Ohio has a long history of redistricting reform with citizen-led efforts on the ballot in 1981, 2005, and 2012. In 2015, Ohioans overwhelmingly supported state legislative redistricting reform.
Many of us are familiar with the hard work of Joan Lawrence, a Republican state representative (1982 – 1999) from Galena. In light of the upcoming hearings on redistricting reform by the Congressional Redistricting Reform Working Group, it is worth taking a look back at another proponent, Governor James A. Rhodes.
In a July 3, 1981 letter to Benson Wolman of the ACLU and Robert Graetz, Jr. of the Ohio Council of Churches, Governor Rhodes wrote:
"Gerrymandering is not a Republican or a Democrat problem. It is a fundamental problem with government that must be corrected."
Rhodes’ sentiment rings true and it is time to end the unfair practice of gerrymandering and focus on reforms that focus on the voters and creating a more robust democracy.
On October 26 and November 1, the Congressional Redistricting Reform Working Group is holding public hearings on how best to address congressional redistricting reform. The first meeting on Thursday, October 26 is at 10:00am and the Wednesday, November 1 meeting is at 6:00pm. Both hearings will be held in Room 313.
Members of the Congressional Redistricting Reform Working Group: State Senators Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Vern Sykes (D-Akron) and State Reps. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire).