A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
For too long, workers have had to play defense in the face of attacks against unions by Republican state legislatures and the US Supreme Court. Despite these attacks, public opinion in support of labor unions continues to rise with 65% of Americans now having a favorable view in a recent Gallup survey. We are now at a pivotal moment in time. You would probably have to go back to FDR to find a president as supportive of labor as Joe Biden. Passage by the US House of the PRO Act this month marked an important step toward rebalancing labor laws and turning back wrong-headed Right to Work laws that are making our communities poorer and our workplaces more dangerous. I hope you’ll join me in thanking the entire Ohio Democratic delegation for supporting the PRO Act and calling on Rob Portman to stand with Ohio workers and support the PRO Act in the US Senate.
Lunch & Learn
Every Wednesday, from 12-1 PM via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.
- March 31: “Preserving Historic Mount Zion Church”- Hear from Tee Ford-Ahmed, Mount Zion Baptist Preservation Society, on the community efforts to save the last standing iconic structure of the black history in our county. Register Here
- April 7: Roxanne Groff will discuss how the Ohio Statehouse is fast tracking several pieces of legislation to prohibit people from exercising their right to peacefully protest. Register Here
- April 14: TBA
- April 21: TBA
- April 28: TBA
If you are not receiving our weekly invitations to Lunch & Learn, please reply to this newsletter, email@example.com, to be added to the email list.
COVID Vaccination Update
Starting March 29, Ohio will allow all persons age 16+ to be vaccinated. Check with the Athens City-County Health Department, your pharmacy, or health care provider about scheduling your vaccine.
MAY 4 PRIMARY ELECTION
The only contested race on the May 4 Democratic Primary Ballot is for the Athens City 4th Ward Council seat. There are no ballot issues.
PLEASE NOTE! Residents of the 4th Ward that want to vote in-person on Election Day must vote at the Athens County Board of Elections (BOE), located at 15 S. Court Street, next to the Courthouse. No other polling locations will be available.
Important Primary Election information:
- Register to vote by April 5. Check your voter registration status and update your address here.
- Absentee Ballots – voters must submit an Absentee Ballot request in writing to the BOE. More info can be found here.
- Early In-Person voting runs from April 6 – May 3 at the BOE. Watch this page for information on days/times.
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
Bills we are Watching-Which to Support and Which to Oppose
The For the People Act, already approved by the House of Representatives as H.R. 1, expands voter registration, protects voting access, limits voter purges, and requires states to establish non-partisan commissions to redraw their congressional districts every 10 years. However, the senate version, S.1, faces fierce resistance from Republicans. Changes to the Fillibuster rules are being considered by Senate Democrats in order to get this and other important legislation passed. For a full discussion of the Act, see our “Talk Like a Democrat” section of this newsletter.
Ohio Senate Bill 17, introduced by Tim Schaffer, District 20, from Lancaster, would be very harmful during this pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. With long lines at food banks here in Southeast Ohio and around the state, not to mention expensive hospital bills for people who get COVID, SB 17 would toughen the eligibility requirements for the SNAP program (formerly known as food stamps) and for Medicaid health care coverage. It would also cut millions of federal support dollars for our state. Call State Senator Frank Hoagland about SB 17 at (614) 466-6508.
Ohio House Bill 1, The Fair School Funding Plan, was reintroduced at the beginning of the 134th Assembly by Rep. Bride Sweeney (D) and Rep. Jamie Callender (R) with 66 cosponsors. It is slated to become part of HB 110, the biennium budget bill. The Ohio League of Women Voters supports the plan noting that “the Ohio Constitution mandates that the legislature provide adequate funds that are distributed fairly so that every student in every district has the benefit of a sound education regardless of a community’s capacity to fund a high quality education. More than 20 years after the Ohio Supreme Court found Ohio’s funding system to be unconstitutional in the first DeRolph decision, it looks like a remedy is at hand.” For a general overview of the bill, click here.. A detailed analysis of the bill by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission can be found here. To see the financial impact on each school district in Ohio, click here.
Work is underway to ensure that the mapmakers in charge of redrawing our State and Congressional districts this year do not engage in partisan gerrymandering. For an eye-opening look at Ohio’s most gerrymandered Congressional Districts and how it has impeded the election of Democrats, check out this article from 2019; and yes, both of our Athens County districts are included in the list!
Thanks to Fair Districts Ohio, a nonpartisan coalition, there are many opportunities for citizens to get educated and take action in support of Fair Maps. Check out these upcoming events that are open to the public.
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 Rachel’s email newsletter here.
RECENT ACDP ACTIVITIES
Dow Lake Cleanup
Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to Dow Lake on Saturday, March 6 to help with a shoreline litter pick up! Want to be notified about future community service projects? Contact Janalee Stock to be added to the email list.
TALK LIKE A DEMOCRAT
I’m angry about the accusations of voter fraud, Dark Money, and gerrymandering. Larry Householder and his cronies’ bad behavior should never have happened and must be prevented in the future. I’m also angry about the 250 Republican-sponsored voter suppression bills in states across the country. What can we do?
Simple! Urge Senator Portman to vote for Senate Bill 1 known as the “For the People Act” AND thank Senator Brown for supporting it.
This is a sweeping package of common-sense reforms supported by many organizations including the League of Women Voters and the Brennan Center for Justice. The For the People Act would transform our democracy in the following ways:
- Protect the voting process: Ensure that our elections are safe from fraud and secure from foreign interference. Require states to track and confirm the receipt of absentee ballots and make this information available to the voter who cast the ballot.
- Prohibit Deceptive Practices and Prevent Voter Intimidation Prohibit false information about elections to hinder voting and increase penalties for voter intimidation.
- Curtail big money in politics: Counteract the power of special interests and end dark money.
- Expand and ensure voting rights: Fight voter suppression efforts and make voting easier for all eligible voters.
- End extreme partisan gerrymandering: Create a nonpartisan, open process to draw fair congressional districts in every state.
- Hold elected officials accountable: Implement tougher ethics laws.
Despite the fact that it would restore accountability and trust in our democracy, the legislation passed in the House with no Republican support. Now it’s in the Senate where Chair Amy Klobuchar started hearings on March 24 “so we can quickly advance these long-needed democracy reforms to ensure our government is, of, by, and for the American people.”
Please TAKE ACTION by calling or writing Senator Portman to request he support S.1 (202)-224-3353. For a model advocacy letter and script you can use, click here.
*Much of this information was extracted from an email written by Liz Walters, firstname.lastname@example.org
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