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Groups to Demonstrate the Puzzle Pieces Needed to Rebuild Ohio

May 5, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Using a giant puzzle, more than 5,000 people are expected to gather outside the Statehouse today to demonstrate how to put Ohio together, piece by piece.

The demonstrators also will protest Gov. John Kasich's budget proposal, which they say seeks to balance an $8 billion budget gap on the backs of the middle and working classes.

Kris Harsh, state coordinator for Stand Up for Good Jobs and Strong Communities and one of the event organizers, says steelworkers will stand with environmentalists, and college students will stand with public employees - all united for a common goal.

"The point here is that we're interconnected. We don't live in a vacuum, we live on a boat - and even if your end of the boat is going great, if the other end has a hole in it, you're still sinking."

They plan to show leaders how the state can be rebuilt by focusing on five key areas: housing, education, jobs, the environment and taxes, Harsh says. Kasich's budget plan includes cuts to education, local government and health and human service programs, but does not table any tax cuts or close any tax loopholes.

The groups involved in today's rally will demonstrate how creating good jobs will build the strong communities that are at the heart of Ohio. Lee Geisse, Blue-Green Alliance executive director, says a jobs plan is needed that brings various sectors together to revitalize the economy and secure our energy future.

"If we don't make this an 'either-or' choice - energy and/or the environment - we can create jobs because, as we develop more and more alternative-energy sources, it will create jobs and clean up our environment."

Today's rally is to begin at 5 p.m. outside the Statehouse. More information is online at standupforohio.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH