Fair Districts Campaign Updates

December 14, 2017
Dear Friends, 

As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to share a few updates with you  on  what Fair Districts = Fair Elections has accomplished this year with your support.  
 
Updated signature totals 
The latest signature totals are in, and we are excited to announce we now have over  178,000 valid signatures  and an  impressive   19 counties  over the 5 percent threshold.  Click here to view the map with county-level information .  
 
We need to keep this great work going! T he 5 percent   per county  is a minimum, not a stopping point , and we'll need more than that  to reach the overall requirement of 305, 591  signatures Please  keep collecting signatures in every county, including those that have shown early enthusiasm  by reaching the 5 percent  minimum already .  
 
Turn in your petitions 
Our numbers  continue to rise   at an amazing pace , but  we can only report the signatures that have been turned in and processed.   Fair Districts  volunteers across the state have been doing such great work that we know there must be more signatures in petition books just waiting to be counted.   Not sure where to turn petitions in?  Click here  or call  614-259-8388 .  
 
Redistricting Reform Spotlight 
Linda  Magoto  from Upper Arlington has been inspiring many of us to work harder!  Linda helped design a T-shirt that asks the obvious question "What's wrong with this picture?"  Read more about Linda here  
 
If you know a redistricting reformer that has been inspiring, please send an email to  ohiofairdistricts@gmail.com so that we can highlight your stories on the website and on social media!  
 
Year-end donations 
As the end of the year approaches and  many  of  us make year-end charitable gifts, please consider making a donation  to the Fair Districts campaign.  Donations to campaigns are not tax deductible, but they make a big difference towards a fairer Ohio. All donations made through  December 31 st   will be reported at the next  campaign finance  reporting deadline  in January --  and opponents and potential supporters alike will be watching closely  to see how formidable our campaign really is. Consider also talking with family and friends about the importance of  redistricting reform  and how much we need their support as well.  
 
Donate online  or by mail  to:  
Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio  
c/o  League of Women Voters of Ohio  
100 E. Broad St., Suite 1310  
Columbus, OH 43215  
 
Latest from the legislature 
Since the legislative working group's two  public meetings  where they heard testimony from passionate redistricting reformers,  there have been no public statements or hearings, but we have heard  negotiations are ongoing behind closed doors .
 
Reports have surfaced that  legislative leaders may be nearing agreement on a redistricting reform proposal  that could be passed by the legislature in January in  order to appear before voters at the May primary election.  However, with a deadline of February 7 for the legislature to place an issue on the primary ballot and both chambers likely on holiday recess until January 17, they are left with little time to pass a plan.

It is essential that any legislative proposal puts forward real reform, has strong bipartisan support, and that legislative hearings are held on the proposal before a vote - after all, we don't want gerrymandering reform to be drawn as a back-room deal, since that's how we ended up with such unfair districts. Given those uncertainties, it is critical to keep collecting signatures so our plan serves as a backstop and a reminder that we know what real reform looks like and will accept nothing less.  

Special Ohio Public Radio Series on Gerrymandering in Ohio 
Starting Monday, December 18, WKSU and Ohio Public Radio are running a series of public radio stories on gerrymandering and how it impacts Ohio Tune in or listen online !  
 
Winter collection ideas 
An important part of our legislative strategy is continuing to  collect signatures  to keep up  the  pressure  for real reform With  the  weather getting colder and  winter  beginning in  earnest, we must shift our collection strategy, but there are still many opportunities to interact with more voters!  
  • Holiday community events and craft markets can be a great way to meet new people who have not already signed the petition. Some events may allow you to c irculate  inside, or you can alternate between collecting and taking in the holiday spirit yourself.  
  • Some volunteers have found success in partnering with small business owners who support redistricting reform, setting up a table inside a local coffee shop or grocery store.   Or maybe a Happy Hour at your favorite craft brewery!
  • Political rallies and protests can be a great place for collecting, from tax bill events to net neutrality protests to a possible second Women's March  in January .
  • Letter- or postcard-writing events can d ouble as a way to pressure legislators  while also  draw ing  in people who may not have signed the petition already , or who want to learn more and circulate petitions themselves .  
Volunteers from across the state are talking about these and other ideas, plus sharing best practices, answers to common questions, and funny stories on our Facebook group, so  join us there !

Yours in League,

Carrie Davis
Executive Director 
LWV Ohio
Mary Kirtz Van Nortwick
Co-President
LWV Ohio
Alison Ricker
Co-President
LWV Ohio

P.S.  If you are contacting  or  stopping by  the Fair Districts office at  35 E. Gay St., Suite 404 in Columbus , please know that office will not be open if Columbus City Schools is closed due to inclement weather.  
Paid for by League of Women Voters of Ohio 
100 E Broad St, Suite 1310, Columbus, OH 43215 
614-469-1505 | www.lwvohio.org