charged. But because Allen blew the case, the conviction is overturned.
Wolf's deeper conviction, however — that the war is wrong — remains strong.
Progress by the Numbers
Religious support for repeal of Article 12 of the Cincinnati City Charter continues to grow. Last week 108 members of St. John's Unitarian Universalist Church unanimously voted to support the referendum on Nov. 2. Article 12 forbids city council from passing laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"Article 12 singles out lesbian, gay and bisexual people and prohibits the city extending them protection from discrimination," the resolution says. "We believe this is wrong and therefore support its repeal."
The Pentagon might not want Americans to see the coffins of invaders killed in Iraq, but the 1,000 combat boots displayed last week at Xavier University formed a powerful reminder of the cost of war. So did the wall listing 10,000 dead Iraqi civilians. The exhibit Eyes Wide Open: The Human Cost of War in Iraq stopped here after Boston, New York and other cities.
As if this town weren't conservative enough, Billionaires for Bush set up their money-grubbing shop Sept. 23 on Fountain Square. The heartless hoarders held signs saying, "Repeal the First Amendment," "Small Government, Big Wars" and "Kerry-Edwards: Where's the Greed?" Noah Countability flew in from New York to spread his vile message with Owen MeBillions of Cincinnati. Countability wore a giant gold "E" on a chain around his neck — for Enron, of course.
The visit led to such revealing encounters as this one. A woman walks up. "So you're for Bush?" she asks.
"Uh, we're for a lot of money," Countability says.
Finally catching on, the woman waves her hand as if at a gnat and spins away.
MeBillions also goes by the alias of Cliff Jenkins, actor and pilates/yoga instructor. To don your finest and join the elitists, call him at 513-289-6307 and visit billionairesforbush.com.
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