LIMA — Picketers both in support of and against Gov. John Kasich’s proposed measures rallied outside of the Veterans Memorial Civic Center leading up to his State of the State speech Tuesday evening.
On the southeast quadrant of Town Square, directly across the street from the Civic Center, stood about a dozen picketers rallying for the state of the worker and against many of Kasich’s educational policies, facing cold, windy weather and snow.
Dan Greenberg, a teacher with Sylvania Public Schools near Toledo, said Kasich’s plans are full of empty promises.
“Even with his current budget, our kids’ classrooms in our local public schools are receiving less money than before John Kasich became the governor,” he said. “The governor promised more districts to get more state funding, while wealthy districts would get less. This is an empty promise.
“The fact is, the governor’s budget does not do enough to help working and middle-class Ohioans. The budget and agenda are filled with empty promises that will continue to hurt middle class families. Instead of short-term, partisan priorities, Gov. Kasich should focus on long-term solutions for Ohio that strengthen our economy and prioritize schools.”
DaveRabe, United Autoworkers Local 1219 President in Lima and longtime Ford Lima Engine Plant employee, said an investment in education would improve manufacturing industries.
“One of the things that’s really important, with technology advances, is that we have a workforce that’s educated and trained. And with some of the past school cuts, and more proposed cuts coming, it’s just sending us backwards to where we really want to be,” Rabe said.
Meanwhile, on the northwest quadrant of Town Square, about an hour before the governor’s address, about 15 bundled-up young people held signs and chanted for Gov. Kasich’s proposed policies. Chants included “O-H-I-O Go, John, Go,” while many of the signs had large, red hearts around Kasich’s name.
“We’re excited Kasich chose Lima,” said Anna Hoard, 20, an Ohio Northern University sophomore majoring in political science and public relations.
Hoard said Kasich has the right idea with education.
“He’s taking the right steps to make sure we graduate,” she said.
Many of the young picketers were students from local universities and College Republican groups. Many cars passing by on Market Street honked at the enthusiastic crowd, and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel even made an appearances to shake some of the picketers’ hands.
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