A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
Trivia Q: Has an Athens County native ever run for statewide office?
Answer: Yes. Right Now!
In case you missed it, our very own Taylor Sappington is running to be the next Auditor of the State of Ohio.
One reporter called Taylor the “most interesting human being to run for statewide office in Ohio — ever.” Taylor was raised by his single mom in a trailer outside of Nelsonville, growing up as a working class kid. He makes a modest salary as the Nelsonville Auditor, he’s young — 30 years old — and he’s gay. In short, Taylor is a welcome contrast to the old, wealthy, lawyerly, milk toast slate of statewide candidates the Republicans have put forward.
Not only is Taylor the kind of candidate Ohio voters can relate to, he’s the perfect antidote to the entrenched, arrogant and corrupt brand of politics we’re seeing in Columbus right now.
After taking office in Nelsonville, Taylor launched an investigation that sent the former City Auditor to jail. He’s gotten the city’s finances together, and led the successful effort to retain Nelsonville’s city status.
Taylor is direct, and plain spoken. He says what he thinks, and means what he says.
So with Taylor, we have an historic opportunity not only to support an Athens County native, but someone who’s going to shake things up in Columbus and bring a strong voice for our part of Ohio.
If you’ve not already done so, I hope you’ll consider supporting Taylor’s campaign https://secure.actblue.com/donate/sappingtonwebsite
Because if there’s one thing our state needs right now, it’s someone who will Balance the Books, and Catch the Crooks!
Voter Registration Drives
Help us register voters before the April 4 deadline! Email Andrea Reik if you can assist at an upcoming drive:
- Donkey Coffee – April 1 and 2
- Athens Farmers Market – Saturday, April 2
Lunch & Learn
Please join us for some interesting and informative LUNCH & LEARNs, Wednesdays from 12 – 1 PM. We continue to reach out to Democratic candidates running for statewide office to join us. If you wish to present or have an interesting topic, please reach out to Andrea or Solveig.
- March 30 – Lizzie Bjork, Southeast Ohio Regional Field Organizing Director, Ohio Democratic Party. Register in advance here.
- April 6 – Sam Jones, international boxer and owner of Sam’s Gym, who has been mentoring kids and serving Glouster since 1960. a…Register in advance here.
- April 13th Chas Canter, M.Ed. LPCC. Director of the exciting new Crisis Services at Hopewell Health Centers. This is an entirely new intervention that is changing mental health services in our area Register in advance here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
PUMPKIN’S READY FOR THE PRIMARY! ARE YOU?
Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive to remove the General Assembly from the May 3rd Primary. A state panel is trying to determine the path forward because the redistricting maps have not yet been approved. The new maps – the 4th versions – are due Monday, March 28th. Everything is up in the air at this moment. Take note of these important dates:
- April 4 – deadline to register to vote in the primary. You can register online, by mail, or in person at the Board of Elections. Details here.
- April 5 – early in-person voting begins at the Board of Elections; absentee voting by mail begins.
- April 30 – the deadline to request an absentee ballot is 12:00 PM noon.
- May 2 – Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by this date.
- May 2 – early in-person voting at the Board of Elections ends at 2:00 PM.
- May 3 – Primary Election Day! Polls are open 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM. Confirm your Athens County polling place here. Absentee ballots that are personally delivered (not mailed) to your County Board of Elections must be received by 7:30 p.m.
Tip from Pumpkin . . . you can now do all of the following online:
- Check your voter status
- Update your voter information
- Check voter I.D. requirements
- Register to vote using the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system or by completing a paper form and delivering it to the Athens County Board of Elections.
FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER
- Hours: Currently the office is open Wednesdays from 1 – 4 PM, but we will be expanding our hours soon. If you are interested in volunteering to cover the office during the week, email Andrea Reik.
- Masks: They are now optional inside the office.
- Lost & Found: Two jackets were found – an extra-large blue Columbia vest, and a large blue zip-up hoodie.
- And: Please check out our window painting by the talented Abi Scherer!
Date Change – Update Your Calendar!
The Central and Executive Committees are now meeting on the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 PM. Contact John Haseley with questions.
ODP IS Hiring!
Lizzie Bjork, Southeast Ohio Regional Organizing Director, let us know that the Ohio Democratic Party will be hiring field organizers on a rolling basis beginning in May. She loved being an organizer because it gave her a chance to work with passionate people and to stand up for democracy. Positions as Campus Organizers and Digital Organizers are also available. Job descriptions can be found here and email Lizzie with questions!
COMMUNICATION COMMITTEE advances our Party’s message and principles through various communication channels and strategies. To find out more or to volunteer, email chair Lauren Dikis.
- We would love to add a couple more members to support our efforts to spread the word far and wide about events and candidates. Let Lauren know that you’re interested!
- If you are interested in spreading the word about policies that we support and do not support, contact Solveig Spjeldnes who’s coordinating Letters to the Editor. She will help you craft and edit a letter that makes a point you care about. Then, she’ll give you the information you need to send it to area newspapers.
COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMITTEE supports our communities through volunteer projects. To find out more or to volunteer, email chair Janalee Stock.
- On Sunday, February 27, we were joined by the Climate & Sustainability Ambassadors, a group of OU students coordinated by Dr. Ryan Fogt, for a Dow Lake exposed shoreline litter pick up. Blessed with sunshine and blue skies all returned with smiles, and enough bags of waste to fill the entire bed of a pick up truck! THANK YOU to all who participated! See photo above.
- A litter pick up is being scheduled on Route 550 (our Adopt a Highway). These occur four times a year with a team of committed volunteers. Athens ReThink Plastics complements these efforts with the message we will never be able to recycle or pick up enough litter to make a difference when Single Use Plastic has become so prevalent. This is creating critical concerns about it’s effect on our health, and the environment.
FINANCE & FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE ensures there are funds to maintain operations and support local candidates, and holds events to raise funds and awareness. To find out more or volunteer, email chair Kate McGuckin.
- St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser Update – We raised $800 for the party! Thanks to everyone who participated.
- Been a while since you’ve donated to our local party? It’s your lucky day! There are 9 custom-made mugs remaining and one can be yours with any $100+ donation! Kathy Hecht Hecht to secure this beautiful keepsake. It’s our fun and fanciful way of saying “thank you” for supporting the party.
NEIGHBORHOOD CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE organizes activities that develop connections, inform residents about democratic values, and help elect Democrats. To find out more or volunteer, email co-chair Andrea Reik.
- THANK YOU to the 20+ volunteers that participated in our March 5 organizing meeting to align our efforts for the Primary and General Election.
- Let’s Get Voters Registered! Email Andrea Reik and let her know that you want to help with the upcoming registration drives. Details are in the “Upcoming Events” section of this newsletter.
- In the event that the Primary Election date is changed, we will use volunteers to phone Democrat voters to ensure that they are aware of the new date.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE organizes our participation in community events, parades and festivals including the annual OU Homecoming Parade, Nelsonville Parade of the Hills, and the Athens County Fair. To find out more or volunteer, email chair Patrice Beard..
- We need 2-3 volunteers for Glouster First Fridays! The gathering happens between 5 – 8 PM at the Park/Glouster Depot across from the Unified Bank. We’ll set up chairs and a table and have signs and other campaign materials available. Are you a candidate? This is a great way to meet your constituents! Email Patrice to tell her you’re interested in helping on one or more of these Fridays: May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5.
ATHENS WELCOMES NAN WHALEY
A fundraiser was held for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley at Athens Uncorked on March 22. Mayor Patterson welcomed the crowd and introduced his fellow mayor from the City of Dayton. The event coincided with the roll-out of her blueprint for Appalachia Ohio that focuses on (1) universal broadband by 2028 (2) addressing the opiod crisis (3) building a powerful base for jobs and innovation, and (4) supporting veterans.
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
SB 215 – was signed into law by Governor DeWine and allows anyone 21 or older to carry concealed firearms without training or permits. Desiree Tims, CEO of Innovation Ohio, commented “No one asked for this bill. Police, parents, and responsible gun owners alike actively fought against it. But national Republican money once again spoke louder than Ohio values.” The law goes into effect on June 12. Read more here.
State Maps: “After three sets of rejected Statehouse maps, a primary in crisis and a brush with contempt of court, the GOP-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission is taking a different tack to mapmaking. It’s a tack that advocates of redistricting reform had begged them to consider months ago: draw lines in public rather than behind closed doors and use mapmakers who answer to the entire commission rather than legislative leaders alone.” The mapmaking team has grown and now includes two mediators from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to help settle disputes and two outside, independent consultants including Doug Johnson, a nationally controversial, GOP-aligned mapmaker. Read more about his tarnished record and reputation here. The commission has until Monday, March 28 to adopt a new set of maps. Read more here.
Congressional Maps: Ohio’s Congressional map is also being challenged in court. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Redistricting Action Fund filed a new lawsuit against Ohio’s map last week after its last challenge was tossed for technical reasons. Read more here. The League of Women Voters of Ohio, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the ACLU of Ohio have made the hard decision not to refile their lawsuit.
TALK LIKE A DEMOCRAT
Polls show that many people are not happy with Biden’s actions regarding the war in Ukraine. What do world leaders and experts say about how Biden is handling the Ukraine crisis?
Last week, NPR reported that “… 81% of Republicans rated Biden’s response [to the war in Ukraine] as fair or poor… 62% of Democrats described the president’s response as good or excellent. Once again, far right disinformation campaigns are sending people down a rabbit hole that hurt our party, our role in the world and our democracy. In fact, Biden is doing an excellent job given the challenge of dealing with Putin, a fascist war criminal.
In the one month since Putin invaded Ukraine, Putin has demolished parts of Ukraine and even targeted hospitals, residences, and fleeing families. To justify his invasion, Putin falsely claims that the U.S. and Ukraine have been preparing bioweapons. This narrative “exploded on social media right at the time of the invasion, and…was quickly picked up by the far right on social media and [by] QAnon promoters,” said Radnitz, a University of Washington professor and an expert on post-Soviet Russia, …these labs are actually “part of a Defense Department program to support public health research in post-Soviet countries.” Military experts are concerned that Putin is planning bioweapon attacks and intending to blame Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO. Putin used bioweapons in Syria, so why not now when his invasion is being thwarted by brave Ukrainians wanting their nation back.
World leaders and experts praise Biden for bringing NATO nations together – that Trump divided – to collectively assist Ukraine. Massive aid, military support and crippling sanctions hopefully will push the Russian people and oligarchs to stop Putin. A unified NATO led by Biden is telling Putin that if he uses weapons of mass destruction, the response will be decisive. Putin must be stopped before he expands further, but experts know that if nations send soldiers or create a no-fly zone, WWIII is likely. Creative strategizing is a must. There is no place for Putin supporters. We need to stand with Biden.
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.
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