An alliance of civic, labor and church groups has been working together since March of this year with ProgressOhio to persuade Columbus City Council and the Franklin County Commission to adopt resolutions to oppose the ongoing War in Iraq. It appears these efforts are beginning to work. At the time of this writing it has been reported by sources at ProgressOhio that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is writing a letter to President Bush expressing opposition to the war. In addition, organizers have heard from County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (now running for US Congress) that there is prevailing sentiment among the members of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners to pass an anti-war resolution.

This campaign to convince the Columbus City Council and Franklin County Commission to pass a Peace Resolution began last Fall on October 20, 2007 at the Citizens Grassroots Congress organized by The Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism (CICJ) and The Central Ohio Green Education Fund (COGEF). Participants at the Congress spent all morning of the day-long congress composing, discussing and finally drafting the language of the proposed Peace Resolution.

On March 17, 2008 the Peace Proposal was formally presented to The Columbus City Council at their regular Monday night meeting. The Council did not approve the resolution at this meeting. However, auspiciously just prior to the presentation of the proposal to the City Council on March 17, a former Cleveland activist, Bruce Bostick of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) heard about the campaign to pass a Peace Resolution in Columbus. Mr. Bostick joined efforts with The Citizens Grassroots Congress by conferring with his connections in the labor and faith communities to help initiate a broader alliance in support of the resolution. The resulting alliance includes The Ohio Conference on Fair Trade, The Columbus Peace Network, The Citizens Grassroots Congress, The Central Ohio Green Education Fund and the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism. According to Mr. Bostick several Central Ohio labor groups including the AFL-CIO Labor Council and the Retiree Council have recently approved separate statements in opposition to the War. Clergy of several area Churches have joined in the alliance and progress is being made to gain the support of prominent Columbus area Church and religious organizations.

Bruce Bostick was also helpful in bringing aboard ProgressOhio. Brian Rothenberg and Lorraine Bieber of ProgressOhio are contributing their vital and dynamic resources to the effort including the blogging and electronic lobbying capabilities of the advanced website employing them –

To date, the Columbus City Council has been unwilling to vote on or consider a resolution. It is felt by members of the alliance that the time is propitious to collect petition signatures to urge both the County Commissioners and City Council to pass anti-war resolutions. The reasons for this are several. First, with the Democratic Mayor and County Commission about to act, The Columbus City Council, composed entirely of Democratic Party Council Members, could be standing alone. Also, since Barack Obama is now the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, The National Democratic Party now has a “de facto” position against the war. By not opposing the War, the entirely Democratic Columbus City Council could appear to be unsupportive of the national Democratic Party.

Though the prospects look promising at the moment for getting the principal governing bodies in Central Ohio to oppose the War, organizers feel it is critical to press the issue harder than ever now. No letter has yet been issued by Mayor Coleman and no resolution has been approved by the County Commissioners yet. This moment may pass and Central Ohio governing leaders could easily slip back into the refuge of inaction which has characterized Columbus since the beginning of the Iraq War. It is vital to act without delay. Presenting a large number of petition signatures by the end of summer will likely tip the balance.

Since over 280 other major US cities and seventeen States have passed Peace resolutions organizers feel it is important that Columbus join the rest of the Nation. Because Columbus has been the “bellweather city” in the “bellweather state” in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential contests the passage of a Peace Resolution by the Columbus City Council and The Franklin County Commission is a critical statement to make from “the Heartland” before this fall’s presidential election.

The focus of the petition drive this summer will be at Comfest the weekend of June 27th thru 29th. Volunteers are urgently wanted to collect as many signatures as possible to insure the success of this petition drive. To volunteer to collect petition signatures (which can only be collected at the entrances or inside booths at Comfest) please sign up for a two-hour shift at the following website:

If you cannot help with the petition drive, be sure to sign the petition itself. This can be done electronically at the following website: