Three big issues to be decided by voters

Three significant issues look set to appear on the 2012 fall ballot. Much like the repeal of SB5, these issues center around attempts to ameliorate abusive political actions designed to disadvantage political opponents in order to fascilitate the easier passage of extreme legislation. Here's a quick look at each of them.

Repeal of HB194 - the "voter suppression" bill

A new poll commissioned by the Democratic organization fighting to repeal the election law overhaul known as House Bill 194 shows that 54 percent of Ohioans favor repeal compared to 31 percent who oppose it.

The poll comes as Republican lawmakers work on a plan to repeal House Bill 194 and replace it with some of the bill’s less-controversial components.

Given the apparent unpopularity of the bill, lawmakers look set to repeal the law themselves, before voters get a chance to weigh in.

Redistricting Reform

A group that made their initial filing of 1,000-plus signatures with Attorney General Mike DeWine yesterday seeks to revamp the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn in Ohio.

385,000 valid signatures would be required, and to make the fall ballot, be complete by July 3rd. The constitutional amendment, called the Voters First Initiative, would end one-party control of re-districting and put the process in the hands of a 12-member citizens' commission, with equal members of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Any decision of the commission would require 7 votes.

State Official Recalls

Perhaps as a response to SB5, and the recall efforts going on in Wisconsin as a result of the Republicans anti-worker efforts there

Ohioans would be able to recall statewide elected officials under a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

A group calling itself the Recall Initiative Committee is collecting signatures to submit to Attorney General Mike DeWine. Portia A. Boulger, a Ross County resident who has been involved in dozens of grass-roots campaigns over the years, said Ohioans should be able to vote to recall state elected officials the same way they do county, state and other local elected leaders. That is not permitted now under state law.

SB5 repeal was a clear message

“That showed Kasich. We showed him,” ~ Great Grandmother Marlene Quinn.

What the governor was shown in last night's historic election was Ohio voters rejecting his go it alone extreme agenda. More people voted to repeal his signature piece of legislation, SB5, in an off cycle election year than voted to put him into office just 12 months previous.

Only 5 counties, and those only barely, voted in favor of SB5, every other county voted against it. While results are still being tabulated, the measure appears to be defeated by a massive margin of 61% to 39%.

There never was any mandate to engage in attacks on middle class workers, despite what any out of touch newspaper editorial might have suggested, and last nights results demonstrated bipartisan rejection of that notion.

What should also not be forgotten, for education professionals many of the provisions voters rejected last night were inserted into the budget. If there is to be any negotiation or future compromise those aspects of the budget should be placed firmly in the center of the table too, there is no mandate for them and no agreement.

Furthermore, the Governor's education Czar is about to release plans for teacher evaluations, evaluations drafted without any serious input from education professionals. If a message was delivered last night it was surely "STOP GOING IT ALONE". Dr. Sommers should take last nights rebuke of go it alone policy making to heart, and begin a series of real meetings with education professionals and their associations in the development of real evaluations that will have widespread and sustainable support.

Public education and the people who work in it are not political footballs to be kicked around for partisan political gain. It needs to stop and it needs to stop now.

Repeal of SB5 favored by double digits

A new Quinnipiac poll has just been released showing that Ohioans continue to reject SB5 by double digit margins.

Ohio voters support 51 - 38 percent repeal in a November referendum of SB 5, the law limiting collective bargaining for public employees, compared to 56 - 32 percent in July.
In the SB 5 referendum, Republicans say keep the law 65 - 23 percent, up from 56 - 35 percent July 20. Men oppose SB 5 50 - 45 percent, compared to 55 - 37 percent. Women want to repeal the law 53 - 31 percent, compared to 56 - 28 percent in July.

From inside the poll, Ohians continue to view the extreme measures in SB5 as unacceptable, Oppose 58 - 36 percent banning public employees from striking;
Oppose 53 - 41 percent eliminating seniority rights as the sole factor in layoffs;
Oppose 54 - 39 percent banning public employees from bargaining over health insurance.

Despite the fact that the overwhelming number of public employees already contribute their fair share to their benefits, the pro SB5 message does have some traction with voters
Support 59 - 35 percent requiring public employees to pay at least 15 percent of their health insurance costs;
Support 56 - 33 percent requiring public employees to pay 10 percent of their wages toward their pensions;

With 6 weeks left until election day, there is still work to do to continue to press home the fact that SB5 is unfair, unsafe and hurts midddle class workers, and over come these distortions being spread by SB5 supporters.

Poll For SB5 Against SB5
PPP Mar 15th 31% 54%
Wenzel Apr 12th 38% 51%
Quinnipiac May 18th 36% 54%
PPP May 25th 35% 55%
Quinnipiac Jul 20th 32% 56%
PPP Aug 18th 39% 50%
Quinnipiac Sep 27th 38% 51%

Vote No on Issue 2 to repeal SB5

To repeal SB5 you vote No on Issue 2, because issue 2 is bad for you!
Here are some of the reasons why. You can download the flyer here. Please share this as widely as possible, with your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.

ps. You should consider signing up to receive We Are Ohio text messages, especially if you have an unlimited plan, They've been really great about only sending infrequent but important information.

Canvassing 101: Myths vs Realities

Now that the campaign to get the repeal of SB5 on the ballot is complete, the campaign to win the No on issue 2 is underway. This campaign will require more than just TV and radio ads. Just like the effort to collect signatures, the effort to persuade a majority of voters to vote No on Issue 2 will require lots of hard work by thousands of volunteers.

One of the tasks volunteers will be asked to do is canvass potential voters who might support our effort to repeal SB5 by voting No on Issue 2. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about political canvassing

Canvassing is the systematic initiation of direct contact with a target group of individuals commonly used during political campaigns. A campaign team (and during elections a candidate) will knock on doors of private residences within a particular geographic area, engaging in face-to-face personal interaction with voters. Canvassing may also be performed by telephone, where it is referred to as telephone canvassing. The main purpose of canvassing is to perform voter identification – to poll how individuals are planning to vote – rather than to argue with or persuade voters.[1] This preparation is an integral part of a 'get out the vote' operation, in which known supporters are contacted on polling day and reminded to cast their ballot.

Knocking on the doors of strangers and asking them about their political support may sound daunting if you've never done it before. All kinds of questions may run through your mind. What if they are busy? What if they are just rude? What if they are vehemently opposed to voting No on Issue 2?

Well the good news is that the reality of canvassing can be quite enjoyable. For example, remeber those 1.3 million people who signed the petition to repeal SB5? Those will be one of the prime targets for contacting via a canvass, and those people will most likely be very pleased to hear from, and talk to, you.

From our mailbag, here's some mythbusting points worth sharing

Myths about Canvassing

Myth 1: People will yell and argue.
You are only going to persuadable voters. The educated voter, one who votes in every election and always votes in Democrat or Republican primaries will NOT be on your list. You are calling and knocking on doors of the voters who are 35%-70% likely to vote and are independents or democrats.

Myth 2: What I say won’t matter. People already have their minds made up about this issue.
Actually, the majority of doors we knocked on were people who had never heard of SB 5! I know, it seems impossible, but there is a large contingent of people just waiting for us to educate them.

Myth 3: I won’t be able to persuade people.
There are four types of people I‘ve encountered on the neighborhood walks:
Person 1: already knows all about it; supports you; doesn’t even let you finish your script
Person 2: has heard about it, but really has no clue what it is about
Person 3: has never heard of SB 5
Person 4: supports SB 5 and will vote yes

Person 1 gives you hope and make you want to continue down the list. Person 4 (I’ve only encountered one, and he wasn’t on the list - his wife was.) Your job isn’t to persuade this person. It is a waste of your time. Smile, thank them for their time and move to the next address.
Person 2 and Person 3 are the most important. They are the majority of people you will encounter. The most persuasive thing I’ve said to these people… “I’m a teacher.” Seriously, I learned half way through my first shift, to skip talk about firefighters, police officers, and nurses. As soon as I mentioned my profession, people smiled and asked me my opinion. Some wanted to know how it would affect me, but the majority just wanted to know if they should vote yes or no.

Teachers and Educational Support Professionals have the power to make the biggest difference in this repeal. It's critical that as many people as possible become engaged in this part of the campaign. You can find local canvassing opportunities in your area by visiting the We Are Ohio events page here. Recruit a friend or colleague to go with you!

Simple facts about Issue 2 (SB 5)

From our mailbag, some simple facts about Issue 2 (Senate Bill 5):

  • SB 5 weakens collective bargaining rights for police officers, teachers, nurses and prison guards. It takes away their ability to negotiate for health care, retirement, and sick time.
  • It makes our communities less safe because police officers and firefighters could lose their ability to negotiate for safer staffing ratios and better equipment.
  • It threatens the quality of our schools. SB 5 prohibits school districts from negotiating with teachers for smaller class sizes.

It's time to repeal Senate Bill 5. Vote no on Issue 2!