A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR, JOHN HASELEY
If you watched the League of Women Voters candidate forum last week for At-Large Athens City Council candidates, you may have had the same reaction as me. Wow! Sarah Grace, Micah McCarey and Ben Ziff made a show of force with their thoughtful discussion of city issues and the future of Athens.
It is rare to witness three independent thinkers with such very different backgrounds who can come together and complement each other’s strengths, working cohesively for the good of our community. What unites them is a passion for the City of Athens and serving the people who live here.
During the League’s forum, Ben, Micah and Sarah asked for our vote in November. If you ask me, they’ve earned it.
Turn Out for Allison, Athens County!
With your help, we have a real opportunity to elect Democrat Allison Russo and win back the U.S. House of Representative’s 15th District! She faces Trump-backed coal lobbyist Mike Carey but you can help by:
- Door-to-door canvassing – RSVP here and meet us at the Dem’s office
- Saturdays at 10 AM or 12 PM
- Sundays at 12 PM or 2 PM
- Joining Allison’s mailing list and making a donation.
- Attending a very special fundraiser Thursday, October 14 from 5:30-7:00 PM at Pleasant Hill Vineyards, 5015 Pleasant Hill Rd, Athens. RSVP to Rachel Rossi at Rachel@redfernrossi.com.
Lunch & Learn
Join us Wednesdays from 12 – 1 PM via Zoom for Lunch & Learn. The speakers are engaging, the topics are timely and it’s the best way to get insider information about what’s happening with the Dems!
- September 29: Rep. Allison Russo – Candidate for US House Ohio District 15 – Special Election. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- October 6: Micah McCarey – Candidate for Athens City Council At-Large. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- October 13 : Sara Grace – Candidate for Athens City Council At-Large. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- October 20: Tim Warren, Candidate for York Twp Trustee, and Ted Linscott – Understanding Unions. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
- October 27: TBA
Volunteer for our Athens City Council At-Large Candidates!
As John said in his message, we have three excellent candidates running for three At-Large Athens City Council seats: Micah McCarey, Sarah Grace, and Ben Ziff. They are facing opposition, however, and need our help! To get involved with any or all of these candidate, email Andrea Reik.
The OU Homecoming Parade is Back!
On October 9, we’re joining the Ohio University Dems for the biggest parade of the year. We need marchers, flag wavers and sign carriers to come out in force. For more information and to volunteer, email OU Dem President Grant Perry.
Community Service Volunteer Opportunity!
We are currently doing a card drive for nursing home residents. Please drop off 5-10 lovely cards with a handwritten note of care and good cheer (no political statements) to the Athens County Dem Office, 74 East State St. September 29th during open office hours 1:00-4:00 PM. Or September 30th 5:00- 6:00 PM. Drop off times may be extended if we have too few cards. Email Janalee for more details and questions please.
Submit Questions and Support Your Local Candidates!
The League of Women Voters of Athens County is hosting virtual candidate events for many Athens County races. Click here for the full list of events, information on submitting questions, and where you can view the live events. All candidate events will be recorded and viewable from the League website approximately 24 hours after the event.
- Nelsonville City Council – Tuesday, September 28. The public can submit questions to NelsonvilleAsks@gmail.com no later than 7pm on September 26.
- Glouster Village Council – Wednesday, September 29
- Alexander Board of Education – Thursday, September 30. The public can submit questions to AthensAsks@gmail.com no later than 7pm on September 28.
- Nelsonville York School Board – Monday, October 4. The public can submit questions to NelsonvilleAsks@gmail.com no later than 7pm on September 28.
- Dover Township Trustee – Tuesday, October 5.
- Troy Township Trustee – Wednesday, October 6.
Local Active Democrats To Receive Award Monday
Roxanne Groff and Patty Mitchell are two of the 2021 Jenco Award recipients! Roxanne is being recognized for her dedication to the protection of Appalachian Ohio’s natural wonders, and her support for citizen representation in local communities. Patty is being recognized for her efforts to empower and advocate for those with developmental differences through art. The virtual celebration is Monday, September 27 at 6:00 PM. For details and to register, click here.
VOTING 411 FOR NOVEMBER 2
Make sure you have a voting plan for the upcoming election and check that your friends do, too. Here are the important dates:
- October 4 – deadline to register to vote. You can now register online,, by mail, or in person at the Board of Elections, 15 S. Court Street, Athens. Details here.
- October 5 – in-person voting begins at the Board of Elections. Check their walk-in hours here.
- October 30 – the deadline to request an absentee ballot is 12 PM noon.
- November 1 – early in-person voting at the Board of Elections ends at 2 PM
- November 2 – Election Day! The polls are open 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM. Confirm your Athens County polling place here.
Welcome to Athens, Rio!
We extend the warmest welcome to Rio Aagaard-Shively, Regional Organizing Director for the Russo campaign for Athens, Hocking, Morgan and Vinton County. Rio grew up in Missoula and graduated in 2019 from the University of Montana with a degree in American Politics. He’s organized in support of voter rights and with campaigns across the mid and mountain west. In 2020, he worked in Ohio on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.
Rio is passionate about rural healthcare, public education, and labor organizing. Between campaigns, he enjoys kayaking, camping, and fly fishing. Rio is working out of our office and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 406-214-8375. Or, stop by the Dem office any Wednesday from 1-4 to meet him.
Jacksonville Old Settlers Reunion Parade
Thanks to all the Athens Dems who gave up part of their Labor Day to share our Democratic message by marching in the Jacksonville Old Settlers Reunion Parade. Participating in local parades allows us to celebrate alll of our Athens communities while having fun! Thanks to Ric Wasserman for coordinating for this parade.
Albany Independent Fair Parade
Held on Sunday, September 12, the Athens Dems used this opportunity to share our message, and had a ball cheering, waving and handing out American flags to the crowd. Three cheers to Patrice Beard for her leadership and the volunteers that turned out!
LEGISLATION AND REDISTRICTING UPDATES
So Many Republican Bills Targeting Mandates, With So Little Scientific Support. After public protests, testimony, and warnings from powerful health organizations and business groups, Republicans have put the brakes on House Bill 248, a bill that would, in effect, end vaccine requirements in the state of Ohio. The Republican caucus has removed the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jennifer Gross, from the House Health Committee for trying to bypass normal procedures and force her bill onto the floor. There are only 7 sponsors of this dangerous bill, and its no surprise that our Representative, Jay Edwards, is one of them. Read the full article here.
However, the GOP just introduced HB 425 that prohibits mask, vaccine and testing mandates and would apply to public and private schools, businesses, and governments, only carving out exceptions for hospitals and healthcare settings. According to a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article “[i]ncluding private entities may pose a roadblock for the legislation, given the Ohio Chamber of Commerce — which is very influential — has opposed forcing businesses to mandate or not mandate vaccinations and other requirements. The bill follows a proposal to ban COVID-19 vaccines for public school and university students and staff, House Bill 424, and comes as House GOP leaders are working on a bill to expand exemptions for vaccine mandates.”
Prohibition Against Teaching, Advocating, or Promoting Divisive Concepts. Testimony on both HB 322 and 327 was taken this past week at their third hearing. Among the many voicing strong opposition to the legislation are the League of Women Voters of Ohio, The Ohio Education Association, and the ACLU. In the least shocking news, our own Rep. Jay Edwards is a co-sponsor of both bills. For an overview of the hearing, click here.
I’m concerned about the extremism of Republican party legislators and candidates that don’t represent me. What’s happening with redistricting? What can I do to promote fairness?
Your voice is important, in fact, your input is urgently needed to push legislators to create a fair new Ohio U.S. Congressional district map. We need to push back against Republicans’ manipulation of the process despite a short timeline. The initial map is due on September 30.
On September 15, 2021, the Republican majority on the Ohio Redistricting Commission (composed of 5Rs and 2Ds) overrode Democratic opposition to approve another set of gerrymandered state legislative maps. The new state districts will likely award a vetoproof majority of 62 of 99 (63%) House seats and 23 of 33(70%) Senate seats to Republicans creating essentially a one-party state. Because these latest state maps were not approved by the Democrats (the minority party), the law requires them to be re-done in 4 years.
After this fiasco, the process of creating Congressional districts map is underway. If the legislature (in which Republicans hold a supermajority) doesn’t agree on a map by Sept. 30, the Ohio Redistricting Commission has until Oct. 31 to draw its bipartisan map. If they fail, the legislature has until Nov. 30, 2021, to approve a final map. As with the state legislative map, if the Democrats don’t approve the map, it must be re-done in 4-years. Not wanting to wait 4 years, two law suits were filed. The first was filed by the Ohio ACLU, League of Women Voters, the A. Phillip Randolph Institute and others alleging that the maps are unconstitutionally gerrymandered so they should be struck down. The second was filed this week by the National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF). This hopefully will affect not only the state maps, but also the process going forward.
Following each decennial national Census, each state must re-set districts for state legislative and congressional seats. In 2010, Ohio established gerrymandered districts that guaranteed a Republican supermajority. Angry voters demanded fairness. So, the Ohio constitution was amended to require a fair redistricting process for the Ohio Legislature and our Congressional Districts.
Please contact your legislators to ensure that the Congressional map complies with the Ohio Constitution and is fair to ALL Ohioans. To learn more and take action:
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