Hello Fair Districts: Here’s a quick update after the two hearings today, Weds Nov 3, and a plea to attend the hearings Thurs, 11/4, as follows:
9:30am, Ohio Senate Local Government and Elections Committee, South Hearing Room in the Ohio Senate Building, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
10:00am, Ohio House Government Oversight Committee, Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.
We’d need those committee rooms full! Please attend if you can, wearing your Fair Districts shirts and buttons. The topic of the hearings is the maps detailed below.
A recap of Wednesday: Just minutes before the Ohio House hearing began, the public had their first glance of the House GOP congressional map (a substitute for the original House Bill 479): Here is a link to the map in Dave’s Redistricting, and here are the stats. It is essentially a 13R, 2D map, although 5 of the R districts are within a wide definition of “competitive.” In the afternoon at the Senate hearing, Senators Yuko and Sykes presented the Democratic map.
After that, GOP Senator McColley introduced the GOP Senate map (sub for Senate Bill 258). The Democratic members of the Committee (and all of us) saw the map for the first time during the hearing. Check what the map looks like below (and take a look at the map and stats on Dave's):This map is also a 13R, 2D map, and the packing and cracking are even more obvious and egregious than in the House GOP map.
Anyone with even a passing understanding of the redistricting reform effort that culminated in the passage of Issue one in 2018 knows that maps such as these are not what was intended by the massively popular reform measure.
It’s important for Committee members in both the House and Senate to know that the people of Ohio will not stand for these gerrymandered maps! That’s why we are encouraging everyone to attend the hearings and pack those committee rooms. If you are able to testify, even better.
We know already to expect more hearings next week. Now that you’ve seen the maps, please consider preparing testimony ahead of time so you can submit as soon as we have the hearing details. Here's a suggestion: take a look at the House and Senate maps in Dave's and zoom in to your own neighborhood. Write testimony specifically saying how these maps would affect your community. Pointed, specific, clued in citizen testimony is powerful!