Ohio Redistricting Commission must redraw all the maps, but has scheduled no public hearings
As expected, the Ohio Legislature did no work on redrawing Congressional districts after the Ohio Supreme Court found the first map unconstitutional. The task now reverts to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, the same group whose state district maps have twice been rejected for partisan gerrymandering by the justices in 4-3 rulings, the most recent last week. The Redistricting Commission must complete the state House and Senate maps by Feb. 17, and the Congressional map by March 14.
Despite this Thursday’s deadline, as of the morning of Feb. 15, they have scheduled no public hearings. The Commission is not accepting any testimony until hearings are set, but you can email them with your views on the maps or the Commission’s process. Check their website to see when meetings are scheduled, or sign up to be notified when a meeting is set.
The Fair Districts Ohio coalition has published a model congressional map and a handout explaining it, and model Ohio House and Senate maps Fair Districts recommend they use. Fair Districts includes Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, and the Ohio Council of Churches.
Permit-less Conceal Carry bill advancing rapidly in Ohio House
Already passed by the Ohio Senate, SB 215 had both a sponsor and a proponent hearing last week in the House Government Oversight Committee. This bill would allow Ohioans to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training, ending Ohio’s current requirement for safety training. It would also end the state’s current legal prohibitions on issuing a concealed carry license to people with prior drug convictions or violent misdemeanors.
The next hearing will be opponent testimony on Thursday, February 17, at 10 a.m. in room 121 of the Statehouse. Please send your testimony in by tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m. to the committee by writing Chair Shane Wilkins and Ranking Member Richard Brown. The first lines of your testimony should include the names Chair Wilkins, Vice Chair White and Ranking Member Brown.
A huge number of citizens, including Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffy, testified against the bill before the Senate passed it in December.
Meanwhile – as we mark the fourth anniversary of the Feb. 14 mass shooting which killed 17 people and wounded 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – the House-passed HB 99 allowing school districts to arm teachers or staff with only 20 hours of safety training is now being considered by the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee. I will keep you posted on hearings.
Communicating with Legislators training, Thursday, Feb. 24, 7-8 pm
The Ohio Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense is holding an online class on effective phone calls and email to legislators, as well as writing testimony. Sign up here.
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. Connect with her at email@example.com