Making Democracy Work

Action Alerts

Help our Water Supply

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has draft permits out for 28,800 more pigs liquid manure to be applied at four new pig CAFO's in the Maumee/Lake Erie watershed.

Please ask Governor DeWine to require that these new CAFO's be required to treat the manure to human/municipal treatment standards and that when manure is applied to require the soil phosphorous to be the agronomic rate (40 ppm) used for commercial fertilizer rather than the excessive 150 ppm allowed for manure.

Here is a link for the ask to the governor: https://lakeeriewaterkeeper.salsalabs.org/lakeeriewaterkeepergovdewineletter/index.html

And here is a sample local government resolution to ask for treatment and lower soil phosphorous already passed by Toledo, Lucas County & Oregon. https://files.constantcontact.com/a0c7d23a701/3868602d-ca04-45e1-afb8-f0aa0ab98349.pdf

Let me know if you have any questions. Sandy Bihn Lake Erie Waterkeeper

Take Action To Ensure Secure Elections In Ohio

WHAT: TAKE ACTION to help ensure Ohio makes its registration systems and elections more secure.

WHY: Every Ohioans deserves to be assured that their vote is safe and secure, so they can vote with confidence and know their vote was accurately counted! More reliable machines would also make it less likely for voters to be mistakenly purged from the voter rolls.

Click here to write to your senator, and ask them to support Senate Bill 194.

Senate Bill 194 would require Ohio to adopt security guidelines and standards for the purchase and continued certification of voting equipment and add a cybersecurity expert as a non-voting member of the Board of Voting Machine Examiners.

Shine a Light on Dark Money: Demand Better Disclosure Laws in Ohio

What is Dark Money and Why is it a Problem?

According to the US Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, corporations generally cannot be prohibited from making campaign contributions, but Ohio never updated its campaign finance laws to reflect this new landscape. Ohioans should be able to "follow the money."

In 2010, an overwhelming majority (8-1) in Citizens United v. FEC emphasized the merits of transparency: "... prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. Shareholders can determine whether their corporation's political speech advances the corporation's interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are "in the pocket" of so-called moneyed interests... This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages."

Why is Disclosure & Transparency Important?

  • Disclosure permits voters to consider the source of election information. Is BP speaking? The Farm Bureau? The Hospital Association? Big Pharma?
  • Disclosure can help to deter corruption and avoid the appearance of corruption by exposing large contributions and expenditures. Such exposure may discourage improper pressure on candidates and arms the public with information so that they can detect possible post-election special treatment.
  • Disclosure is essential in identifying any campaign finance violations.
  • TAKE ACTION!

    Member Update on LWVO's Efforts to Fight the Purge

    We are writing to keep you directly informed of our sustained efforts in fighting the next round of voter registration purges. LWVO is working hand in hand with our voting rights partners to make sure that no eligible Ohioan is mistakenly removed from the voter registration rolls. We have had sustained media interest around this issue and a successful press conference today. Click here to view the press release about today's event and our letter to the Secretary of State. Click here to view the full recording of today's press conference with our voting rights partners.

    We need YOUR help to continue this work! Call the Secretary of State's Office. Click here to view our action alert with the number and message.

    SCOTUS Has Spoken. Now It's Our Turn

    Your reaction to this morning's Supreme Court ruling on gerrymandering was poignant, swift and full of determination. Many of you have reached out to ask: "What can we do now?"

    Your immediate action is IMPERATIVE to setting the course to right this ship!

    STEP ONE: We have established a SLAY THE GERRYMANDER ONCE AND FOR ALL FUND to help us educate our Ohio voters about the importance of SCOTUS's ruling and the direct impact it will have on their lives for YEARS to come. Your donation will also help us GET OUT THE VOTE in 2020 to insure we elect politicians who are committed to protecting the rights of all voters.

    There was an attack on our democracy this morning and WE NEED YOU TO FIGHT BACK!

    STEP TWO: Urge your legislators to: Take the Pledge to End Gerrymandering

    As we said earlier today ...WE WILL PERSIST! Persistence starts by fighting back. Donate to our SLAY THE GERRYMANDER ONCE AND FOR ALL FUND to fight for our democracy!

    Together, we will overcome.

    Iris Meltzer President League of Women Women Voters of Ohio

    Message from LWVO Regarding SCOTUS Decision on Gerrymandering

    Dear LWVO Members, The gerrymandering decisions out of the Supreme Court today are truly disappointing, but WE WILL PERSIST! We did not give up during our 72-year struggle to secure the 19th Amendment, which is now turning 100. And we will never give up in the longer battle of making sure that the ballot box is accessible to all eligible voters, regardless of race, gender, creed, ability, or language. For the last 50 years, the League of Women Voters of Ohio has worked against partisan gerrymandering, with countless bumps along the way. This decision will not stop us from doing everything we can to bring fair maps to the people of Ohio. We will now turn our eye towards making new congressional and state legislative maps in 2021. With robust public participation in that process, we will hold legislators accountable and demonstrate that all Ohio voters - Republican, Democrat, and Independent - want fair maps. Take comfort in our 100 year history of making democracy work, and stay tuned for next steps. Together, we can and will help our union be more perfect. Jen Miller Executive Director

    Across America: A Conversation on the National Public Vote

    Fund Our Children's Future

    Act now to preserve HB 154 in the state budget and repeal state control of local school districts

    THE ISSUE: House Bill 154 would end the state take over of schools and instead require the creation of community learning centers for schools in low performing districts. It is a constructive solution to the failed state takeover law that is now at risk!

    HB 154 was overwhelmingly approved by the House. Now, some senators want to replace the old plan with a new state intervention that includes funding for consultants but not children. The Ohio School Transformation Plan, like the failed policy it would replace:

  • Includes loss of local control.
  • Uses standardized tests to define school quality, a misuse of standardized tests that produces a narrow definition of quality.
  • Discriminates against poor children.
  • Assumes low test performance is a governance problem.
  • Neither increases the state investment in public schools nor levels the playing field - conditions needed before accountability can be fair.
  • THE ASK - Voice your opposition to a plan that perpetuates the misuse of standardized tests, distrusts local leaders, and punishes poor children. Enter your address on the right to contact your state senator. (A sample message included on the next page...)

    CLICK HERE TO CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR

    Take Action to Make Sure We Count Every Buckeye

    In 2020, we will have the once in a decade chance to count every person in this nation. OHIO GETS MORE THAN $33 BILLION ANNNUALLY based on the Census, and an undercount would mean that your community doesn't get its fair share of resources. From funding for low-income school lunches, to roads, healthcare, and emergency response, Census Data affects our every day lives.

    The enormous and long-lasting impact of the Census count means that nonprofit organizations and local Complete Count Committees throughout Ohio are invested in this cause and want to engage in this work. But reaching hard to count communities requires resources and funding. How can you help?

    You can help ensure we COUNT EVERY BUCKEYE by asking your State Senator to support the funding of Census work. Click below to use our easy letter writing tool.

    ASK YOUR STATE SENATOR TO SUPPORT CENSUS WORK

    Empowering Voters, Defending Democracy

    Time to Call your State Rep to Ensure Smooth Elections A great big thanks to all those who answered our call to action and wrote an email to their state rep about SB22 - the Poll Worker Reduction Bill. LWVO Director Jen Miller testified, and there was interest and questions around the idea of codifying Election Administration Plans! Help us stay on target and make this win by taking the next step. Call your State Representative with an ask to ensure smooth elections for all Ohioans.

    Here's the message >>> I am calling to express concern about Senate Bill 22, which would permit boards of elections to reduce the minimum number of poll workers in precincts that utilize electronic poll books. While cost-savings for local governments is an issue, the changes could result in long lines which may inadvertently turn away voters in some locations. This bill requires additional safeguards which would ensure that a reduction in poll workers at any given location would not cause harm to voters. Specifically, I ask that Election Administration Procedures be required by law. EAPs require Boards of Elections to think through how many poll workers and voting machines are needed based on expected turnout for that election, and would become critical if SB22 was passed. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    What is the Poll Worker Reduction Bill? In a voting location that serves more than one precinct, if electronic pollbooks are used at that location, Senate Bill 22 reduces the minimum number of precinct election officials who must be appointed from four per precinct to two. We know from our many members who work at the polls that there are indeed times during low turnout elections that polling locations can be overstaffed and could effectively manage the polls with fewer people. But we also know that poll worker reductions could be detrimental to voters in some places during a higher turnout election, especially if technical problems were to arise. We believe that Election Administration Plans, required by law, would be a balancing measure to this bill.

    More About EAPs Election Administration Plans require Boards of Elections to systematically plan out all phases of an election to ensure there are adequate resources (poll workers, voting machines, ballots, etc.) for each location, as well as other protections such as requiring a post-election audit to verify results and having pre-thought-out contingency plans in case something does go wrong. However, they are currently a Secretary of State Directive and can change at the whim of any Secretary of State in office in the future.

    HR1

    HR1: Legislation by & for the people. 3 sections: Voting Rights, Money & Politics, Ethics Reform In November, voters sent a clear message across the country that they are ready for bold, comprehensive democracy reforms. Now, the League is working with a broad coalition of over 100 organizations to draft and shape HR1, a policy reform package that will include key democracy provisions :
    • Voter registration: Modernizing the registration process through the expansion of automatic voter registration (AVR), online voter registration, same day registration (SDR)
    • Implementing fair redistricting: It's time to end gerrymandering once and for all so that voters select their elected officials + not the other way around nation-wide.
    • Outlawing voter purging: Prohibiting illegal voter roll purging will ensure that eligible voters will not find themselves wrongfully stripped of the right to vote.
    • Restoring the VRA: Restoring the Voting Rights Act will strengthen our elections by cutting back the obstructive laws that have kept eligible voters from exercising their right at the ballot box.
    • Public Funding: Enable a 6:1 funding for any new candidates who wish to participate. This is not mandatory. It is optional.
    • Disclose Act: Transparency of donors in Federal Elections. 2018 was the highest funding ever - $5 billion election
    • Contact your Representative to ensure that these key provisions stay in the bill. HR1 is a bold legislation to return POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

    Help The Ohio River Valley Maintain Clean and Safe Drinking Water

    HELP THE OHIO RIVER VALLEY MAINTAIN CLEAN AND SAFE DRINKING WATER

    THE ISSUE: The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), an interstate commission that represents 8 states, is tasked with creating standards and programs that will decrease pollution and maintain water quality in the Ohio River Basin. Advocates have succeeded in pressuring ORSANCO to abandon original plans of removing pollution control standards along the Ohio River. Now, ORSANCO is attempting to make state adherence to the standards voluntary.

    The proposal will move straight to a public comment period, but the number of public hearings has not yet been determined. So that residents along the river have a chance to be heard and advocate for themselves, a minimum of three hearings located along the river at different locations is essential. There are 33 drinking water intakes along the Ohio River that distribute water to 5 million people living in the Ohio River Valley. To keep Ohioans safe and healthy, strong pollution control standards must be in place. This issue is too important and the stakes are too high. A decision should not be made hastily or without a real chance for public input.

    THE ASK: Please contact ORSANCO Technical Committee member Erin Sherer via phone or email. Below is a sample script.

    Phone: 614-644-2018 Email: erin.sherer@epa.ohio.gov

    I am writing/calling to ask that, as Ohio's representative on ORSANCO's Technical Committee, you request at least three public hearings be conducted in different locations along the river on the new pollution control standards draft proposal. The Ohio River is 981 miles long, and one public hearing is insufficient to allow the millions of residents along the river opportunity to ask questions and provide comments. I appreciate your time.

    Thank you,

    Jen Miller LWV Ohio Executive Director