A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
2021 marks the 10 year anniversary of our citizen’s veto of SB 5. So many of you came together and helped prove that we could prevail over the attack on Ohio workers led by John Kasich and anti-union Republicans. Winning 62 percent of the vote, we proved that by standing united, we have a powerful voice even with Republican domination of all branches of government in Ohio. That’s an important lesson for us today. As we head into the challenges of 2021, I hope we can all draw inspiration from our monumental achievement ten years ago.
And Happy Birthday, John. We so value your leadership!
Lunch & Learn
Every Wednesday, from 12-1 PM via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.
- March 3: 6-7:30 PM *Note Change From Usual Time* Learn about the Ohio budget from Rachel Coyle, founder of “How Things Work at the Ohio House”. Register here
- March 10: “Ten Years since SB 5” – Hear from Dennis Willard of “We are Ohio” about how this law, which limited collective bargaining in Ohio, was repealed at the ballot box. Register here
- March 17: TBA: Register here
- March 24: “What Happens to Substance Abuse Disorders during a Pandemic?” – Presented by Athens County recovery providers. Register here
- March 31: TBA
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.
League of Women Voters of Athens County Democratic Candidate Forum for Athens City Council, 4th Ward
- March 23: 7-8:30 PM, Christine Fahl and Alan Swank. Please send your questions to AthensAsks@gmail.com no later than 7:00 PM, March 21. View the forum live at:
Ohio is known for having some of the most unfair, gerrymandered districts in the country which were designed, in secret, by Republicans in 2011. The result? For the last 10 years, Republicans have held a disproportionate number of state and legislative seats, putting policy into place that does not reflect the true will of the people.
At our Feb. 17 Lunch & Learn, Katy Shanahan, Executive Director for All On The Line Ohio, explained that in 2015 and 2018 Ohioans overwhelmingly supported two measures to overhaul our map-making process, both which take effect this year utilizing the 2020 census data. To complicate matters, the US Census Bureau has just announced that it will not release its data until Sept. 30 (6 months later than usual), but Shanahan emphasized that work must begin NOW and developed four principles for legislators and the Redistricting Commissioners to keep in mind. The following is excerpted from her recent blog post:
- The Census delay is no excuse to cut corners on transparency and public input. We want a transparent, inclusive, map-drawing process that provides us with lots of opportunities to voice our opinions about proposed maps. The census delay should not be an excuse to cut corners.
- The Legislature and Commission need to get to work now. They need time to adequately prepare their members to go through the process and determine the delay’s impact. This preparation includes getting funding from the Legislative Redistricting Task Force so that caucuses have the necessary tools and training to draw our maps, passing the required bill to set up how members of the public can submit proposed maps, and, most importantly, talking to all of us, their constituents.
- Non-census data should not be used as the sole basis for new maps. Federal census data is the most accurate data for map-makers to achieve equal population distribution and satisfy the many other statutory and constitutional requirements in redistricting. The best data set for redistricting is merely being delayed, not denied, and any map that primarily relies on non-census data is likely inviting a court challenge.
- We need new, fair maps for 2022. Ohio is home to some of the most gerrymandered maps and we shouldn’t be forced to vote under these current district lines ever again. New maps must be in place before the 2022 elections for both state legislative and congressional districts.
Want to stay informed on the redistricting process in Ohio? Sign-up to receive information from these organizations committed to the fight for fair districts:
BILLS WE ARE WATCHING
Learn about Pending State & Federal Legislation – Which to Support and Which to Oppose
- Ohio Senate Bill 17 will restrict eligibility requirements for poor Ohioans seeking government assistance to help pay for groceries and health care.:
- Contact Committee Chair Kristina Roegner. Tell her to STOP SB 17. No more hearings. No committee vote. 614-466-4823, roegner@OhioSenate.gov, Kristina Roegner on Facebook, https://twitter.com/kristinaroegner
- Contact your senator and tell him you oppose this bill
- Ohio House Bill 1 will fix our broken education funding system that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled to be unconstitutional in 1997. A comprehensive discussion of this bill, and what you can do to support it, is provided below in our “Talk Like a Democrat” section.
- President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief bill includes $1,400 checks for Americans, renewal of the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) for small businesses, enhanced food aid for families, an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, and so much more. Contact your elected members of Congress and tell them to support the bill!
- Senator Portman: (202)-224-3353, email: https://www.portman.senate.gov/meet/contact
- Representative Stivers (OH District 15, most of Athens Co.): (202) 225-2015, email: https://stivers.house.gov/contact/
- Representative Johnson (OH District 6, Carthage and Troy Twps):(202) 225-5705, email: https://billjohnson.house.gov/contact/
Want to Keep up with the Latest from the Ohio Statehouse?
You can influence legislators’ decisions with your calls and testimony. To learn which bills are under consideration, which to support and which to oppose, and how to have the most impact, go to Rachel Coyles’ Facebook group, How Things Work at the Ohio Statehouse. Not on Facebook? You can also sign up for email alerts from How Things Work at the Ohio Statehouse here.
RECENT ACDP ACTIVITIES
Food Soldier Food Hand Out
As they say, many hands make light work! We had a great crew of local democrats pitching in at the food give away sponsored by the Food Hunger Soldiers out of Columbus on February 27th. The organizer announced that they have gotten the go ahead to continue through March. Anyone interested in helping can show up on a Saturday morning at the Athens Co. Fairground. While we were scheduled to start at 11:00 AM, the vehicles started moving through at 10:15 AM. Questions? Email Janalee.
Thanks to the 44 respondents to our recent on-line survey of 2020 ACDP volunteers. It was great to hear all of the positive feedback, including 100% of those entering our office felt COVID safe with our protective measures in place. Those who indicated an interest in helping will be contacted soon by those spearheading your area of interest. We also heard some of you would be interested in a zoom meeting to do some future planning so stay tuned for more information.
Want to be notified about future community service projects? Contact Janalee Stock to be added to the email list.
ACDP PHOTO GALLERY
The ACDP’s Little Free Library is so popular, it needs frequent refills of books! If you have books you would like to contribute you can:
- Bring them directly to the Little Free Library, located in the community park next to the Athens Armory on West State Street
- Deliver them to ACDP office during office hours, Wednesdays 1- 4 PM
- Contact Janalee Stock to pick up at your home.
TALK LIKE A DEMOCRAT
“We’ve had three generations of Ohio students go through an unconstitutionally funded school system, leaving them victims to a scheme that has never accurately reflected the true cost of educating kids in this state. Legislators can easily end that seemingly ceaseless cycle by passing Speaker Cupp’s school funding plan,” DiMauro said. “The time for excuses is over. The time for action is now.”
Our small town kids can’t wait any longer to be a priority. The Fair School Funding Plan (FSFP HB 1) would fix our broken education funding system that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled to be unconstitutional in 1997. According to the Ohio Education Association (OEA), HB 1 that passed the Ohio House with overwhelming bipartisan support in the last legislative session was killed when the Ohio Senate refused to consider it – was reintroduced this session. Here is the link to the bill.
The Fair School Funding Plan (FSFP) would enact a student-centered school funding formula that is equitable, adequate, predictable, and that ensures that all students have the resources to succeed regardless of where they live or their family’s income. Plus, OEA is encouraged to see an emphasis on expanding broadband access to help close the digital divide for students and on wraparound services like mental health programs in schools. However, OEA is deeply disappointed in the governor’s refusal to draw on the $2.7 billion rainy day fund or to address the state’s unconstitutional school funding formula in his budget plan. The FSFP would provide an additional $1.99 billion in state aid when fully phased in and would provide about 70% of the increased funds to the poorest urban, small town, and rural districts in the state.
What’s frustrating is that the Ohio budget has enough to fund this proposal. Recent testimony from the non-partisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) estimated that Ohio has nearly a billion dollars more in tax revenue over the next biennium than Governor Mike DeWine’s executive spending plan budgeted for. So, the OEA is calling on the General Assembly to approve HB 1 immediately. “Our students can’t afford to wait any longer for Ohio’s leaders to do the right thing,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “The state can no longer justify its failure to act. The money is there to finally deliver on the promise of world-class education for all Ohio students once and for all.”
So, yes, please call or write our lawmakers in both the Ohio House and Senate and urge them to pass HB 1 now.
- Representative Jay Edwards, District 30, (614) 466-2158
- Representative Ron Hood, District 78 (Trimble Twp.), (614) 466-1464
- Senator Frank Hoagland, District 30, (614) 466-6508
- Senator Tim Schaeffer, District 20 (Trimble Twp.). (614) 466-8076
[This information was based largely on a recent OEA press release.]
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