FROM OUR CHAIR, SEAN PARSONS
Happy New Year, ACDP!
I trust you had a refreshing holiday season. I spent most of mine with family, unplugging for a bit –– if you can call spending time with my kids, playing video games and watching movies, unplugging.
We have a full year coming up and important races up and down the ballot. While November seems like a long way away, it will be here before we know it! As you know, the work towards November begins quite early. I hope that each of you finds a way to donate some of your time or talents towards the effort. We have a full slate of candidates running who could use your energy and support. Whether it be regional, state, or national efforts, this all works because of YOU.
See you soon!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Jan 8 – Meet Ohio Supreme Court Candidates on Zoom
Join a conversation on Zoom at 7 pm with all four Democratic candidates: Michael P. Donnelly, Melody Stewart, Lisa Forbes, and Terri Jamison. To register visit bit.ly/ODWCJan8
Jan 9 – Attend the DNC Delegate Selection Caucus
While the 2024 DNC delegate application window has closed, you can still support by attending the delegate selection caucus for District 12, held at OU Zanesville at 1425 Newark Rd, Zanesville, OH 43701. Doors open at 6 pm; the caucus begins at 7 pm.
Jan 15 – MLK Silent March & Celebratory Brunch
The MLK Jr. 2024 Silent March will be on Monday, January 15, 2024 at 10:30 am at Good Shepherd Church at 64 University Terrace in Athens. The annual march, led by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, invites reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mission and impact.
Following the Silent March, the annual MLK Jr. Celebratory Brunch will take place in Baker Center Ballroom at 11 am on Monday, January 15, 2024, with food and refreshments provided. Featuring vocal and dance performances and a keynote address by OHIO alumna Tiffany Bowden, M.A., Ph.D. Tickets are required to attend brunch; for tickets and more info visit: https://www.ohio.edu/diversity/history-and-heritage-programming/dr-mlk-jr-celebration
Interested in helping sponsor a table for the OU College Democrats? Contact Patrice Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Jan 17 – ACDP Executive/Central Committee Meeting
Join us for the first ACDP meeting of the year at 5:30 pm at the Athens City Building.
Feb 4 – Campaign Kickoff Meeting
Calling all volunteers who can canvass, phone bank, and more in 2024 for our various Democratic candidates and initiatives. From 4 – 6 pm, location TBD – see “Volunteer Opportunities” below for details.
Feb 20 – Voter Registration Deadline for Primary
Deadline for voter registration for the March 19 presidential primary election (30 days before the primary).
March 19 – Primary Election Day
Polls will be open from 6:30 am – 7:30 pm.
2024 Campaign Kick-Off Meeting
Join us on Sunday, February 4 from 4 – 6 pm (location TBD) for our inaugural volunteer meeting in preparation for the 2024 election cycle – no football that weekend, please come!
Let’s come together to develop a plan of action for 2024. From canvassing and voter registration, to letters to the editor, and TikTok. What can you bring?
This year’s November election is vital to our democracy with the presidency at stake, as well as the US Senate and House, the Ohio Senate and House, the Ohio Supreme Court, and of course local races. And if all goes well, we’ll vote on the Citizens Not Politicians amendment to end political gerrymandering in Ohio.
Please get involved. To learn more contact Andrea Reik at email@example.com.
Seeking Vehicles for Parades in 2024
The Athens Dems are seeking volunteers to drive in parades and/or lend their vehicles and trailers to the effort. Ideas of themes and designs for floats are also appreciated! Contact Patrice Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Calling All Volunteer Ideas!
Do you have an idea for a project you’d like to see our local Democrats participate in? Contact Janalee Stock at email@example.com.
The 2024 election season has begun! Get to know your Democratic candidates for state and national offices.
Statement by Wenda Sheard,
Candidate for Ohio House District 94
“Hi, I’m Wenda Sheard. I’m an attorney and trained mediator with a PhD in political science, who first moved to Athens County in 1979.
I grew up in the Cleveland area during the 1960s, watching my parents be active in the civil rights movement. I went to high school during a time when slightly older classmates were drafted for the Vietnam War. I earned a law degree because I wanted the tools necessary to make change, and the ability to help others make change.
Halfway through law school, due to a tragedy, I felt the need to escape city life, and instead live somewhere rural like the Girl Scout camps that I loved attending as a child. I was lucky to land a legal job in Athens County after law school. I met my husband, science teacher Richard Thieret, here in 1982. All three of our children were born at O’Bleness Hospital.
I’m keenly aware that tragedies exist in our rural paradise as well as in big cities. We have hungry families, polluted water wells, drug addictions, and not enough affordable housing. We have big corporations that pay so little that too many families must rely on the government for food assistance and healthcare.
I’m running for office because our current Ohio General Assembly has lost the ability to focus on the difficulties facing Ohioans. The August and November 2023 elections prove that point. Then, last week our Republican Governor had to veto the legislators’ attempt to take away parental rights over their children’s health care. Citizens, not politicians, should have the freedom and resources necessary to decide what’s best for themselves.”
Statement by Elisha (Lish) Greiner,
Candidate for Ohio House District 95
“Hello, I am Lish Greiner, a native Ohioan running for the Ohio State 95th District House Seat. I grew up in Southeastern Ohio and currently reside in Athens, Ohio.
I am a nurse who obtained a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Ohio University. I have worked in several leadership roles in the healthcare sector, ending my career after serving as the Executive Director of a healthcare facility, to start my own small business. My experience in leadership is where I learned to listen to all parties involved, make heavy considerations that often had impacts on the community, and how to tie policy making and people together in a way that makes the most sense for all parties involved.
I grew up like many southeastern Ohioans, on a farm, and with the typical experiences of other people living in the region. My family was impacted by many socioeconomic factors, as well as other human struggles. As a young person living through a life of struggles, I never dreamed a successful life was even a possibility for me.
I am also a wife and a mother. Together my spouse and I have raised both biological children and many “bonus” children. I have witnessed the children in my life, both biological and non-biological, have their own set of life struggles and also persevere to be successful.
I look forward to listening to the struggles and successes of the people in my district. I plan to use my time as a state representative to pass laws designed to help families of the 95th District succeed in their lives and enjoy the freedoms of democracy.”
Statement by Ari Faber,
Candidate for Ohio Senate District 30
“Hi, I’m Iva ‘Ari’ Faber, a queer, progressive, native Appalachian, and I’m running for state Senate. I’m running for office because above all else I want to help people. In my early 20s this looked like wanting to become a therapist, but I quickly realized systemic issues, such as poverty and access to healthcare, were the issues at the root of many folks’ mental health issues. It’s hard not to be depressed and anxious when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or how you’re going to pay rent. With this in mind I decided to pivot and work for nonprofits only to realize we’re placing bandaids on missing limbs. I have realized policy is how we change these issues, but I’m not a politician. I am a helper who sees politics as the most sustainable way I can help others.
As someone who grew up in rural Appalachia I am intimately familiar with the issues we face. I grew up in severe poverty. Our natural gas was often disconnected in October and would remain disconnected for months, rendering our stove, furnace, and water heater useless. My father would go to the food pantry at our church so my parents could put food on the table. Several times someone from the church took him to the gas station and paid for his gas so he could get home. If elected I hope to address the rising rates of food and housing insecurity, poverty, and healthcare.”
STATE & NATIONAL OFFICES
Candidate for US House, Ohio District 12
Jerrad Christian is running for the 12th US Congressional District. A resident of Delaware County, Jerrad hails from Glouster and, at our Fall Dinner, spoke to the lessons he learned growing up in poverty in Appalachia. Learn more about Jerrad and get involved: https://www.christianforohio.com/
Candidate for Ohio Supreme Court
10th District Court of Appeals Judge Terri Jamison has announced her candidacy for the Ohio Supreme Court, running against Lisa Forbes in the March 19 primary.
Join a conversation, over Zoom on January 8 at 7 pm, with all four Democratic candidates: Michael P. Donnelly, Melody Stewart, Lisa Forbes, and Terri Jamison. To register visit bit.ly/ODWCJan8
For the month of January, the Athens County Democratic Party office will be open Wednesdays 1 – 4 pm. Hours will expand as the March 19 primary approaches.
While the Ohio Democratic Party has not yet endorsed the Citizens Not Politicians proposed amendment, a representative from the League of Women’s Voters will be present at the Dems office on Wednesdays so you can sign a petition to place this anti-gerrymandering legislation on November’s ballot.
Come visit us at 74 E State St, near the intersection of Stimson Ave uptown. This is a community space, hospitable to large gatherings; to use the office for a meeting, contact Andrea Reik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACDP COMMITTEE UPDATES
Community Service Committee – Chair Janalee Stock
Community Service volunteers had a busy December, as they wrote 282 holiday cards and delivered them to four local nursing homes. They also helped pack 1,025 boxes of food, and picked up seven bags of litter on 550. Thank you, volunteers, for brightening the holiday season for others!
Neighborhood Campaign Committee – Co-Chairs Andrea Reik & Janalee Stock
Please join our Campaign Kickoff Meeting on February 4 from 4 – 6 pm, location TBD – see “Volunteer Opportunities” for details. The Athens Dems are an all-volunteer organization, and we need YOU!
We’ll also be offering in-person coffee hours to talk about issues, i.e. gerrymandering, transgender issues, and updates on the implementation of Issue 2 – similar to our Lunch & Learn series, but not weekly. Stay tuned!
Finance Committee – Chair Kate McGuckin
As you set priorities for the new year, please consider donating a monthly stipend to keep our office and elect a Democratic Majority. To donate, contact Kate at email@example.com.
Communication Committee – Chair Ashley Sarver
We’re still seeking a new Communication Committee Intern to start ASAP, and hopefully continue on through the 2024 November election, although we’re open to semester-long commitments also. This is a unique opportunity to gain real-world social media experience – a chance to design and execute a social media strategy on behalf of ACDP! If you know of any capable and interested students (college or high school) please encourage them to contact Ashley Sarver at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or apply.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
The Athens County Democratic Party newsletter is a great way to stay informed about events, candidates and ballot issues. Sign-up to receive a copy of our e-newsletter each month.
DONATE TO YOUR LOCAL PARTY
We thank 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 to do so, please donate today.