A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
Ted Linscott Advocating for Fair Districts at the Redistricting Hearing in Rio Grande
As we approach Labor Day, and I drive by beautiful buildings like Bentley Hall that make Athens such an iconic city, I think about Ted Linscott and others who built those buildings brick by brick. Ted is a retired bricklayer who’s devoted his life to helping others. While Ted was born and raised in Athens, his reputation as a leader in the labor movement has been felt throughout Ohio and beyond. Ted is the President of the SE Ohio Labor Council and a member of the Ohio AFL-CIO Executive Board. He is soft spoken and kind, and inspires others as he leads from the front with a fierce commitment to the cause of working people. Whether it’s fighting for fair wages, safe working conditions or dignity and respect in the workplace, there is no doubt Ted will be on the front lines. On this Labor Day, I hope you’ll take a moment to think about things we take for granted like the 40 hour work week, weekends, workplace safety rules, unemployment benefits, and the like, and what things would be like without the labor movement and people like Ted Linscott. Thank you Ted!
Lunch & Learn
LUNCH & LEARN is back September 1! Andrea Reik has hosted this weekly event for almost three years and needs a hand. Is there someone willing host some of the weekly meetings? Or assist in scheduling speakers? Without additional assistance, L&L cannot continue to be a weekly event. Please email Andrea and volunteer.
- September 1: Wrapping up the summer, status of current Ohio and US bills and redistricting update. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- September 15: Status of Ohio 322 and 327 education bills which prohibit the use of Critical Race Theory education. Members of the Racial Equality Coalition of Athens County will be presenting. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
Parade Lovers – Come March with the Dems!
We need marchers, flag wavers and sign carriers to come out in force to these upcoming parades. Let’s make our presence known in all of our area communities! For more information and to volunteer, contact Engagement Chair Patrice Beard.
- September 6 – Jacksonville Old Settler’s Parade. Parade begins at 11 AM and lasts 30-40 minutes. Plan to meet on Palmer Street near the Bread of Life Church at 10: 15 AM. Allison Russo t-shirts will be available or wear a blue or white shirt of your own. For more information, contact organizer Ric Wasserman at 740-707-3678. What a great way to celebrate Labor Day!
- September 12 – Albany Independent Fair. Parade begins at 12 PM and lasts 45-60 minutes. Meet on Washington Road at 11:00 AM and wear either a blue or white shirt. Ask Patrice any questions!
Mark your calendars for these October parades – details to follow in Sept. newsletter:
- October 3 – The Plains Indian Mound Festival
- October 9 – OU Homecoming
Volunteer for the Allison Russo for US House District 15 Campaign!
With your help, we have a real opportunity to elect Russo to Steve Stiver’s former Congressional seat! Miss canvassing door-to-door? Then come join us at the Dem office at one (or all!) of these canvassing kick-off times:
- Saturday, September 11, at 10 AM or 12 PM
- Sunday, September 12, at 12 PM or 2 PM
Athens County Young Democrats Host U.S. Senate Candidate Morgan Harper
ACYD is happy to welcome guest Morgan Harper on September 15 from 7-8 PM at the Dems Office. Harper is an up-and-coming progressive who ran for Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District. Despite her loss, she is pushing onward to continue fighting for progressive ideas and has just announced her 2022 run for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat. Register online at https://bit.ly/Harper-Event. Email Noah Bunting with questions about this and other ACYD events.
U.S. Senate Candidate Tim Ryan Visits Athens
Oh, what a night! On August 26, Congressman Tim Ryan made a compelling pitch to area democrats about why he should be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2022. Held outside on the gorgeous grounds of The Zenner House, Ryan rallied supporters around issues including raising wages, healthcare, investing in children, rebuilding infrastructure, expanding broadband coverage, and revitalizing manufacturing. To learn more, volunteer, or donate to his campaign, click here.
Russo Wins Primary & Faces Trump-Endorsed Opponent
Congratulations to Representative Allison Russo on winning the Democratic Primary for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District! She now faces Trump-backed coal lobbyist Mike Carey on November 2. Join her mailing list and donate now so we can win back our district!
Welcome to Rio Aagaard-Shively, Regional Organizing Director for the Russo campaign for Athens, Hocking, Morgan and Vinton County. He will be working out of our office and can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 406-214-8375. Or stop by the Dem office any Wednesday from 1-4 to meet Rio.
On August 25, Judge Zach Saunders swore into office Athens County Treasurer Ric Wasserman in front of friends and supporters who gathered at his uptown establishment, The Pigskin Bar and Grill. Wasserman, who has been treasurer since May 2018, will serve another four-year term beginning September 1. Congratulations, Ric!
Another County Fair in the Books!
A huge thanks to Athens City Law Director Lisa Eliason for organizing our booth at the Athens County Fair. The patriotic theme brought dozens of people in to register for the American flag drawing and her cadre of volunteers handed out candy and small flags to the kids. A big shout-out to Shelly Horvath, Sara Boyd, Solveig Spjeldnes, Beth Clodfelter, Kristen Jaeck, Patrice Beard, Rodney Smith and Brenda Smith for working the booth despite the sweltering temperatures!
Nelsonville Knows How To Throw A Parade
Patrice says that the Parade of the Hills hosts the second largest parade in the county each year and we believe it! An all out community celebration, the Athens Dems used this opportunity to unveil their new banner and had a ball cheering, waving and handing out American flags to the crowd. Three cheers to Patrice Beard for her leadership and the volunteers that turned out!
Athens Dems Clean Up!
Our community service volunteers beat the heat one very early morning in August and collected a whopping eleven bags of litter on our adopted highway section of SR 550! Want to help next time? Contact Janalee Stock.
The Athens County Young Democrats held their first meeting Wednesday, August 18 at the Athens Dems office. Democrats ages 18-35 are invited to join this new group whose goal is to bring together a diverse group of individuals to address local issues through community action. For more information about the ACYD, click here.
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
State Legislative Maps: The Ohio Redistricting Commission, charged with drawing new lines for the state’s 99 House and 33 Senate districts, held its first ten public hearings on college campuses last week despite the fact that the deadline for drawing the new maps is September 1, with an extension to September 15 if there is an impasse. We must keep pressure on the majority-Republican commission to make this a transparent process with public participation, unlike in 2011 when they gathered in a secret hotel “bunker” to draw our districts and produced the new maps only hours before the vote.
Congressional Maps: The Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly is charged with re-drawing the Congressional districts and they haven’t released any dates for hearings or opportunities for public input. The deadline for adopting a plan is September 30. If there is an impasse, the Ohio Redistricting Commission has until October 31 to adopt a bipartisan plan. If the commission fails, power goes back to the state legislature with a deadline of November 30.
With Republicans largely in charge of both of these processes, we cannot let up the pressure. Take action by:
- Registering for the League of Women Voters of Athens County’s Public Redistricitng Meeting on Thursday September 9 at 7:00 PM via Zoom. Mark Erhardt, a member of Fair Districts Ohio speaker’s bureau, will provide an update on Ohio’s redistricting process.
- Gathering at the State House for “Fair Maps Day” on Tuesday, September 21 from 10 AM – 2 PM. There will be an opportunity for legislator office visits and organizers are looking for a BIG CROWD, with Ohioans from every county and corner of the state. For more information and to register, click here.
- Checking out the Ohio Redistricting Commission’s new website where you can find info about its members, meetings, the process, as well as submit a proposed map of your own!
- Educating yourself – For an overview of the map-drawing rules and process, click here. The Legislative Service Commission also has a detailed brief that it prepared for the members of the General Assembly here.
House Bill 248 is Deadly and Must Be Stopped
“House Bill 248 is a bill that would, in effect, end vaccine requirements in the state of Ohio”, writes Representative Dr. Beth Liston in her Columbus Dispatch Opinion piece. “If the bill becomes law, your school can’t require the kid who sits next to yours to be vaccinated for polio. Your favorite restaurant can’t require its cooks to be vaccinated against hepatitis. Your parents’ nursing home can’t ask its caregivers if they are vaccinated against whooping cough. And the ICU in my hospital can’t keep out unvaccinated staff who could kill our patients with a sneeze.”
No surprise that our Representative, Jay Edwards, is a co-sponsor of a bill that ALL public health experts oppose, but let him know that you stand firmly against it by contacting him at (614) 466-2158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
House Bill 387 – A More Extreme Attack on Voting By Ohio Republicans
- eliminate secure ballot drop boxes at board of elections sites
- cut the 28 day early voting period that’s been in place since 2014 to 13 days, and then later to six days
- bring back the requirement that a voter must provide an excuse to ask for a mail in ballot, such as illness or extended travel
- ban the Secretary of State from mailing out absentee ballot applications in even year general elections, which has been happening since 2012.
TALK LIKE A DEMOCRAT
I’m glad that Congress is willing to fix and build roads, bridges and other structures. This will bring jobs and improve safety. But my family needs help with childcare, the child tax credit and college tuition? What’s happening with the social infrastructure plans?
The Democrats in the House passed the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint for infrastructure bills to address physical infrastructure and also social infrastructure. Although building bridges and fixing roads has mostly bi-partisan agreement, providing help to families is opposed by all Congressional Republicans. So, that part of the proposal is all Democratic. True to Democratic Party values, we can now draft legislation that will advance these vital needs, including funding to tackle climate change and substantial investments in education, childcare, health care, paid leave, and support for parents. In contrast, not one Republican in the House or Senate supports these social infrastructure proposals despite their popularity in the polls – even by average Republicans. For more information, go to this New York Times article.
Employers complain that people aren’t returning to work. But for parents to be able to work, they need affordable, accessible childcare, after school options, and paid leave. The Harvard Business Review stated that, “In our national panel survey of 2,500 working parents we found that nearly 20% of working parents had to leave work or reduce their work hours solely due to a lack of childcare. Only 30% of all working parents had any form of back-up childcare, and there were significant disparities between low and high-income households.” HBR continued, “26% of women who became unemployed during the pandemic said it was due to a lack of childcare…”
Social investment is critical for our families and our economy. “We have much better evidence for high returns on public spending on people, especially children, than we have for high returns on infrastructure investment…,” wrote Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, professor and NYT columnist on August 9, 2021,
Using reconciliation and having the benefit of a Congressional Democratic majority, we can make this happen. Contact your legislators to ask them to vote for the entire infrastructure plan.
For more information on the effects of child care subsidies on US labor force participation, Go here.
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