BREAD Organizers To Ask Political Leaders For Changes At Forum - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

BREAD Organizers To Ask Political Leaders For Changes At Forum

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An interfaith forum scheduled for Monday evening aims to find solutions to social and political issues in central Ohio.

Community action group B.R.E.A.D. says more than 50 congregations representing many different faiths will meet for the Nehemiah Action.

"We disagree about many other things. We have different ideas. But we are called together to do justice and that has real power," said Rev. George Glazier, a B.R.E.A.D. organizer.

B.R.E.A.D. has also invited elected officials from around central Ohio whom B.R.E.A.D. says it will ask for commitments from when it comes to specific solutions for problems facing Ohioans.

Organizer Marybel Perez Ridley is focused on fighting discrimination. She says she would like elected leaders to embrace "Welcome Columbus," a program that B.R.E.A.D. says would make Columbus a more welcome place for immigrants.

Specifically, B.R.E.A.D. says it would like to see a crime tip hotline set up for undocumented immigrants who are often afraid to report crimes against them or in their community for fear it may ultimately lead to their deportation.

"We have a lot of members that are in our churches, our synagogues, our mosques. And they feel a lot of fear. They feel like they don't have any rights," Perez Ridley said.

B.R.E.A.D. says it is also looking for a commitment from state representatives that will try to revive Medicaid expansion for Ohio. Governor John Kasich (R-OH) had originally supported the expansion however it later was taken off the table.

Ultimately, organizers say they want more than discussion and plan to ask tough questions of elected officials.

"These will be yes or no answers. And once we have the yes then we partner with them and we follow up in such a persistent way," Rev. Glazier said.

The forum will be held Monday at 7p.m. at the Celeste Center in Columbus.

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