FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
There’s A New Treasurer In Town!
Earlier this month, members of the County Democratic Central Committee appointed Athens business owner Josh Thomas (pictured above) to replace long-time Athens City Treasurer Mary Ann McClure.
Mary Ann resigned her post after 20 years of flawless management of the city treasury. She is one of those public servants who quietly got the job done without ever seeking the spotlight. Her name was rarely in the press, not only because she never sought media attention — but more importantly — because she didn’t make mistakes. Working closely with City Auditor Kathy Hecht and her staff, Mary Ann approached her job with quiet professionalism, vigilance on behalf of city residents, and a deep commitment to the Athens community. Thank you Mary Ann for your years of public service, civic involvement and support for the Democratic cause.
We’re fortunate that Josh Thomas is taking on the City Treasurer responsibilities. Many of you know Josh and his wife Jessica who own Brenen’s Coffee & Cafe on Court Street. As a business leader, he has shown his business savvy and fiscal responsibility during the toughest of times. Josh is not only an accomplished businessman, but somebody who has exhibited a sincere commitment to the betterment of the City of Athens. Josh, we’re glad to have you at City Hall!
💖 Valentine’s Day Fundraiser – Order by Feb. 7 💖
Join in the Valentine’s Day fundraiser for the Athens County Democratic Party! This special mug, made locally for the Democratic party by Sledding Hill Pottery, will be delivered along with Valentine cookies and treats. Keep or give as a special gift!
- Order by February 7 (do it today!)
- $100 each
- Send name, address, phone number, and how many to: Kathy Hecht
- Delivery will be February 12-13
- Pay (1) on delivery, or (2) online through ActBlue, or (2) send payment to ACDP, PO Box 191, Athens.
Dow Lake Shoreline Cleanup
Sign-up now to help pick up trash at Dow Lake on Sunday, February 27 at 11:00AM. This is the ideal time for litter collection as the lake is partially drained for winter. Surprisingly, it’s a fun activity and you never know what you’ll find (just ask Braden Mitchell, pictured above at the 2021 cleanup)! With new ODNR volunteer forms to be signed, we need participants to get on board within the next few weeks. Email at Janalee Stock today and let her know that you’ll help!
Lunch & Learn
Join us Wednesdays from 12 – 1 PM via Zoom for Lunch & Learn. The speakers are engaging, the topics are timely and it’s the best way to get insider information about what’s happening in the county and with the Dems!
- February 2nd: Our speaker will be Steve Patterson, Athens City Mayor. Mayor Patterson will be speaking on the City’s current financial situation. He will also update us on the 2022 and 2023 projects in the City. Register in advance here.
- Feb 9, 16, 23, and 30 topics TBA
FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER
Candidate Recruitment & Training Committee, chaired by Kathy Hecht, solicits candidates for elected positions, replacement candidates for vacant positions and for members of the Democrat Central Committee. It also can advise candidates on running a successful campaign. For questions or to join the committee, email Kathy Hecht.
- Central Committee precinct positions are on the May 3 primary election ballot. If you want to continue to serve (and we hope you do!), there is a green form that you must complete and submit to the BOE by this Wednesday, February 2. The list of Central Committee members can be found here on the BOE website under “Elected Officials.” We have a handful of vacant precinct seats so let Kathy know of Democrats that might be interested in joining the Central Committee!
- The Central Committee members for Athens City elected Josh Thomas to replace Mary Ann McClure as City Treasurer. Thank you Mary Ann for your 20 years of service to our city!
Community Service Committee, chaired by Janalee Stock, supports our communities through volunteer projects like litter pick-up, Little Free Libraries, writing cards for nursing home residents, making reusable bags, volunteering at food banks, and more. For questions or to join the committee, email Janalee Stock.
- Join us for the Sunday, February 27 Dow Lake shoreline cleanup. Details are in the “Upcoming Events” section of this newsletter.
- Many thanks to volunteers who wrote cards to nursing home residents for our December project. In 2021, we wrote a grand total of 600 cards to folks in our community who have often been the most isolated during Covid surges. A special shout out to 🌟Susan Holsapple🌟 who went the extra mile with each ask.
Finance & Fundraising Committee, chaired by Kate McGuckin, seeks to (1) ensure there are adequate funds to maintain and operate one or more Democratic headquarters (2) provide financial support to local Democratic Candidates, and (3) support special projects that enable the Party to raise funds and awareness. Past events include the Annual Donkey Trot, a 5K fun run/walk, and both Spring and Fall Dinners. For questions or to join the committee, email Kate McGuckin..
- Our Valentine’s Day fundraiser is on! Order a custmoized & locally made mug along with holiday treats for yourself or your Valentine while supporting our local party! Details are in the “Upcoming Events” section of this newsletter.
- It’s easy to make a contribution to our local party through ActBlue, an online fundraising platform for Democrats. Click here to donate today!
Neighborhood Campaign Committee, co-chaired by Andrea Reik, Janalee Stock and Dana Carlson, organizes activities that develop neighborhood connections, inform Athens residents about democratic values, and help elect Democrats. For questions or to join the committee, email Andrea Reik.
- Thanks to the 30+ Athens Democrats who stopped by the office to sign State and local Democrat candidate petitions in response to our MLK Day petition signature drive!
- We are always seeking speakers and topics of interest for Lunch & Learn. Your ideas are VERY appreciated so send them our way!
If you are not receiving our weekly emails about Lunch & Learn, please reply to this newsletter, email@example.com, to be added to the list.
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
Ohio House Democrats Elect New Leaders
The Ohio House Democratic Caucus elected its new leadership team for the remainder of the 134th General Assembly. In an all-caucus vote, Democrats elected Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) as Minority Leader.
“Our caucus is focused on creating good-paying jobs right here in Ohio, making healthcare more affordable and accessible, tackling corruption, and delivering for working people and families. I want to thank Leader Emilia Sykes for her service to our caucus, and I am ready to continue the work of building an Ohio that works for all of us,” said Leader Russo.
Additional members of House leadership include Assistant Minority Leader Thomas West (D-Canton), Minority Whip Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park), and Assistant Minority Whip Rep. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester).
Redistricting in Ohio
Legislative Redistricting: On January 12, the Ohio Supreme ruled that the Republican-drawn House and Senate district maps are clearly unconstitutional and gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission 10 days to submit new maps. In the 4-3 decision, it was Justice Maureen O’Connor, Republican, who voted with the court’s three Democratic justices. The court instructed the commission that the new maps must favor each party to win a share of districts as close as possible to the 54% Republican 46% Democratic share of votes.
Per the Court’s timeline, on January 22 the commission in a 5-2 vote along party lines passed its revised version of the maps. Once again, the Republicans drew gerrymandered districts that do not meet the criteria set forth in the Constitution or in the Court’s ruling. Three anti-gerrymandering organizations have filed legal objections, each asking the court to invalidate the maps and ordering the commission to start over. The commission has until Friday to respond. Read more here.
Congressional Redistricting: On January 14, in another 4-3 ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court found that the Republican-drawn congressional districts were illegally gerrymandered and gave state lawmakers 30 days to pass constitutional maps. “The General Assembly produced a plan that is infused with undue partisan bias and that is incomprehensibly more extremely biased than the 2011 plan that it replaced,” the opinion reads. Read more here.
Now, two-thirds of the Ohio legislature is needed to pass a new version of the Congressional map. If they fail, the process goes back to the Ohio Redistricting Commission where Republicans can pass a four-year map without Democratic approval. Read more here.
Biden has completed his first year in office and there’s been a lot of talk about his performance. Here are the facts about the many successes of the Biden Administration!
The Trumpian disinformation campaign is poisoning our democracy and harming our party. Today I’m extracting from respected historian Dr. Heather Cox Richardson’s excellent summary of Biden’s first year. Direct quotes are italicized. To read the whole letter, which will inspire and reassure you, click January 22, 2022 – by Heather Cox Richardson (substack.com)
Biden has embraced the old idea, established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) and the President Dwight D. Eisenhower (R), that…the federal government has a responsibility to keep the playing field level for all. Democrats believe that the federal government needs to regulate business, provide for civil rights, ensure our safety, and maintain infrastructure.
Here are some of the accomplishments of the Biden administration’s first year in office that deserve repeating!
- …passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to jump-start the economy by putting money into the pockets of ordinary Americans…and cut child poverty in half…
- …expanded access to the Affordable Care Act… bringing the total covered to a record 13.6 million. So –
- By year end, U.S. companies were showing 15% profit margins, higher than they have been since 1950…
- By December, joblessness had dropped to 4.2%.
About 4.1 million jobs were created, more than in the 12 years of the Trump and G.W. Bush administrations combined.
- Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill… to repair bridges and roads and get widespread broadband.
- U.S. economic output jumped more than 7% in the last three months of 2021.…economists predict 2022 growth of around 4%—the highest numbers in decades, and higher than any other country…
- …the federal budget deficit in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 dropped 33% from…2021. The inevitable downside of this growth is a 7% inflation, which is a global problem.
- Biden reoriented U.S. foreign policy to defend democracy… rejoin the WHO and the Paris Climate Accord…he and Secretary of State Blinken worked to rebuild NATO and to combat terrorism by defunding terrorists.
Despite Biden’s success, his popularity hovers in the low 40s. Why? Because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he is “100 percent” focused “on stopping” Biden, so the Trumpian media continues spreading lies.
And one final signal of Biden’s successful first year – the US Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the US economy grew 5.7 percent in 2021, the fastest full-clip since 1984, despite the ongoing pandemic. Read more 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.