Reaction from the OEC Action Fund on President Trump’s Visit to Ohio

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to David Miller, Director of Communications for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Through his recent actions, it’s clear President Trump doesn’t support working families in Ohio. As Trump visits the Buckeye State, Ohioans are grappling with both the closure of the Lordstown GM plant, and the President’s proposed budget, which cuts the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90 percent.

“Trump has continually refused to put the interests of everyday Ohioans over those of his donors and corporate polluter friends.

“With stops in Lima and Canton, it’s a shame the President won’t visit Lake Erie or Lordstown, which is just a stone’s throw from his fundraiser in Canton, where he’ll meet with donors while workers in Ohio suffer without jobs he promised to protect.

“Trump’s Canton fundraiser dinner will cost $50,000 per person to attend, just $3,523 less than the average household income in Lordstown at $53,523, a number set to drop due to Trump’s broken promises.”

REACTION FROM THE OEC ACTION FUND ON GOVERNOR DEWINE’S BUDGET PROPOSAL

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Governor DeWine’s budget proposal includes significant new or increased investments to improve Ohio parks, water quality, and agricultural conservation. Ohio’s natural resources improve the quality of life for millions of Ohioans and bring in billions of dollars in economic benefit. Although these budget proposals are drastic improvements more funding will be needed to truly protect these economic and recreation benefits.

“The significant investments in conservation can play a crucial role in reducing phosphorus in Ohio waterways and harmful algae. Projects funded by H2Ohio and the Soil and Water Phosphorus Program will need to be accountable to achieving water quality improvements.

“The $38 million increase for parks and the increase in nature preserve funding will help protect public lands for the benefit of all Ohioans.

“We look forward to working the administration and the General Assembly to ensure that we get Ohio’s environmental priorities on track to expand access to public lands, improve air and water quality.”


REACTION FROM THE OEC ACTION FUND ON GOV. DEWINE’S H2OHIO INITIATIVE

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Lake Erie is not only a source of water for millions of people, but it provides more than $14 billion in economic benefits for Ohio. It’s future couldn’t be more important.  

“The H2Ohio Initiative is a prime example of the bold thinking needed to set Lake Erie back on track. I commend Governor DeWine for this proposal, and encourage folks from both sides of the aisle to work together on solutions that will result in a healthier Lake Erie and safer drinking water for families.

“We look forward to working with the administration on these efforts, and hope to provide a healthy lake for generations of Ohioans to come.”


THE OEC ACTION FUND REACTS TO THE BUDGET PRIORITIES FROM OHIO HOUSE DEMOCRATS

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“The list of legislative priorities put forward by Leader Emilia Sykes and the rest of the Ohio House Democrats include a long list of items that will improve Ohioans’ access to clean air, land, water, and democracy. 

“Addressing issues such as the wind setbacks, water quality improvements, funding for local communities impacted by oil and gas development, and automatic voter registration, this list of priorities provides common-sense solutions to issues facing our state. I’m very hopeful that Democrats and Republicans can work together on these bipartisan issues to make Ohio a better place to live, work, and play.”

Statement from the OEC Action Fund on VP Pence Visit to Columbus

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed to Trish Demeter, Vice President of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Vice President Pence’s visit to Columbus in order to speak to the Ohio Oil and Gas Association was a missed opportunity to highlight the great progress to be made in capturing methane to better protect our children.

“In discussing innovation in the oil and gas sector, the Vice President should work with his industry partners to push for continued protections against unnecessary methane releases, in order to save money, and protect the air we all breathe.”

THE OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL ACTION FUND REACTS TO GOVERNOR DEWINE’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“We appreciate Governor DeWine’s focus on ensuring protections for Ohio’s natural resources during his first State of the State Address.

“Its very promising that Governor DeWine plans to make cleaning up our waterways a priority of his administration. The forthcoming H2-Ohio Fund is a real opportunity to address our water concerns. I look forward to further details on this program in the state budget. Ensuring every Ohioan has access to clean and safe drinking water will take significant funding, and a commitment that programs are also accountable to achieving results. To truly keep harmful algae out of Lake Erie, we need a long-term conservation program for the entire western basin watershed.

“However, in addressing our energy concerns, we need to be sure that we focus on moving to carbon-free sources of energy, so that our air and environment can be as clean as possible, and we keep up in the rapidly evolving clean energy economy.

“We look forward to working with the DeWine Administration to work to protect our air, land, and water for our children and grandchildren.”

The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Announces Delegation Scores from LCV’s 2018 National Environmental Scorecard

Columbus, OH -- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund today released the Ohio delegation’s scores on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2018 National Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard is the LCV’s primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of every member of Congress, and is available online at scorecard.lcv.org.

“As the Trump administration continued its work to roll back environmental protections, we saw a few members of the Ohio delegation fall in lockstep with the bad choices to put our air, land, and water at risk,” said Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund President Heather Taylor-Miesle. “As we move into the 2020 census year, it is critical that every person is counted and that Ohio’s congressional districts are drawn in a way that represents the vast majority of Ohioans who demand action on climate change.”

The 2018 Scorecard measures votes cast during the second session of the 115th Congress. The full delegation’s scores for 2018 are:

Senator Brown - 100
Senator Portman - 7
Representative Chabot - 3
Representative Wenstrup - 0
Representative Beatty - 83
Representative Jordan - 3
Representative Latta - 0
Representative Johnson - 0
Representative Gibbs - 0
Representative Davidson - 0
Representative Kaptur - 94
Representative Turner - 14
Representative Fudge - 89
Representative Balderson - 0
Representative Ryan - 94
Representative Joyce - 14
Representative Stivers - 11
Representative Renacci - 3

“After eight years of the most anti-environmental U.S. House  ever and two years of relentless attacks on the environment from the Trump administration, the tectonic shift to a pro-environment majority in the people’s House comes not a moment too soon. We could not be more excited to work with the new pro-environment House majority to protect our air, water, lands, and wildlife, combat the climate crisis, and hold the Trump administration accountable,” saidLCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld.

The 2018 Scorecard includes 35 House votes that span the chamber’s assaults on clean air and water, lands and wildlife protections, investments in clean energy and so much more. In the Senate, the majority of the 14 votes scored are confirmation votes on Trump’s anti-environmental nominees.

LCV has published a National Environmental Scorecard every Congress since 1970. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, climate change, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, and spending for environmental programs. The votes included in the Scorecard presented members of Congress with a real choice and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. More information on individual votes and the Scorecard archive can be found at scorecard.lcv.org.

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The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Reacts to Sam Randazzo’s Nomination to the PUCO

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Today, Gov. DeWine announced that he will nominate energy lobbyist Sam Randazzo to serve on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. We are disappointed in this choice, as Mr. Randazzo has a lengthy career fighting against renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ohio.

“This move is out-of-step with the rest of the Midwest, where governors are committing to the future of energy, instead of the past.

“We sincerely hope we are wrong, and Mr. Randazzo will start fresh and help put Ohio on the road towards a diverse energy sector with ample room for clean, renewable energy, so our economy and the health of our people is top priority.”

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THE OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL ACTION FUND REACTS TO PUCO CHAIRMAN ASIM HAQUE’S RESIGNATION

Columbus, Ohio -- Today, PUCO Chairman Asim Haque announced his resignation, effective March 1, 2019. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Trish Demeter, Vice President of Energy Policy at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“I’d like to thank Chairman Haque for his service, and much-needed leadership on the issue of modernizing the grid in Ohio, and wish him all the best as he transitions to a new role.

“As Governor DeWine considers an appointment for the next PUCO Chair, I urge him to choose a pragmatic leader who will continue Chairman Haque's commitment to customers being better enabled to innovate at their homes and businesses, steering utilities to make investments that will yield greater grid efficiencies overall, and to ready our electric grid for unstoppable clean energy trends.

“Ohio consumers need an unbiased, forward-thinking leader at the helm of the PUCO, who will recognize the benefits of moving our state toward a clean energy future. As our neighboring states experience the positive impacts of a booming clean energy economy, Ohioans deserve those same benefits. We look forward to engaging with a PUCO Chair who is open-minded, forward-thinking and objective as they take on the huge responsibility of regulating Ohio’s electric sector.”  


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THE OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL ACTION FUND REACTS TO THE PUCO NOMINATING PROCESS

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“In selecting a new commissioner for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), we hope to see someone who understands that if we want Ohio to keep up in the global energy market, we must get a stronger footing in the growing clean energy economy, which forges ahead every day.

“This list contains one candidate - Sam Randazzo - who carries strong biases, and very close ties to the utility industry. Randazzo has worked aggressively over many years to dismantle Ohio’s renewable and efficiency standards both in the state legislature and the PUCO, blocked new wind farms from being built in Ohio, and opposed job-creating solar projects throughout the state. Given his prejudices against clean and cost-effective resources, we oppose his nomination. We urge the DeWine Administration to choose a forward-looking candidate that will be capable of honoring the Governor’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy.”

THE OEC ACTION FUND REACTS TO DEWINE CABINET SELECTIONS FOR EPA AND AGRICULTURE

Columbus, Ohio -- Following this morning’s announcement of Laurie Stevenson as the Director of the Ohio EPA, and Dorothy Pelanda as Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the following statement can be attributed to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“With a twenty-year career working for the Ohio EPA under different administrations to advance environmental protections, Laurie Stevenson provides a wealth of experience to bring to the cause of her agency. We look forward to working with Director Stevenson, and hope that she will bring her thoughtful, science-based approach to this new role so we can work to protect our health, environment, and economy, together.

“As the next Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Dorothy Pelanda will be tasked with working with farmers across Ohio to ensure our state is fed, while protecting our natural resources. We look forward to working closely with Director Pelanda as we strive to ensure Lake Erie and other Ohio waterways are clean and healthy for the future.”

THE OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL ACTION FUND AND INNOVATION OHIO LAUNCH DIGITAL ADS AGAINST HJR 19

Columbus, Ohio -- Today, the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund and Innovation Ohio launched a round of digital ads highlighting opposition to HJR 19. As partners in the Coalition for Redistricting Reform, which worked to pass a fix to our gerrymandered congressional districts in Ohio, our organizations are keenly aware of the importance of the ballot initiative process.

In its current form, HJR 19 would set a higher threshold for the process to amend Ohio’s Constitution through a citizen referendum by making signatures due by April of an election year instead of July, make petition signatures only valid for 180 days, and require a 60 percent threshold to pass. 

“This measure is a misguided attempt to curtail the voice of the people to amend their state’s constitution,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the OEC Action Fund. “We are committed to fighting for the health of Ohio’s air, land, and water, and this bill would put an undue burden on regular Ohioans’ ability to stand up and fight for their future.” 

“Through ballot initiatives, Ohioans can make their voices heard on the issue that matter most to them,” said Janetta King, President/CEO of Innovation Ohio. “HJR19 stifles Ohioans' ability to engage directly in their democracy, and we need to fight for that right.”

The digital ads will run through Sunday, December 16th, calling for a strategically targeted list of Ohio legislators to vote against the measure.

Statement From the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the JCARR Vote to Revise and Refile the Watershed in Distress Rules

Columbus, Ohio -- Today, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) voted to direct the Ohio Department of Agriculture to revise and refile newly proposed rules that would help curb the pollution responsible for toxic algae in Lake Erie. The proposed rules are backed by Governor Kasich and would require most agricultural producers that operate in a watershed designated as distressed to create a plan to reduce runoff pollution. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Today’s action represents a missed opportunity to establish clear rules that would help prevent excess nutrients from entering Ohio waterways in order to reduce toxic algae. The proposed rules were aimed at balancing agricultural concerns with the need to protect Lake Erie and the communities that depend on it for drinking water, job opportunities, and recreation. Every delay in implementing needed changes to reduce toxic algae makes the problem more expensive to fix in Lake Erie and across Ohio.”

The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Celebrates Sherrod Brown’s Return to the Senate

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the OEC Action Fund:

“All Ohioans should tonight celebrate Sen. Sherrod Brown’s re-election to the U.S. Senate. As an environmental champion who has demonstrated tremendous support for Ohio’s air, land and water, we are eager to send him back to Washington to represent us. We endorsed Sen. Brown and had his back because he’s always had our environment’s back.  

"With our national friends at League of Conservation Voters, NRDC Action Fund and Next Gen Action, we raised almost $318,000 for the Brown campaign.

“A truly iconic Ohioan, Sen. Brown has spent his career working tirelessly on our behalf, and I know he will continue to do so over the next six years.”

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The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Reacts to Mike DeWine’s Election as Ohio Governor

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“We applaud Mike DeWine on his victory in today’s gubernatorial election. The OEC Action Fund has a history of working effectively with elected officials in both parties, and that will continue. This cycle, we’ve endorsed both Democrats and Republicans, and our pragmatic, diligent approach to fight for Ohio’s environment will continue. 

“When it comes to our environment, Ohio is at a crossroads, and we need real leadership to ensure that we move forward to address serious issues like toxic algae on Lake Erie, and ensuring that Ohio competes in the clean energy economy. We will focus on making progress at all levels of government, including opportunities with Columbus and Cincinnati, who recently won Bloomberg's American Cities Climate Challenge. 

“The OEC Action Fund will be there every step of the way to fight for cleaner air, land, and water in Ohio.”

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Statement from the OEC Action Fund on Last Night's Ohio Senate Debate

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:  

“Last night, Senator Sherrod Brown displayed the qualities of a true leader and someone who will act on climate change. In response to concerns about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, Brown backed up the science and made it clear that we can’t afford to waste any more time. We must transition away from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy to ensure a healthy future for our planet.

The OEC Action Fund is proud to endorse a candidate who stands up for common sense environmental policies that protect Ohioans and our air, water, and land. Brown has been an avid environmental champion and deserves Ohio’s vote.”

Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on Tonight’s Gubernatorial Debate

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Tonight, Rich Cordray spoke about his environmental bonfides, including his endorsement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. We have his back because he’s the candidate who will lead us into the future with clean energy jobs, and protections for our water. Rich Cordray is the true environmental champion in this race, and Ohio should elect him in November.”



Statement: The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC Endorses Slate of Legislative Candidates

Columbus, Ohio -- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC is pleased to announce its endorsement of a slate of legislative candidates for the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. These environmentally conscientious men and women will work to advance Ohio’s clean energy economy, and protect and preserve the health of our citizens and the environment that sustains us.

“The OEC Action Fund is so excited to endorse these candidates to serve as legislators in the Ohio General Assembly,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC. “We need legislators in both parties from around Ohio who are committed to ensuring clean air, water, and lands for all Ohioans. The opportunities to secure meaningful protections for Ohio’s environment have never been greater than now, and we’re confident these women and men are the right people for the job.”

The following candidates have received the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC endorsement:

House Races

Erica Crawley (D-Columbus) for OH-26

Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) for OH-33

Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) for OH-23

Beth Liston (D-Worthington) for OH-21

John Patterson (D-Ashtabula) for OH-99

Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) for OH-13

Cassimir Svigelj (D-Rocky River) for OH-16

Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) for OH-37

Erik Yassenoff (R-Upper Arlington) for OH-24
 

Senate Races

Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) for SD 23

Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) for SD 11

Melinda Miller (D-Newark) for SD 31

Statement: The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC Endorses Zack Space for Auditor of State

Columbus, Ohio -- The Auditor of State serves as Ohio’s top taxpayer watchdog, a position with broad authority to review all spending of taxpayer dollars. The Ohio Environmental Action Fund PAC believes that the Auditor of State can be our best ally in auditing and protecting environmental program funds, while shining the light on lost economic opportunities of a clean energy economy, which is why we endorse Zack Space for Auditor of State.

Growing up in eastern Ohio, Space saw firsthand the generational over-reliance on natural resource extraction that has stunted the development of a resilient, regional economy. As Auditor of State, Space will ensure that Ohio comes together on these issues, especially at the intersection of our environment, our economy and our public health. Space knows that clean air, water, and public lands are the building blocks of a healthy, thriving economy - not mutually exclusive of one another.

“The contrast between candidates on environmental issues couldn’t be clearer,” said Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC President Heather Taylor-Miesle. “While Space’s opponent, Keith Faber, wants to keep Ohio’s renewable energy industry stifled, Zack understands that diversifying our energy portfolio and encouraging renewable energy investment is imperative for both the health of Ohio’s environment and a secure economic future.”

"For too long, corporate interests have controlled the self-interested politicians in the General Assembly, killing clean energy jobs and blocking billions in provable investments associated with new energy technologies,” said Zack Space. “As Auditor of State, I’ll shine a light on the corrupting influence of money in our politics, and hold accountable the politicians who have undermined our energy future to advance their political careers."

Space has also made the issue of redistricting a key focus of his campaign and understands that hyper-partisan legislative districts have disenfranchised and divided communities, polarizing our political landscape and making it incredibly difficult to reach compromise.

"Gerrymandering enables extremism and excludes millions of Ohioans from being properly represented in government,” said Space. “Ohioans have been disenfranchised and excluded from their government as a result of this hyperpartisan process for over a generation, and I will use my position on the Redistricting Commission to end gerrymandering by creating as many competitive legislative districts as possible.”

“Zack Space is balanced and fair. His experience working as a Public Defender and Congressman makes him acutely aware of the polarization our State is facing,” said Taylor-Miesle. “He’s seen the damaging effect that gerrymandering has had on our communities and the OEC Action Fund PAC is confident that he will work to find a solution.”

This November, we have a chance to vote for leaders who will help propel environmental policies forward. We look forward to supporting Space throughout his campaign and when in office, we will continue to work with him on issues that protect Ohio’s families.

Paid for by the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC

Statement: The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC Endorses Richard Cordray for Ohio Governor

Columbus, Ohio -- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC is pleased to announce its endorsement of Richard Cordray for Ohio governor. Ohio’s next governor needs to be a leader on the environment, and Cordray has exhibited the kind of passion and understanding Ohio needs in order to make real progress on environmental issues in our state.

“Richard Cordray has demonstrated a willingness to make environmental policy a priority during his term,” said Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC President, Heather Taylor-Miesle. “We did not make this decision lightly. Long hours and conversations went into making this endorsement and we are confident that Cordray will deliver on environmental progress.”

Cordray has made clean energy a key part of his campaign and understands that Ohio is falling drastically behind on the clean energy revolution. Our state, once known as a leader in the energy industry, now currently ranks #38 in renewable energy development thanks to a state legislature that has turned back the clock on the renewable energy sector, sacrificing billions of dollars in revenue in the process. Other states are seeing a rise in good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector — the fastest growing job sector in the world — while Ohio continually lags behind. Cordray understands this risk to our future. Once in office, Cordray promises he will invest in solar power to create more local jobs, starting with AEP’s proposal for a 400 MW facility in Appalachian Ohio, one of the most underserved regions of our state.

"If we're going to move Ohio into the future, it's imperative that we embrace our incredible potential to harness clean and renewable sources of energy like wind and solar,” said Cordray. “As Governor, my approach to energy will help protect our environment, while still creating jobs and keeping energy costs down for middle class families."

While Cordary works to bolster Ohio’s clean energy economy, he’ll also be focused on another important issue to Ohioans — the health of our Great Lake.

When 400,000 Ohioans go without drinking water for three days, hospitals shut down, businesses and schools close, and there is no clear resolve in sight, we call that a crisis. The Toledo Water Crisis was one of the worst algae-blooms on record in Ohio and scientists are already predicting another significant bloom this year. The unpredictability and severity of these blooms leave Ohioans worried about their drinking water, their places of recreation, and their health. The cause of the blooms, high phosphorus levels from nutrient runoff, place strain on Ohio’s important agricultural industry.

Cordray has proven his devotion to the one in seven Ohioans that the agricultural industry employs. With the help of the Action Fund PAC, Cordray will fight for a solution that protects farmers and our Great Lake so that blooms are eradicated for good. Once in office, Cordray plans to appoint an Assistant Director of Food Policy and Rural Development in the Ohio Department of Agriculture who will work on improving farm policies to prevent algal-blooms.

“The toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie has blighted our environment and has hurt the economy and well-being of communities along the coast. This problem must finally be addressed by our state government with urgency that is commensurate with the harm that the algae bloom has caused,” said Cordray. “As Governor and Lt. Governor, Betty Sutton and I will bring everyone to the table — including farmers, local leaders, environmental advocates, and affected Ohioans — to find solutions and implement them in an effective and sustainable manner.”

The November election is critical in choosing leaders who will push Ohio forward on environmental policy and protect our families. We are eager to work with Cordray on all of our most pressing issues across the state to ensure clean air, water, and public lands for all.

Paid for by the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC