Advocacy updates for August 17, 2021

Advocacy updates for August 17, 2021

Advocacy updates for August 17, 2021 750 422 Episcopalians in Connection

Ohio Redistricting Commission public hearings in Southern Ohio!

The commission charged with drawing Ohio’s new Congressional maps will hold its public hearings next week in person, with four taking place within the Diocese of Southern Ohio on Aug. 24 and 25th in Dayton, Cincinnati, Zanesville, and Rio Grande:

Dayton:  Tuesday, Aug. 24, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm,
Sinclair Community College, 444 West Third Street

Cincinnati: Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2:30 pm -5:30 pm
University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Avenue

Zanesville: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Ohio University Zanesville Campus Center, 1425 Newark Road

Rio Grande:  Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2:30 – 5:30 pm
Rio Grande Community College, 218 N. College Avenue

The hearings are incredibly important. The Commission draws state legislative districts and could have a role in creating the Congressional district map if the legislature’s map fails to meet key benchmarks. The Commission is required to vote on the new state senate and house district maps by Sept. 1. The deadline for Congressional maps, which will be voted on by the Ohio Legislature, is Sept. 30. The Congressional map must have approval of 60% of the members including at least half of the minority members, in order to go into effect for 10 years. If it doesn’t meet that bar, it goes to the Commission.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 17 at noon, the Commission had not released specifics on the buildings and rooms where all of the hearings are taking place. Please watch the diocesan Facebook page for updates this week, and read more below on the new process for drawing state and Congressional legislative district maps.

This week the non-profit All on the Line is holding a series of online trainings on how to submit testimony to the Ohio Redistricting Commission.  The necessary Census data was only released to states last week, so no maps have been drafted yet, but it is still vitally important for Ohio citizens to let the commissioners hear your stories and recommendations.  Read more below for resources and other ways to advocate.

The ten Ohio Redistricting Commission hearings are part of the new, more transparent process for drawing Congressional and state district lines, designed to prevent extreme partisan gerrymandering. Constitutional amendments to reform Ohio’s redistricting process were approved in 2015 and 2018 by over 70% of voters in all 88 counties.

Some resources to help you get prepped to give testimony:

What can citizens do to pressure for Fair Maps?

Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team.