A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
News that Representative Steve Stivers is giving up his congressional seat for a job at the Chamber of Commerce caused a rush of Republicans hoping to lay claim to a coveted congressional seat. After all, the 15th Congressional District is viewed as a Republican district. But many of us remember back when Ted Strickland represented us in the old 6th CD — which was also a majority Republican district. By sheer grit and commitment to the people of our region, Democrat Strickland won that Republican district and was re-elected time after time. He was both caring and tenacious in the way he advocated for people in our part of Ohio, and he was so ever-present, everyone just called him Ted.
It will be hard, but not impossible, to repeat what Ted Strickland accomplished back then. We have strong Democratic public servants, like Athens Mayor Steve Patterson, who have proven they are willing to fight for us and our often neglected region. Any Democratic candidate from outside of our area must come to Athens County which is rich with strong Democratic officeholders, activists and votes. And we’ll take the opportunity to let them know about the unique challenges we face, and the kind of representation we need and expect. Make no mistake, electing a Democrat to the 15th CD will be tough, but stranger things have happened, like snow in late April.
Workers Memorial Day Remembrance
This Wednesday, April 28, at 12 PM, join us at the Workers Memorial Mural, 11 North Court Street, to demonstrate our support for labor. The ceremony will remember those killed or injured on the job, and call for renewed efforts to fight for strong safety and health protections. The gathering is sponsored by the Southeast Labor Council and the AFL-CIO. Attendees are asked to practice responsible social distancing protocols.
Lunch & Learn
Every Wednesday, from 12-1 PM via Zoom. Registration is required.
- April 28: “Stop Line 3” – Presentation by local activists on the Minnesota Indigenous Line #3 Pipeline Resistance against the building of a pipeline in Northern MN. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- MAY 5: TBA
- May 12 TBA
- May 19: Professor Katherine Jellison will discuss the Equal Rights Amendment. This proposed constitutional amendment has been passed in 38 states, how can we get involved to work toward ratification. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- May 26: Learn about The Patriotic Millionaires, an organization of high-net worth American business leaders and investors concerned about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in American. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
If you are not receiving our weekly invitations to Lunch & Learn, please reply to this newsletter, firstname.lastname@example.org, to be added to the email list.
MAY 4 PRIMARY ELECTION
The only contested race on the May 4 Democratic Primary Ballot is for the 4th Ward City Council seat. There are no ballot issues.
Not sure if you are a 4th ward resident? Check here. The first number after the word “Athens” is your ward number. For example, if you see “Athens 4-1”, you are a 4th Ward resident.
How to Vote in the Primary:
- Absentee Ballot – to vote by mail, voters must submit an Absentee Ballot request in writing to the Board of Elections (BOE). More info can be found here.
- Early In-Person voting runs through May 3 at the BOE. Hours are:
- April 26 – 30 from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday May 1 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Sunday May 2 from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Monday May 3 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
- On Election Day – NOTE! ALL voting on May 4 will take place at the Athens County Board of Elections, located at 15 S. Court Street, next to the Courthouse. No other polling locations will be available.
MEET OUR INTERNS!
Abi Scherer and Hannah Fleming
Attending OU from Kent and Cleveland, respectively, Abi and Hannah will both be juniors this fall majoring in political science in the Honor’s Tutorial College. Abi chose to intern with the ACDP because of her desire to do political science-related work and to become involved with the Athens community. Hannah hopes to run for office someday so she wants experience working with party officials. Both are presently supporting our social media platforms but as the election season gears up their roles will extend to volunteering with campaigns and canvassing for Democratic candidates. Welcome Abi and Hannah!
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
Bills we are Watching-Which to Support and Which to Oppose
HB 22 and 109/SB 16 and 41: Bills targeting protesters are gaining traction around the country and in our own state. Ohio Republicans are copying legislation from other states aimed at intimidating those demonstrating against police misconduct by expanding and stiffening penalties against demonstrators. This type of constitutionally questionable legislation is damaging to our rights to freedom of speech and assembly.
According to Ohio ACLU Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels: “If bills and laws like HB 109 or SB 16 were around in the 1960s, Martin Luther King, JR. would (again) be behind bars & the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee would be shut down and its assets seized. They both equate civil disobedience with terrorism and use Ohio’s corrupt activity laws to silence protestors.” Read more here.
HB 62: Ohio Republicans are also trying to nullify federal laws related to 2nd Amendment issues. House Bill 62 proposes to give the State Legislature the power to ignore any current or future federal gun safety laws that they don’t like as well as any court rulings with which they disagree. Many legal experts believe this bill is unconstitutional. Read more here.
What can you do to stop these bills? Call our State Representative, Jay Edwards, about House Bills 22, 109 and 62 at (614) 466-2158; and State Senator Frank Hoagland about Senate Bills 16 and 41 at (614) 466-6508.
VOTER SUPRESSION ALERT! There are rumblings that Ohio Republicans have written a voter suppression bill with extreme provisions that:
- Require voters to provide TWO forms of ID to vote absentee or early
- Eliminate ALL ballot dropboxes
- Cut the most popular day of early voting
- Ban pre-paid postage for mail ballots
We will keep on eye on this and report more in our May Newsletter.
RECENT ACDP ACTIVITIES
ACDP Supports Children Services Day
Shown here is just a portion of the April 14 Lunch & Learn participants who wore BLUE to recognize Athens County Children Services Day to prevent child abuse. Two screenshots were forwarded to ACCS and placed on the ACDP Facebook page.
ACDP Volunteer Meeting
On April 1, our Neighborhood Campaign Committee held a Zoom meeting both to review and applaud the incredible work of our volunteers throughout the recent election season, and to begin planning for action in 2021-22. Participants heard from Joe Gay, who shared a PowerPoint presentation of his deep dive into our local 2020 election results. Attendees learned that despite far fewer students voting in Athens County than in November 2016, we were still able to surpass voter turnout in November 2016. We have the most INCREDIBLE and DEDICATED volunteers. Stay tuned for future campaign and community service opportunities!
Want to be notified about future campaign or community service projects? Contact Janalee Stock, to be added to the email list.
TALK LIKE A DEMOCRAT
My family is still hurting from the Covid-19 crisis even after getting my stimulus check. What more is President Biden doing to help the economy and jobs – especially in rural areas?
Biden is focused on rural America with the American Jobs Plan. It’s the most comprehensive plan to address the economy since FDR’s New Deal and Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System. With its $2.7 trillion infrastructure package, the Administration plans to heavily invest in rural areas, targeting “social infrastructure” as well as roads and bridges, along with creating millions of good jobs.
If passed, how would this affect Athens County? Every aspect of this plan supports addressing social problems such as climate change, discrimination and income inequality.
- Housing – Invest $213 billion to build and repair at least two million affordable and sustainable places to live along with expanding inclusionary zoning laws. Expand affordable rental options.
- Education – Expand and improve schools from preschool through college making them high quality, safe, accessible and environmentally friendly. Businesses would receive incentives to provide on-site childcare.
- Caregiver infrastructure – Create better paying jobs to support caregiving for children and adults in need of in-home or community care that allows unionizing.
- Research – Invest in research to find innovations, technologies and products to increase jobs while also improving our environment and ending all types of discrimination.
- Manufacturing and small business – Revitalize businesses making them more efficient and better able to address current needs and markets while preparing for the future. Finding strategies to develop clean energy and fight climate change are key. Included is funding to prevent, prepare for, and address medical crises. Biden emphasizes distributing work sites across the US rather than concentrating them in high-growth centers, which would be a boost for rural areas.
- Workforce Development – Pair job creation with training that prepares the upcoming generations for jobs. Ensure that people who lose jobs are trained and prepared for new, good paying jobs. Provide a range of supports to help workers through this transition.
- Taxes – Increase corporate taxes and prevent tax cheats that headquarter overseas to evade taxes. No longer would they be able to pay zero taxes as is the case today.
Honestly, this plan is brilliant and makes us proud to be Democrats.
Article sources include this White House Fact Sheet, New York Times article, and Daily Yonder piece on rural infastructure investments in the American Jobs Plan.
DONATE TO THE ACDP
We are so grateful to everyone who has financially supported the ACDP in the past. The fight to defend democracy and turn Ohio blue is far from over. If you have not donated recently to the ACDP, and have the means, please do so today