And they're gone!!!
Our first batch of yard signs came in and disappeared immediately!
The good news is that they are beautiful -- and free! The campaign decided to pick up the cost so no one will be charged for a sign. Of course, a contribution to help cover costs would be greatly appreciated. You can donate here.
The second batch will be coming in by the middle of next week. We will send an email notification once they have arrive. For those who are outside of Columbus, we are organizing volunteers to drive the signs to other parts of the state.
The wonderful Jackie Bird is going to be coordinating distribution of the signs (along with some kind helpers). You can reach out to her with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Jackie!
If you are willing to help with distribution from Columbus to other parts of the state, please let Jackie know.
Addressing help needed at the office on Monday!
We are getting in a batch of "Yes on Issue 1" cards that need to be sent out to voters who have requested absentee ballots. We could use help getting the mailer together next week at Petition Central, 35 E. Gay Street, Suite 404, Columbus 43215. Volunteers who are willing to help, please send an email to email@example.com.
If you or your group wants to help with this project, let us know! We can send or deliver the cards, addresses, envelopes and postage.
Phone bank for Issue 1 from home
We have set up a way for you to phone bank from home to support Issue 1. If you are interested in helping out that way, watch the tutorial below, then click on the link below to get started.
Start Make Calls: https://www.openvpb.com/vpb_bycode/1B8652M-971681
Recent Editorial Endorsements
Columbus Dispatch, Yes on Issue 1 for Congressional Redistricting Plan, April 10, 2018
Findlay-Hancock County Courier, 'Yes' on Issue 1, April 10, 2018
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Yes on Issue 1 for Congressional Redistricting Reform in Ohio, April 8, 2018
Lima News, State Issue 1 Brings Fairness to Redistricting, April 7, 2018
A big thank you for your patience as we work to distribute yard signs!
Yard Sign Pick Up Times and Places
Fair Districts office, 35 E Gay Street, Columbus 43215
We are located in Suite 404 and signs are available during regular office hours (9:00am-5:00pm) starting Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
437 Piedmont Rd, Columbus, 43214.
4/10 Tues: 7-9pm
4/11 Weds: 7-9pm
429 Piedmont Rd, Columbus, 43214
4/12 Thurs: 10am-noon and 7-9pm
4/13 Fri: 10am-noon and 7-9pm
4/14 Sat: 2-4pm
Sunday and later dates also possible.
671 Old Coach Rd, Westerville 43081
4/12 Thursday: 2-5pm
4/13 Friday: 10am-1pm and 4-7pm
4/14 Sat: 9am-noon
Call Andrea Yagoda at 740-881-5713 and firstname.lastname@example.org
She is available Monday through Friday from 7:00pm-9:00pm and on the weekends.
Far from Columbus? We are working to distribute yard signs across the state. Today is just the first step in distributing these signs. If you have questions, please send an email to email@example.com. Thank you!
Yard signs will be available from the League of Women Voters of Ohio by April 11. Reserve yard signs today.
Issue 1 has now been officially endorsed by both the Ohio Democratic Party and the Ohio Republican Party. I wanted to draw your attention to a line from last Sunday’s op-ed by Former Governors Bob Taft and Ted Strickland:
“We both give tremendous credit to the citizens’ groups in Ohio who formed the Fair Districts = Fair Elections coalition after years of frustration with the current mapmaking process. Their efforts to push for a ballot initiative establishing a bipartisan redistricting commission sparked action among Ohio’s elected leaders.”
The Primary Election is quickly approaching and two new organizers have joined the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Team.
Mia Lewis who has collected more than 3,000 signatures has been hired as Common Cause Ohio’s Campaign Coordinator. She is helping organize the important activities that will help educate voters about Issue 1. Many of you have likely heard from her already. She is working with regional leaders to come up with plans to distribute information about gerrymandering and Issue 1 at events and at the polls.
In addition, Michaela Hahn Burriss, formerly of the Small Business Majority, has been hired by Represent.US to organize 24 phone banks around the state of Ohio.
Please help me welcome Mia and Michaela and, if you haven’t already please, sign up today to help get the word out about Issue 1. You can also search for and post events related to Issue 1 at this Campaign Event Map.
Yard signs will be available from the League of Women Voters of Ohio by April 6. Reserve yard signs today.
Got petitions? Please return signed petitions by April 12. The address at Petition Central is: 35 E. Gay St., Suite 404, Columbus, Ohio 43215. We need to have an updated signature count.
Gerrymandering took center stage at the US Supreme Court last week. On March 28, the highest court considered a Democratic gerrymander. Maryland officials denied that any gerrymandering occurred. But even if it did, they maintain, the courts should not address gerrymandering because there are no manageable standards for them to use to determine when partisan gerrymandering goes too far. It was not clear from the argument on Wednesday which direction the Supreme Court is heading. Justice Stephen Breyer went so far as to propose that the court should hold another argument not only in the Maryland and Wisconsin partisan-gerrymandering cases, but also in the North Carolina partisan-gerrymandering case that is currently on hold for the first two cases. To learn more about click on this link: Benisek v. Lamone.
Reminder: April 9 is the voter registration deadline for the May 8 primary. Verify and update your registration today at myohiovote.com.
Do you have questions? Our phone number is 614-259-8388 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 8th is right around the corner. Just as we relied on your hard work and expertise to get us this far, we are turning to you again to help us spread the word about Issue 1 and advocate for the strongest YES vote.
Whether it is distributing flyers at an event, talking to your neighbors, or doing a presentation to a group--we need your help!
Volunteers will also be able to order t-shirts and yard signs--more info coming soon.
Please fill out THIS FORM to let us know all the ways in which you are willing and able to help (and add in your own suggestions as well). We will provide you with flyers (and soon with buttons, T-shirts, and yard signs), as well as the talking points below.
Talking Points for Issue 1
Issue 1 vs Signature Gathering
Thank you for all you do!
Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio and Fair Districts
A big thank you to Arnold Schwarzenegger for inviting the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition to the Arnold Sports Festival!
We had a wonderful time terminating gerrymandering and talking to Ohio voters.
The Guvernator also met with Governor John Kasich and legislative leaders to toast the passage of congressional redistricting reform which will be Issue 1 on the May 8, 2018 ballot.
Issue 1 of the May Ballot
Thanks to the collection of more than 200,000 signatures to place congressional redistricting reform on the November ballot, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed their own bipartisan plan on February 5. The Ohio House moved quickly and voted (83-10) on February 6. The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5), establishes strong protections against one-party control of congressional redistricting reform. Voters will need to approve this proposed change to the Ohio Constitution, which will be Issue 1 on the May Primary Ballot.
The Ohio General Assembly would never have taken action if it wasn’t for the work of redistricting reformers like you. Thank you so much for all your hard work to improve democracy! A big thank you to the team of redistricting reformers who are busy organizing petitions at Petition Central.
Click here for Flyer about Issue 1
Some Talking points:
Click here for More Information on Issue 1
Signature gathering to place the Fair Districts = Fair Elections proposal on the November General Election Ballot will continue in case SJR 5/Issue 1 does not pass in May. Thank you so much for collecting signatures. Please turn in your petitions regularly.
Let’s Get Together!
On March 11 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Whetstone Public Library, 3901 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214, let’s get together to talk about Issue 1 of May 2018 and the next steps for slaying the gerrymander. Sign up here.
If you have questions, suggestions or would like to organize another discussion or event, please call 614-259-8388.
Thank you for all your hard work fighting gerrymandering!
Common Cause and Fair Districts
Our efforts are paying off! After years of advocacy and months of gathering signatures for a new ballot initiative that would make the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional map more fair and less partisan, Ohioans across the state may have finally convinced the General Assembly that inaction on gerrymandering is unacceptable.
Tonight, the Ohio Senate (31-0) passed a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that meets the standards our Fair Districts = Fair Elections coalition have demanded from any congressional redistricting reform proposal. We have demanded that:
Here’s how it works:
Stage One: Passage of a map requires a three-fifths vote of both the House and Senate and must include at least 50 percent support of minority party members. If that doesn’t work…
Stage Two: Ohio’s existing seven-person bipartisan redistricting commission will be empowered to draw districts and must approve a map with at least two minority party votes. If that doesn’t work…
Stage Three: The legislature gets another chance to pass either (1) a 10-year map with one-third of the minority party’s support or (2) a four-year map without minority party support. If the process gets to the last stage not requiring minority party support, stricter rules protecting against unfair manipulation would apply.
Elected officials do not give up the power to draw one-sided congressional districts on their own. This happened because of your visits, rallies, calls, and emails, and because together we have gathered more than 200,000 signatures.
We are about to make history because of your hard work. The Ohio House will vote on this proposal on Wednesday. If it’s approved, it will go to the ballot for voter approval in May. Thank you for keeping up the fight and pushing the Ohio General Assembly to do the right thing.
JANUARY 29, 2017
CONTACT: Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio, 614-579-5509
Columbus, OH -- After days of negotiations between members of the Fair Districts=Fair Elections coalition and leaders of the Ohio legislature, efforts to reach a compromise have failed. Legislative leaders have created a system that fails to minimize county splits or create a bipartisan system, leaving Ohioans across the state living in unfair congressional districts for the next decade.
“We sat for days in good faith and always said any deal must halt partisan gerrymandering and keep communities together. S.J.R. 5 does neither and completely abandons the voters,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, executive director of the Ohio Environmental Council and one of the leaders of Fair Districts=Fair Elections. “This is simply why no one trusts politicians. We have no choice to continue onward with our ballot initiative to ensure voters across Ohio aren’t gerrymandered into districts where their elected representatives aren’t beholden to voters.”
"We are disappointed that we couldn't come together on a fair solution. The Huffman proposal simply does not address partisan gerrymandering,” said Ann Henkener with the League of Women Voters. “Any solution needs to focus on the voters and fair elections. Our ballot initiative will move Ohio to fair congressional districts, and we look forward to ramping up efforts to ensure voters have a chance to speak loudly this November."
"Voters deserve fair districts that aren't manipulated,” said Catherine Turcer, with Common Cause Ohio. “The Huffman proposal was amended but allows drawing district lines for partisan advantage and allows communities and counties to be sliced and diced. It would simply legitimize gerrymandering in the Ohio Constitution. We’re going to fight it."
The Fair Districts=Fair Elections coalition ballot initiative has thus far collected nearly 200,000 of a required 305,591 signatures to appear on the November ballot.
Voters finally have an opportunity to give the Senate feedback on their sham redistricting proposal SJR 5, which does nothing to stop partisan gerrymandering.
There will be two hearings for opposition testimony: Tuesday at 2:30 pm and Wednesday at 9:45 am (with a possible vote afterwards) in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. (room 126S on this map - easiest entry is from 3rd St, then up the stairs).
If you are willing to testify, please RSVP using this link so that we can plan accordingly. You will also need to provide Drew.Hawking@ohiosenate.gov with an electronic copy of your testimony no later than 24 hours before committee.
Let's give them an earful of why this proposal does not amount to REAL reform. Looking for inspiration? Read today's editorial the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which said the 'Blatantly skewed Ohio GOP congressional redistricting "reform" plan belongs in the trash."
Got five minutes? Call members of the Senate Committee that will be hearing this bill next week and let them know you OPPOSE SJR 5.
Chairman Bill Coley - (614) 466-8072
Vice Chair Joe Uecker [pronounced EEK-er] - (614) 466-8082
Senator Kevin Bacon - (614) 466-8064
Senator Troy Balderson - (614) 466-8076
Senator Bob Peterson - (614) 466-8156
Senator Kris Jordan - (614) 466-8086
Senator Frank LaRose - (614) 466-4823
Senator Matt Huffman - (614) 466-7584
Talking points may include:
Thank you for all that you do!
Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
Together, we are slaying the gerrymander. Due to your hard work we now have over 188,000 valid signatures with 27 counties over the 5 percent threshold. Counties that reached the threshold since December 12: Ashland, Geauga, Hardin, Knox, Morrow, Muskingum, Union, Warren and Wyandot. We need more than 305,000 valid signatures. Please keep collecting in all counties and please keep getting those petitions in.
With the weather getting colder and winter beginning in earnest, we must shift our collection strategy, but there are still plenty of opportunities to interact with more voters. Make sure you are bundling up and staying warm.
Fair Districts & Redistricting Reform in the News:
Editorials Week of December 17:
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio Redistricting Reform Can Work - If the Rules Are Tight
Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com, Redistricting Repair Faces a Deadline
Week of December 24:
Dayton Daily News, Ohio Voters May Change Way Congress Lines Are Drawn
WOSU, Ohio Joins Wave of States Trying to Erase Gerrymandering
Week of December 17:
WOSU, 'Gerrymandering Is Really Bullying': Inside Ohio's Attempt to Reform Redistricting
WKSU, Ohio Is at the Center of a National Debate over Drawing Political Lines
WKSU, Ohio Voters May See Two Anti-Gerrymandering Issues on Their Ballots Next Year
WKSU, How Did Ohio's Most Liberal City End Up with Its Most Conservative Congressman?
Cleveland.com, No Ohio Gerrymandering Fix Yet and No Details on Progress- Out of Line: 2017 and Beyond
WKSU, Snakes, Ducks and Toilet Bowls: How Does Ohio Shape Its Congressional Districts?
WKSU, Summit County Has Four Congressional Districts but Not a Member of Congress to Call Its Own
Please donate online or mail a check to Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio, c/o League of Women Voters of Ohio, 100 E. Broad St., Suite 1310, Columbus, OH 43215.
2017 was a rough year but seeing so many people committed to working to create a more functional and healthy democracy continues to be truly inspiring. More than 2,700 people have turned in petitions. In 2018, we are going to end gerrymandering. Have a Happy New Year from Fair Districts Team!