The Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund is the non-profit education and research affiliate of Ohio Citizen Action. The president of the Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund is Dr. Richard Wittberg. The executive director is Melissa English. Founded in 1975, the Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund works in communities across Ohio to protect public health and the environment.
The Education Fund provides research, strategy, media and community organizing support for campaigns that protect public health, improve environmental quality and benefit consumers.
The Education Fund is also known for tracking and analyzing the flow of campaign dollars to key decision-makers in the state government.
614 West Superior Avenue, Suite 1200 • Cleveland, OH 44113
phone 216.861.1989 • fax 216.694.6904
Because the Education Fund does not devote significant resources to lobbying, it can receive tax-deductible contributions.
Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund Board of Directors
Matthew Currie Secretary/Treasurer (Bellbrook)
After working at Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Matt attended Vermont Law School to pursue an interest in environmental and public interest law. During law school, he led the student chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and has participated in anti-globalization and GE free food campaigns. After law school, and two clerkships in Alaska, he moved to Ohio and now leads the housing and economic development practice group at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Dayton. Matt also practices in the area of environmental justice, utilizing law to reach social justice goals.
“I tend to find my environmental ethics lining up with that of Social Ecology, which sees the causes of nearly all of our present ecological problems as originating in deep-seated social problems”, he says.
Matt was drawn to Ohio Citizen Action by its good neighbor campaign work, specifically the attributes of decentralism, community control, and direct, face-to-face democracy. “I am honored to be a part of an organization with a rich history in supporting communities’ efforts to protect themselves from pollution and other harmful contamination.”
He is also passionate about global justice issues, local and organic farming, civil liberties, wilderness, and alternative energy issues.
Robert Park (Cincinnati)
Robert Park has spent much of his professional life on occupational health research, giving him a practical focus for his knowledge of biology and toxicology, as well as his analysis and writing skills. He’s conducted many studies, published many papers and even provided technical support on a water contamination lawsuit all in the service of a less-toxic environment and better health. His training and profession provides an excellent foundation for understanding and critically evaluating social policy and helping define a vision that informs a road-map to the future.
He’s been a social-justice activist since participating in student opposition to the Vietnam War in college, has advocated for single-payer healthcare and participated in the Sierra Club Miami Group, Ohio Chapter. He’s also been a member of Ohio Citizen Action since first giving at this door in 1993.
When asked why he’s joining the board, Bob said, “After many years of activism on progressive issues and learning about how society works, and then observing the simultaneous collapse of our political system (which was pretty bad to begin with) and the explosive growth of alt realities on social media, I decided it’s time to get involved in talking to the people again, the way Ohio Citizen Action does.”
In his spare time, Bob enjoys sustainable gardening, outdoor activities including walking, biking, kayaking and cross country skiing.
Brooke Smith (Cincinnati)
Brooke Smith found her path in life early and has made the most of the few years since starting her career. A Cincinnati native, she wasted no time after graduating from Walnut Hills High School and enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, where she graduated with a BS in Political Science and Government in 2014.
She currently serves as Associate Development Manager at United Way of Greater Cincinnati, where she has worked closely with the AFL-CIO on a variety of events and projects. “I care very deeply about protecting the rights of working people,” she says, “As well as about public education and women’s access to reproductive health care.”
Brooke joined the board because she believes in the fight to protect public health and the environment as well as the importance of a well-run grassroots strategy to win that fight. She brings expertise in community organizing, public policy, and development strategies. When asked about her motivation to work on environmental issues, she quoted photographer Ansel Adams who said, “Once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price”.