A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time traveling across Ohio and meeting with local officials. And I always come back home with an even greater appreciation of just how extraordinary the public servants are who work for us here in Athens County.
We want to begin highlighting the good work our public officials are doing in this newsletter, and I can think of no better place to start than the Village of Trimble and Mayor Doug Davis.
I’ll never forget the opportunity I had to walk through Trimble with Doug as he shared the history and the pride he has in his VIllage. It’s hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm and love for the area. Doug knows everyone, and every nook and cranny of his Village.
Doug has shown his steadfast commitment, serving as Trimble Mayor for almost 25 years. Federal, state and county officials have gotten to know Doug well and appreciate his tenacious advocacy for Trimble. He has scrapped and fought for every available grant and resource to help his Village and can always be found on-site and on the frontlines of Village projects.
Doug is currently working on a major project involving FEMA and the Land Bank where 12 blighted properties are being torn down to make Trimble an even more attractive place to live and raise a family. This project shows how Democratic officials work together for the benefit of the county as Doug has worked through the Land Bank with Commissioner Chris Chmiel, Treasurer Ric Wasserman and Zach Saunders when Zach worked in Prosecutor Keller Blackburn’s office. As Doug says, “It takes all of us working together to get things done”. Thanks to this joint effort, Doug shared that people stop him all the time to say, “Hey that really looks good,” and there is a growing interest in people buying homes and moving to the Village.
Doug has also worked hard in securing resources to upgrade the Village infrastructure, and has done street refurbishment, and put in a new water system and new water lines.
Doug is the kind of public servant every community can be proud of. And we’re proud that Doug Davis is an Athens County Democrat, and we hope you’ll join us in thanking Doug for all he does for our part of Ohio.
Thank you Doug!
Lunch & Learn – 120+ meetings strong, and more to come!
Remember when we met in person for Lunch & Learn?? Hopefully it won’t be long until we can gather again but thanks to the fearless leadership of Andrea Reik, Lunch & Learn has continued each week over Zoom during the pandemic. She has created a forum that educates our members, brings new people into the party, and fosters a sense of community. Andrea is a dynamo, taking on the role of organizer, promoter, host, and IT tech! Join us in thanking her for the time that she has put into growing this into a favorite Athens Dems event.
If you have ideas for presenters and topics, Andrea Reik would love to hear from you.
Lunch & Learn is held every Wednesday from 12-1 PM via Zoom. Registration is required.
- June 30: Meet Micah McCarey, Director of the OU LGBT Center and newly appointed Athens City At-large Council Member. He will be talking about Pride Month and activities of the OU LGBT Center. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- July 7: Hear from Gregory Betts, Democratic Primary Candidate for the US House District 15 seat. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- July 14: Ohio’s State Budget – Find out what was approved in the final FY 2022/2023 budget. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- July 21: TBA
- July 28: TBA
If you or someone you know is not receiving our weekly invitations to Lunch & Learn, please reply to this newsletter, email@example.com, to be added to the mailing list.
Parade Season is Coming!
Once again we will be reaching out to the Athens community by marching behind our ACDP banner at parades and festivals. Want to help with this fun activity? Then mark these dates on your calendar. For more information and to volunteer, contact our awesome Community Engagement chair Patrice Beard.
- July 10 – Coolville Founders Day (Coolville)
- August 21 – Parade of the Hills (Nelsonville)
MCCAREY APPOINTED TO ATHENS CITY COUNCIL
Congratulations to Micah McCarey for his recent appointment by the Democratic Central Committee to fill the vacant at-large seat on Athens City Council! He replaces former Councilmember Beth Clodfelter who resigned in May to take the position of Appalachian Regional Representative for Senator Sherrod Brown. Micah’s term runs through the end of the year which means that he will be up for re-election this November.
“City Council is already feeling like a perfect fit for me at this point in my life. I’m especially exited to contribute to goals related to quality city services, diversity and inclusion, and community health and wellness,” said McCarey.
Having moved to Athens as an undergraduate, McCarey has since earned his master’s degree in human development and is nearly finished with his PhD in positive psychology and decision making. In 2019, he became the Director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University.
Click here to read the Athens News article about his appointment.
Gubernatorial Candidate Visits Athens
Our first official in-person event was a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate and current Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. A large crowd of enthusiastic Democrats came to meet and greet Nan at Little Fish Brewery on Friday June 11, including Amesville Mayor Gary Goosman and Athens Mayor Steve Patterson (pictured above). Thanks go out to Little Fish for hosting and to Nan Whaley for coming to Athens so early in her campaign. If you missed it, learn more about Mayor Whaley here.
Athens Rethinks Plastics Sewing Bees
Many thanks to all who have helped with Athens ReThink Plastic’s June Sewing Bees held at the Dem Office. The goal is to supply Athens Public Library with 1,000 feed sacks upcycled into durable shopping bags. In July, sewing will take place at home, and the project could use your help! Please contact Janalee to volunteer to sew.
In July, all 7 branches of the library will have informational tables to distribute the bags and share information about the Sierra Club’s Plastic Free July Challenge. Please check this out and make the pledge to reduce unnecessary plastic in your life. The pledge connects you to a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses!
We know we cannot recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis; plastic is everywhere. This project is meant to highlight what we can do as individuals, but just as critically, to raise awareness and collectively demand action by our elected officials. More information here.
YOUR ATHENS DEMS OFFICE
Our Pride Flag is up year-round at the ACDP office but it has particular significance in June as we celebrate Pride Month! The office is currently open every Wednesday from 1 – 4 PM. Come visit and pick up your yard signs (arriving soon) in support of our two US House of Representatives District 15 candidates. Go to our Athens Dems Facebook page for updates on office hours and yard sign availability.
Did you know that you can use the office to host events for Democratic candidates, ACDP committee meetings and related events? To schedule your meeting, contact Andrea Reik.
AUGUST 3: SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION
Our Democratic Primary Candidates
Steve Stiver’s recent resignation has provided us with a great opportunity to elect a Democrat to Ohio’s 15th District in the US House of Representatives. We have two strong Democrats running – Representative Allison Russo and Colonel (Ret) Greg Betts!
- Allison Russo is presently serving her second term in the Ohio General Assembly representing House District 24. Information about Rep. Russo’s platform is available here.
- Greg Betts recently retired as an Army Colonel after 30 years of service. Information about Col. Betts’ platform is available here.
How to Vote in the Special Election
- Register to Vote: July 6 is the deadline to register to vote in the Aug 3 election. Not sure you are currently registered to vote? Check here. To register to vote online go to: https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/ , or visit the Athens County Board of Elections (BOE).
- Request an absentee ballot: You can request your Absentee Ballot now through noon on July 31. Request your absentee ballot by:
- Return your Absentee Ballot
- absentee ballots will begin to be mailed out by the BOE on July 7
- return your ballot by mail in time to be received by Aug 3
- drop off your ballot in the secure drop box in the parking lot BEHIND the BOE. Unfortunately, vandals damaged the drop box formerly located on Court Street, and the BOE will not be able to replace it until after the Aug 3 election.
- Vote on Election Day Aug 3
- polls will be open Aug 3 from 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM. To check your polling location, click here.
Meet the Candidates Event
Hosted by the Athens County League of Women Voters in partnership with the Metropolitan Columbus League, the virtual “Meet the Candidates” will take place on Tuesday, July 6 at 6 PM. There are three ways to watch:
- City of Athens Website, https://www.ci.athens.oh.us/278/Video;
- Facebook, https://www.ci.athens.oh.us/278/Video;
- On TV at the Government Channel, Spectrum Cable Channel 1024
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
Bills We are Watching – Which to Support and Which to Oppose
Ohio HB 294: Ohio’s anti-voter bill limits ballot drop boxes, cuts the number of early voting days, cuts off vote-by-mail ballot requests a week earlier and forces Ohioans to show two forms of ID or navigate new, complex ID rules to vote early or by mail. This is a copycat bill pushed by national far-right Trumpers that many other states with Republican-controlled legislatures have passed or are trying to pass. Read more about the angry outburst from Rep. Seitz earlier this month during a hearing on the bill directed at Minority Leader Sykes. For more information, see “Talk Like A Democrat”, below.
Ohio HB 327 & 322: Vaguely written and extremely broad, both seek to ban Critical Race Theory (“divisive concepts”) from being taught in k-12 and colleges. “Now more than ever, it is crucial that Ohio children receive an honest education — one that exposes rather than hides our state and nation’s tragic yet triumphant history. . .We must bravely acknowledge the role that systemic racism has played in our past and present, and empower our children to think critically about how they can uproot it. As Republicans seek to ban CRT, it is clear the time is ripe to do the opposite, and allow its many lessons to positively influence the next generation,” said Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio. Read more of her statement here.
What can you do to STOP the above bills?
Call our State Representative, Jay Edwards, at (614) 466-2158.
The Ohio Budget: A final version of the budget is likely to be approved by the June 30 deadline when the current two-year budget expires. The House-Senate conference committee is still working through the details, but as Brent Larkin writes, it is “virtually certain is that this budget will include a breathtaking number of atrocious decisions.” These may include:
- removing quality requirements from state-funded early-childhood education programs which will desperately impact Ohio’s poorer children
- a 5%, $874 million income-tax cut seemingly designed to benefit the wealthy and toss crumbs to working-class Ohioans.
- changing rules for food bank eligibility that Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, said will “take food out of the mouths of hungry children and working families.”
- breaking a promise to help fund low-cost broadband to poor, working-class families.
- eliminating most nursing home safety requirements ordered by DeWine during the COVID-19 crisis as pushed for by nursing home lobbyists.
- taking a greater funding percentage from public schools and putting it into vouchers and charter schools while gutting the bipartisan Fair School Funding plan that passed the House.
What can you do to protest the bill:
Take Action Here with the League of Women Voters of Ohio to oppose many of these as well as other atrocious decisions.
Once passed: Demand Governor DeWine veto the budget bill at: https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/contact
TALK LIKE A DEMOCRAT
THREE CHEERS for Solveig Spjeldnes, who researches and writes our Talk Like a Democrat column each month. Thank you, Solveig, for giving us the tools that keep us informed and allow us to speak knowledgeably with our friends and neighbors about important issues!
I’m concerned that Republicans are going to make it harder for me to vote as they are doing in other states. What’s happening in Ohio?
“Democracy is in peril, here, in America. The right to vote—a sacred right in this country— is under assault with an intensity and an aggressiveness we have not seen in a long time.” President Biden, June 21, 2021, said to support the S. 1 For the People Act that all Republican senators voted against.
The 2020 election was the cleanest and turnout was the highest in American history, but Republican leadership didn’t like the results. So, they are battling against voter rights across the nation to prevent Democrats from winning in future elections. The Brennan Center for Justice, reported that “at least 61 bills with restrictive [voting] provisions are moving through 18 state legislatures…31 have passed at least one chamber… Overall, lawmakers [including in Ohio] have introduced at least 389 restrictive bills in 48 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.”
In May, Ohio House Republicans proposed H.B. 294 that takes our election law in the wrong direction. We want legislation that allows for multiple drop box locations in each county, sensible voter ID requirements, modernized election technology and timelines that prioritize voters — not election boards or politicians. H.B. 294 would
- Allow drive-up ballot drop boxes ONLY at the county board of elections property – that’s one drop box per county!
- Make asking for an absentee ballot online harder than asking for a paper version by requiring two forms of ID rather than one.
- Stop the state from using taxpayer dollars to pre-pay postage for paper absentee ballot applications or actual ballots without legislative approval despite Secretary of State LaRose’s objections. This flies in the face of the law against voter suppressing poll taxes!
- Continue to allow purging of registered voters if they haven’t voted in recent elections.
“This bill [H.B. 294] does nothing to protect our right to vote. In fact, it erodes it. We must reject the Republican anti-voter bill and demand pro-voter policies that encourage participation in our democracy…because our democracy is for all of us not just for some of us.” Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson, Minority Whip. Ohio House.
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.