International Workers Day May 1 – Join the March

Over the past year The Miami Group has been participating in a coalition on fixing the sewer system in Cincinnati. Like most old cities have, we have sewers that combine storm water with sanitary flows. With very little effort to capture, retain and manage storm water  the result is frequent system overload and deliberate dumping of 14 billion gallons of water containing raw sewage into our environment every year (Mill Creek, My Airy Forest, Wooden Shoe Hollow, Little Miami River, etc.). The Sierra Club was party to a law suit that produced a federal consent decree requiring the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD)  fix this problem. This huge project will cost billions of dollar,  now showing up as charges on our water bills.

Our strategy has two major goals:

1)      Promoting green infrastructure as efficient alternatives to just building bigger pipes and treatment plants. Not only can peak capacity requirements be very substantially reduced by building water retention systems, daylighting streams and separating sanitary from storm flows, it also offers a great opportunity to re-design our urban environment to make full use of the wonderful asset than natural water systems can provide, opportunities that exist all over this region.
2)      Good jobs in Cincinnati. Creative and comprehensive commitment to sustainable, green design requires major popular support for proposed initiatives. This will not be possible when a large proportion of the population remains near or in poverty. For them,  clean streams and other schemes are pie-in-the-sky when facing joblessness, starvation wages, failing education, crime, etc ..  With increasing water bills, and little to show for it, people will reject fundamental solutions. The MSD project offers a great opportunity to create hundreds of good jobs for a sustainable future. That is why the Laborers Union has proposed Responsible Bidder language to be required for contracting on the MSD work. This would require that contractors participate in formal apprenticeship training programs for local residents to become skilled tradespeople and also support pre-apprenticeship programs to enable local young people to improve their basic skills as required for entering apprenticeships. Cincinnati City Council is supporting Responsible Bidder; Hamilton County Commissioners are going to court to stop it.

Achieving these goals would set valuable precedents for other sectors in Cincinnati and would be a major step toward addressing the maldistribution of wealth that worsens daily. Working with labor unions offers the Sierra Club an invaluable opportunity to educate the working class on environmental issues and obtain their support for a progressive agenda. That’s why we should participate in this march on May 1st.

International Workers’ May Day 2014
Thursday May 1st at 5:00pm
Gather in front of Cincinnati City Hall: 801 Plum Street Cincinnati, OH 45202

The march will begin at Cincinnati City Hall at 5:00pm. Speakers at City Hall will address an increase to the federal minimum wage, low-wage worker organizing, affordable housing, wage theft, and immigrant justice.

We will then march to the Hamilton County Building where we will hear from additional speakers on the importance of the Responsible Bidder Ordinance, returning citizens, and apprenticeship programs.  Finally we will march to the Board of Elections to hear about the Ohio Voter Bill of Rights campaign and a closing ceremony and prayer.

We are hoping for a very strong turnout this year and we need your help!  Please do your best to distribute the attached flyers and spread the word about this important event happening in Cincinnati.  Please invite your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, share on social media and email distribution lists, and join the Facebook group for the event here:

This event is being organized by the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, local labor unions, community and the Sierra Club, and others in Cincinnati fighting for justice.

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