FROM OUR CHAIR SEAN PARSONS
A sincere thanks to our many volunteers, organizers, and donors for a great Spring Dinner! What a wonderful night with OUCD President Julianna Rittenberg, Rep. Allison Russo, Sen. Sherrod Brown, and our own Chauncey Mayor Amy Renner. Amy hit the mark with her comments.
“So, while a village of 1,000 residents with a Republican stronghold may not seem like it’s worth the effort to invest in candidate recruitment, you could be missing great leaders who can teach their constituents democratic values through actions instead of words. Political gain doesn’t have to be measured by numbers. It can be measured by the 9-year-old girl down the street who declared she wants to be just like the mayor some day or the 96-year-old resident who handwrites letters of how proud she is of the work that is being done in her community. I encourage you to think about the Chaunceys, the Trimbles, and the Nelsonvilles of Athens County. That is where I believe the untapped potential of the Democratic Party is waiting.”
If you see Amy, thank her for sharing her inspiring journey, emphasizing the importance of empowering local leaders and recognizing the potential for change in our community! – Sean
More about Our Spring Dinner
A big special thanks to Kathy Hecht and Lisa Eliason for organizing the ACDP dinners for more than 15 years! After all these successful dinners, they have decided to step down from this one of their many roles. So, in the future our dinners will be organized by our new members of the Finance and Fundraising Committee. [See the committee information below.]
Thanks to Sean Parsons, Kate McGuckin, Lenny Eliason and our many doners, we have pledges for about $8700 and have $6553 in hand. If you still need to honor your pledge, bring or send your check to the office or pay on ActBlue. See the donation information at the end of the newsletter.
AUGUST ELECTION UPDATE – VOTE NO ON ISSUE 1
Sadly, the Republican controlled Statehouse approved spending $20 million to run a special election on August 8 asking citizens to approve an amendment to the Ohio constitution. If passed, it would require 60% of eligible voters (rather than 50% of voters as of the previous gubernatorial race) for passage of any future amendments, which makes passage of any citizen initiatives very difficult. Plus, 5% of eligible voters from all 88 counties (rather than 44) would need to sign petitions to get initiatives on the ballot. Again, possibly impossible! Republicans have publicly stated that the passage of this issue could prevent the approval of the Reproductive Rights Amendment AND the anti-gerrymandering/redistricting amendment in 2024.
How can you help us defeat Issue 1?
- VOLUNTEER! We will be canvassing, telephone banking and distributing window and yard signs. We need Letters to the Editor. We need people visible at local events. What will you do to end the assault on One Person – One Vote? To help, contact Solveig Spjeldnes or Andrea Reik
- VOTE! For voter registration information and instruction to register to vote on line go to Ohio Voter Registration Form – Ohio Secretary of State (ohiosos.gov). For information on how to get a State ID (which is required to vote) for those who do not have current drivers’ licenses go to Ohio BMV.
IT’S PARADE SEASON! MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!
- June 2 – Help staff a table for Glouster First Fridays. Come at 5pm to Glouster Depot/Selida Park.
- June 10 – Wear your Pride Colors to march in the Athens Pride Parade. Meet at 9:30am in front of Alden Library. The parade starts at 10. Also, we need volunteers to staff a table after the parade.
- June 11 – Help staff a table in the gazebo at Richland Ave. Park. Come at 11:30 for Athens Pride Field Day.
- June 17 – The Juneteenth Celebration will be held from 3-6pm on the College Green. Help staff a table.
- June 24 – Boogie on the Bricks will be on June 24. Help Dems spread the word. Set up is 11:30am and will continue into the evening. Pick a time you want to help.
All events are rain or shine. Wear your DEM T-shirts or wear blue or white. Folks staffing tables need to bring a chair and will be doing voter registration and spreading the word about the August election and the Reproductive Freedom Amendment. Contact Patrice to volunteer. Thanks!
SAVE THE DATE
- June 4 – Worker Bee Day
- July 8 – Plastic Free July at Odd Lots Parking Lot
See details below in Community Service
FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER
The DEM office at 74 East State Street is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons 1:00-4:00. Stop in to sign the Reproductive Freedom petition. Our window messaging is big and bold and has drawn people into the office. This week our window painters, Anna and Andy, have updated the message to include the Vote NO on Issue 1. We are the distribution site for Vote NO window placards. Soon we will have Vote No yard signs for a donation.
Athens County Dems rock in Ohio having reached 178% of their Reproductive Rights Amendment Petitions signature goal. We are standing at 1420 signatures this week with many petitions still circulating. We are the second highest percentage county in the state tally, with Morgan County right behind us with 153% of their goal. Working alongside the Athens ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Freedom the total signatures for Athens County will increase even more dramatically. Our coalition is now reaching out to Hocking and Meigs County Dems to support their local efforts in collecting signatures for the Reproductive Freedom Amendment. All petitions are due back to Columbus June 16.
- June 4 – Join us for “Worker Bee” Day when we will do litter pick up in the morning on SR 550. In the afternoon, meet at the DEM office to sew reusable bags.
- July 8 – Meet at the Odd Lots Parking Lot for Plastic Free July to pass out reusable shopping bags made from seed and animal feed sacks.
- Throughout July – Join us at area libraries to help spread the word about plastic pollution. Athens City is gearing up to implement the single use plastic bag ban ordinance that will begin January 1, 2024. Athens Farmers Market has a barrel where you can donate clean reusable bags to be distributed to food pantries. Contact Janalee for more information on any Community Service projects.
Thanks to Suzanne Perry for taking over the newsletter from Sara Boyd and Tanya Conrath. Sara took charge of our newsletter for many years and has moved East to live near her children. Ashley Sarver and Bonnie Perry have also joined the committee along with Solveig Spjeldnes who is serving as interim chair. We’re working on expanding our communications tools, making them more efficient and increasing our reach.
Finance and Fundraising Committee
Chair Kate McGuckin has been joined by new members Chris Chmiel, Paul Schneider, Ric Wasserman and Ari Faber. Their experience respectively includes putting on festivals, running businesses, TV production and serving as a foundation development director. Solveig Spjeldnes is temporarily assisting Kate with organizing meetings.
Candidate Recruitment Committee
We are fortunate to have Mayor Steve Patterson and Michael Wood join this important committee.
CONTRIBUTE TO OUR 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.