BRECKSVILLE - The city’s first ever town hall meeting in honor of Democracy Day will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25.
It will be held in the Gathering Room at the Brecksville Human Services Center, 2 Community Drive, and is slated to include guest speakers to talk about the impact of corporate dollars in politics.
“This is a historic event in Ohio, and for our community,” said Rose Petsche, co-founder of Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics, via email.
Rose’s husband and the group’s other co-founder Jack Petsche wrote a passage expressing his thoughts on the magnitude of the occasion, which currently appears on the city’s website.
Petsche’s passage reads, in part: “The citizens of Brecksville, by passing this citizens initiative petition, exercised a right written into the Ohio Constitution in 1912, almost exactly one hundred years ago to the day. The right of Ohio citizens to draft, introduce, and pass laws by citizens initiative petition was added to the Ohio Constitution in 1912 as part of the Progressive movement of the day.”
He goes on to compare the actions of the members of that movement, who were fed up with “political corruption and robber barons buying their politicians,” to those who voted in favor of creating Democracy Day as a way of speaking out against corporate money in politics and corporate citizenship.
The co-founders have praised Mayor Jerry N. Hruby and City Council for their help and support in coordinating the event, although they were initially against Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics on the nature of the event.
Per an ordinance passed in the Nov. 6, 2012 election, the city must hold such a public hearing in the month of February once every two years for discussion of the role of corporate money in politics.
The mayor must then send a letter to city’s federal, congressional and state representatives stating that the citizens of Brecksville believe money is not speech and corporations are not people. The letter will also include an overview of comments made at the meeting.