On Friday, March 24th, supporters of the Southern Ohio Progressive Movement gathered at the IBEW Hall in Portsmouth for their third meeting. It was a full-house and with news that the repeal of the ACA had failed the mood was celebratory, but the tone, serious and determined.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 575 opened its union hall to the Southern Ohio Progressive Movement for its March 24th, 2017, meeting. The clinched fist of the union's iconic symbol stands in the corner, while SOPM t-shirts with the newly unveiled Lantern emblem are displayed on a table in the foreground. Photo Credit: SOPM Media
After the proposed "Portsmouth Platform" was read to applause, the assembly voted with a resounding "Aye" in favor of its adoption. Draft bylaws were introduced and debated, with the draft accepted and amendments recommended for ratification at the SOPM's next monthly meeting on April 21st. When ratified the organization will be a federal, state, and local political action committee. It’s proposed mission will be to "coordinate and mobilize the citizens of Southern Ohio and the surrounding region in support of economic revival, civic renewal, and political reform.” A permanent Steering Committee of twenty-one members is proposed. The bylaws will empower the organization to endorse political candidates and ballot issues that impact the families and communities of southern Ohio.
Friday’s meeting also launched the SOPM’s new speakers series, “Progressive Voices,” which offers the organization’s “stump” to candidates, elected officials, issue advocates, and other community members who want to address topics covered in the "Portsmouth Platform.” To kick off the series, the SOPM welcomed Ryan Ottney, candidate for the open At-Large seat on the New Boston Village Council; and Kevin W. Johnson, candidate for Portsmouth City Council, First Ward. Their words were well received and excitement is already building for the series next speakers.
Ryan Ottney, candidate for the At-Large Seat on the New Boston Village Council, helps kicks off the new Progressive Speakers Series. Photo Credit: SOPM Media
For their April 21st meeting, the SOPM will welcome their first congressional candidate, Mickey Edwards, who is running in the Democratic Party primary for the Ohio 2nd District. Dr. Janet Everhard, who is also vying for the congressional seat, is scheduled to speak at the May 19th meeting. The Progressive Voices Speaker Series plans to bring in additional candidates from both the 2nd and 6th Congressional districts at future meetings. In addition to Mickey Edwards, the April speakers program will also feature local candidates vying for seats on the Portsmouth City Council. David Duncan and Kevin E. Johnson, who are running in the Third Ward, and Sean Dunne, who is running in the First Ward, will speak about their plans and visions for economic revival, civic renewal, and reform in Portsmouth.
Kevin W. Johnson, candidate for the First Ward seat on the Portsmouth City Council, helps kicks off the new SOPM Progressive Speakers Series. Photo Credit: SOPM Media
The SOPM’s next meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm, Friday, April 21st, at the IBEW Hall - Local No. 575, 110 Offnere Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662.