“How to Reduce Gun Violence in Ohio” a forum on September 12, 2018

Wednesday September 12, 2018  7pm
“How to Reduce Gun Violence in Ohio

The video is here:
Here is the Cleveland.com preview
The flyer is here

Panelists:
Dr. Daniel J. Flannery, CWRU, Director Begun Center for Violence Prevention, Research and Education

Andrés González, Chief of Police, Cleveland Metro Housing Authority

Mike Henne, Ohio State Representative (R) 40th District

Michael J. Skindell, Ohio State Senator (D), 23rd District

Moderator: Peter Krouse, Public Interest and Advocacy Reporter, Cleveland.com


Peter Krouse

Cost: Free & Open to the Public  7-8:30pm
Tinkham Veale University Center, CWRU Campus
11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland OH 44106

Co-sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate Properties, Ltd.

Challenging Gerrymandering, the Purge, and More: A Panel Discussion on Voting Rights  a forum on Oct 4, 2018


The flyer is here
Thursday October 4, 2018 7pm-8:30pm (opens at 6pm)
Challenging Gerrymandering, the Purge, and More:
A Panel Discussion on Voting Rights 
Freda Levenson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio
Jen Miller, Executive Director of the Ohio League of Women Voters
Andre Washington, President of the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute
*Moderator, Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU
Market Garden Brewery 1947 West 25th St, Cleveland 44113 (lower level)
Light appetizers will be served and there will be a cash bar

A Forum on Voting Issues in Ohio Wednesday August 22, 2018

The flyer is here
Wednesday August 22, 2018
“A Forum on Voting Issues in Ohio”

7pm-8:30pm
Panelists:
Representative Kathleen Clyde (D), Ohio House District 75
Dr. David Cohen, Asst. Director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics
Senator Frank LaRose (R), Ohio Senate District 27
Moderator: Thomas Suddes, Editorial Writer, Cleveland.com

This forum will explore current voting and election issues in Ohio including early voting, voting by mail, voter registration, voter ID laws, removing voters from the rolls, gerrymandering, voting equipment and security and campaign finance laws.


Thomas Suddes, Cleveland.com

CWRU Beachwood Facility: 25700 Science Park Dr #100, Beachwood 44122
Cost: Free & Open to the Public
Cosponsors Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com. CWRU Siegel Lifelong Learning, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland.
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate LTD

“The Nuts and Bolts of Ohio Campaign Finance” Thursday October 26, 2017

Thursday October 26, 2017
“The Nuts and Bolts of Ohio Campaign Finance”
Flyer here

Video here

  
Donald C. Brey                                        Donald J. McTigue

Session #1: Ohio Campaign Spending/Finance Laws
▪ Donald C. Brey, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
▪ Donald J. McTigue, McTigue and Colombo

 
Catherine Turcer                  Cyndra Miller-Cole

Session #2: Alternative Campaign Funding Models Current Used in Other States and Communities
▪ Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
▪ Cyndra Miller-Cole,  The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, The University of Akron

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Moot Court Room,
1801 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44115
9:30am-11:30am Free and Open to the Public.
CLE credit available for $30. Register for CLE here with CMBA

Program cosponsored by Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland

“Ohio Drug Price Relief Act” ballot issue. A look at both sides. forum on Sept 19

“Ohio Drug Price Relief Act” ballot issue. A look at both sides
forum moderated by Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland.com

Tuesday September 19, 2017 7-8:30pm
Free & open to the public
Bay Village Branch, Cuyahoga County Library System
502 Cahoon Rd. 44140

RSVP here   Forum flyer is here
Preview is here
Post forum summary is here
The video is here

Panelists
Scott Knoer, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Cleveland Clinic (WITHDREW FROM PANEL)

J. B. Silvers, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management and School of Medicine

Matt Borges, Campaign Manager, Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices

Dale Butland, Communications Director, Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue

Moderator: Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland.com

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, a citizen-initiated statute slated for the November ballot, would require the state of Ohio to pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And, regardless of how you plan to vote, it could end up being the state’s most expensive ballot-issue campaign ever, according to political analysts and observers.

This forum will have arguments on both sides of this ballot issue and a representative from CWRU Weatherhead/Medical School to further debate this complicated subject.


Jeremy Pelzer

Co-sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Cleveland.com and Plain Dealer and the Cuyahoga County Public Library System

Corporate sponsor: First Interstate Properties, Ltd. 

For more information, email: teachingcleveland@earthlink.net

Michael Curtin speech to League of Women Voters 4/11/2018

The link is here

Here is excerpt:

From Mike Curtin speech
at League of Women Voters of Ohio
Statehouse Day 4/11/18

One of the first league initiatives I learned about was one to bring fair districting to our state. That was 45 years ago. The league’s work never stopped, through Democratic governors and Republican governors. Within Democratic-controlled legislatures and Republican-controlled legislatures. Consistency. Relentlessness.

The league’s efforts – your efforts — were indispensable to securing the ballot issue of November 2015, a state constitutional amendment providing Ohioans with a historic reform of how we draw state legislative districts.
It was that success that provided the essential momentum for securing the ballot issue we face next month, giving Ohioans the opportunity to embrace a historic reform of how their state draws congressional districts as well.
Putting the voters first.

All of us have an obligation to keep working through May 8 to ensure that State Issue 1 not only gets over the finish line, but that it wins with a sizable majority – as Beth Taggart has reminded me, and Ann Henkenerhas just reminded all of us – so that all future legislators are reminded of to their moral obligation to stick to the rules when drawing congressional district lines.

The Ohio Democratic Party and the Ohio Republican Party have officially endorsed State Issue 1. Please give not only yourselves – but especially your countless predecessors – a round of applause for this historic achievement. It has only taken the entire history of our state of Ohio to get to this moment.

Michael F. Curtin
4/11/18

Editorial: Fairer districts would be refreshing twist Columbus dispatch 4/30/17

Editorial:
Fairer districts would be refreshing twist

The districts cynically split counties, cities, villages, townships and neighborhoods. The current map splits county boundaries 54 times. Seven counties are split among three or more congressional districts.

The districts twist and turn like snakes and other creatures, none more blatantly than the 9th Congressional District, which slithers along the Lake Erie shore from Toledo to Cleveland.

Central Ohio’s three congressional districts also are geographic absurdities, needlessly dividing neighborhoods, school districts, other governmental units and their concerns. Ohioans deserve congressional districts that respect them and the communities in which they live.

Contorted, meandering districts, in Ohio and other states, are a prime reason congressional politics are poisonous — as partisan and ugly as ever in modern times. They encourage extremism, discourage bipartisanship, and sabotage efforts to find common ground.

Fortunately, Ohioans soon might have an opportunity to support a statewide ballot issue to end gerrymandering in our state.

A coalition of nonprofit organizations, called Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio, has submitted a plan to the Ohio attorney general to place an issue on the statewide ballot in November 2017 or November 2018.

Once the attorney general’s office validates the summary language as fair and truthful, it goes to the Ohio Ballot Board for certification.

The reform coalition then must gather at least 305,591 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters — 10 percent of the number voting in the most recent election for governor.

The plan should win wide acceptance, chiefly because it mirrors the reform plan for state legislative districts overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters (71.5 percent) in November 2015. It won big in all 88 counties.

The current districts were drawn in 2011 and will stay in place until after the 2020 census. New districts must be drawn in 2021 in time for the 2022 elections.

The proposed plan would take the map-drawing job away from the state legislature and give it to the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission. The commission would be required to draw districts that are compact, do not favor or disfavor any political party, and keep communities together as much as possible.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio, one of the coalition partners, has been working doggedly on this issue for four decades, through Democratic and Republican administrations and legislatures. The league deserves widespread support for its steadfast efforts to add Ohio to the ranks of states putting citizen interests ahead of power politics.

Details of the proposed amendment, and information on getting involved, can be found at fairdistrictsohio.org.

Fortunately, in the past year some of Ohio’s leading Republicans have challenged their party to take a lead role in ending gerrymandering. They include Gov. John Kasich, Secretary of State Jon Husted and former governors Bob Taft and (the late) George Voinovich.

Several years ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy — an appointee of Ronald Reagan — said of gerrymandering: “It is unfortunate that when it comes to apportionment, we are in the business of rigging elections.”

Ohioans of every political stripe should embrace this opportunity to slay the gerrymander and end rigged elections.

Editorial: Protect integrity of Ohio’s constitution Columbus Dispatch 4/2/2017

Editorial: Protect integrity of Ohio’s constitution
Columbus Dispatch 4/2/2017
The link is here

Ohio voters should be given the opportunity to ease the process of initiating state laws.

They also should be given the chance, in a separate ballot issue, to decide if initiating constitutional amendments should be more difficult.

Both would require amending the Ohio Constitution, which only voters can do.

For nearly three years, a committee of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission has studied possible changes in initiated statutes and initiated amendments.

Only 15 state constitutions give voters the right to initiate both laws and amendments. The Ohio Constitution has provided those rights since 1912.

Since then, Ohioans using their constitutional rights to engage in direct democracy overwhelmingly have favored the amendment over the statutory route.

Of 80 attempts to initiate policy, petitioners have chosen to try to amend the constitution 68 times (85 percent). Initiated laws have been adopted only three times, most recently in 2006 to restrict smoking in public places.

Statehouse Democrats and Republicans agree that petitioners usually choose the amendment route for two reasons.

First, the requirements for getting on the ballot are nearly as difficult, and therefore nearly as costly, for a proposed law as for a proposed amendment.

Qualifying a proposed law for the ballot requires petitioners, as a first step, to collect signatures equal to 3 percent of the electorate. The proposal then goes to the General Assembly, which has four months to adopt, reject or modify it.

If the legislature rejects or modifies the proposal in a way unacceptable to petitioners, they must restart the petition drive and collect an additional 3 percent, totaling 6 percent of the electorate.

Second, even if Ohioans proposing an initiated law are successful in the election, nothing prevents the legislature from later repealing or amending the voter-approved statute.

Given these disincentives, petitioners rationally choose the amendment route. Voter-approved amendments, like the rest of the constitution, can only be changed by a public vote.

As a result, over time the Ohio Constitution becomes weighted with ornaments more suited to the Ohio Revised Code, such as livestock-care standards and casinos.

That’s why the modernization commission is considering how to ease the process of initiating state laws, and how to make the amendment process more difficult.

An idea gaining momentum is to create a 5 percent signature requirement for initiated laws, eliminate the supplementary petition requirement, and prohibit the General Assembly from changing any voter-enacted law for five years, except by a two-thirds vote.

Such a proposal has merit standing alone. However, majority Republicans appear intent on marrying it to a proposal requiring proposed amendments to receive 55 percent approval to win passage. Republicans also want to restrict initiated amendments to general elections in even-numbered years.

Some states have supermajority requirements for voter-initiated constitutional amendments. Florida, for example, requires 60 percent approval. Nevada requires a majority vote in two consecutive elections.

There is much to commend efforts to make initiated laws easier and initiated amendments harder.

However, the cleanest way to present these alternatives to voters is in two separate issues, not a combined one. When dealing with proposed changes to fundamental constitutional rights, voters should have an opportunity to judge each on its own merits.

Originally appeared in Columbus Dispatch. Reprinted with permission