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State News

Brunner, Fisher to speak in Oberlin this weekend


OBERLIN - Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner - the two Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate seat held by George Voinovich - will be speaking this weekend at the Power Shift Ohio Summit.

Fisher and Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Cleveland, will speak at 8 p.m. today at Oberlin High School.

Brunner will speak at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, again at Oberlin High School, where many activities will be held.

Oberlin College was supposed to host the Power Shift conference, but sought help from Oberlin Schools Superintendent Geoffrey Andrews and City Manager Eric Norenberg after a change in the date conflicted with activities of Parents' Weekend, said Dean of Students Linda Gates.

"They were extremely cooperative," Gates said.

Hundreds of young leaders from across Ohio will converge in Oberlin this weekend and call on state leaders to join them by pushing for a clean energy jobs plan and opposing the development of a new coal plant in Meigs County.

The event is being held in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen Dec. 7 to 19, and will focus on environmental justice, green jobs and community planning.

"As we approach the international climate conference in Copenhagen, youth involvement in the climate change movement is more important than ever before," said Erika Zarowin, an Oberlin College student and one of the summit's organizers. "It is time for our generation to start demanding an economic system that is truly clean and just, to tell business owners, legislators and the world that we will fight for our future."

Participants will come from over 30 campuses and high schools, where they are involved in local environmental and political work. The summit, hosted by the Ohio Student Environmental Coalition, Energy Justice Network and Energy Action Coalition, is one of 12 summits to take place around the country this fall as the U.S. Senate deliberates climate and energy policy and in the run-up to critical U.N. climate negotiations in Copenhagen.

Regional summits that have already taken place across the nation to bring together thousands of young people to demand a climate and energy plan that rebuilds the economy, ends dependence on dirty energy and brings security through less reliance on foreign oil.

Summit participants will take part in workshops and trainings on political engagement and renewable energy, and will hear from representatives of leading organizations across the state, including Ohio Citizen Action Network, NAACP, AFL-CIO, and Sierra Club.

The summit will feature lectures and discussion groups, workshops, and direct actions such as mass phone calls to elected officials. Besides Fisher, Brunner and Kucinich, speakers include former Ohio Sen. Charles Butts, Cornell University Professor Emeritus of Entomology David Pimentel and youth delegate to the Copenhagen conference Liz Trombley.

For more information on the summit, including a schedule of events, visit

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or

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