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Father and Daughter Win Election To Save Their Local Park

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Retired widower Steve Herbik and his 23-year old daughter Brittany launched an uphill fight to save their suburban Ohio park from a development plan supported by a Democrat-led city council, a Democratic mayor from a prominent local political family, a major construction company, and the local press.

Herbik lives in Brooklyn, Ohio, a stone’s throw from Cleveland city limits. He describes Brooklyn as a “small community” with a prized local venue called Memorial Park, which features bucks, turkey, and other wildlife. But the park was threatened by an initiative called Issue 3, which would have allowed the Geis family’s Geis Construction company to build over the park.

“I was told by a neighbor who came over and said, they’re putting something on the ballot. They want to tear up our park,” Herbik told Big League Politics. “They gave me a little zoning change ordinance in the mail.”

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“I went to City Hall, got the ordinance…I started realizing that there were a lot of things in that ordinance. They could take away 92 percent of the park, put in offices and condominiums, and basically pave over the whole park,” Herbik said. “I went to all the city presentations, where they’re putting drawings and plans for what the park could be. Every artist rendering was different. It was a complete snow job and I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen.” Herbik said the estimated cost range for the project was $240 million and that the city would have had to take out “tens of millions in loans just to get the project started.”

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So who joined his effort to save the park? Herbik said: “It was just me and my daughter.”

“I was off on a crusade for the truth, going to planning and steering meetings. Then I had city council meetings. They were all trying to get me to slow down and be quiet,” Herbik said, noting that he “took a lot of abuse.”

“The economic director insulted me half a dozen times in public meetings,” he said, adding that the local press was “one-sided toward the mayor,” Democrat Katie Gallagher.

“In the last eight days we did 33 miles of door-to-door knocking. The vast majority of the people we talked to had no idea about it, and we saved the park.”

Herbik drove around to all the precincts Tuesday night and reported the results exclusively to Big League Politics: 634 votes in favor of the development plan, and 1,152 votes against.

Herbik said Mayor Gallagher Facebook-posted her disappointment that the city lost $10,000 on planning the development, and also deleted a Facebook comment pre-emptively slamming Herbik for accusing her of paying off election officials.

Cleveland Tea Party co-founder Ralph King was involved in the effort to save the park, and said that the victory inspired him more than anything he’s recently seen in politics.

“I’ve been completely engrossed in this,” King told Big League Politics on election night. “They [Herbik and friends] spent probably about three hundred dollars and it’s looking like we won.”

“This is where my heart has been at since the beginning of the tea party. It goes on right here in your own backyards, when we’re watching the frontdoors,” King said, noting that America First policies have to be pushed for by citizens at the local level, and not by political interests.

“If you can’t put 20 people in a council room there’s no way in Hell you could organize a congressional race,” King said.

 

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States

Students Sue School District After Being Punished for ‘Racist’ Banter in Private Snapchat Group

A witch hunt was started against the students for alleged racism.

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A group of students has filed a free speech lawsuit in Saline, Mich. alleging that their civil rights were violated by school administrators who punished them for their banter in a private Snapchat group.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in U.S. District Court in Detroit on behalf of four anonymous students, who were punished by the school district following a hysteria regarding racism after they sent joking messages in a chat room. The lawsuit alleges that two students were suspended as a result of their out-of-school speech while two others have been recommended for expulsion.

“The school is acting outside the scope of its authority, has no legal right to impose the discipline carried out, and has violated our clients’ constitutional rights by their reckless and hasty rush to judgment,” lawyer David A. Kallman, the attorney for the children, said in a statement.

The lawsuit claims that the school district has no jurisdiction to punish the children based on messages sent from their “homes, privately owned phones, on a non-school day.”

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The students want the district to admit in a declaration that their actions were an infringement upon the students’ 1st Amendment rights. They also want the school district to formalize changes to their rules so other students’ rights are not similarly violated and for the students’ records and transcripts to be completely expunged moving forward.

Saline Superintendent Scot Graden called the private Snapchat postings that were brought to his attention “an act of racism that created harm to all of our students, especially students of color.” Kallman believes that he overreacted and took the messages out of their proper context.

“African-American and Caucasian children were using inappropriate and offensive language in a joking manner and in the context of immature banter among friends,” Kallman said in his news release about the case.

“The conversation did not occur at the school, at a school event, or on any school equipment. While all the children are embarrassed by their language, it does not justify the school’s rush to judgment and overreaction,” he added.

Kallman believes that this is a matter for parents to deal with and out of the jurisdiction of public school bureaucrats who want to push their left-wing values onto students.

“If a child gets stopped for drunk driving on a Saturday night, does the school have the right to expel that student? The answer is obvious. No,” Kallman wrote. “The conversation of these children had nothing to do with the school. It has no authority to discipline students for out of school misbehavior.”

Graden, the Saline Area Schools Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent Steve Laatsch, Saline High School Principal David Raft, Saline High School Assistant Principal and football coach Joe Palka, Assistant Principal Theresa Stager, Director of Student Services Molly Garcia, and Assistant Principal Kirk Evenson are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

A Saline high school football player released a threatening video in the midst of the controversy warning all those who support free speech that they are “outnumbered.” It has since become a rallying cry for the social justice warriors in the city to impose their anti-constitutional agenda.

“From all the people that believe in change to all the people who don’t: You’re outnumbered,” the student said in his video address.

The lawsuit hopes to push back against the diversity and tolerance mob and achieve a victory for the 1st Amendment against a leftist-dominated school system that is notoriously hostile to constitutional principles.

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