Nearly 100 LWV Greater Cleveland members and friends met last night in the Women’s Pavilion at Lakewood Park to socialize, eat good food, and to hear comments by League of Voters of Ohio’s Executive Director, Jen Miller.
LWVGC Co-Presidents Lynne Nowel and Nadia Zaiem began the evening by congratulating League members for their efforts in supporting the Vote NO on Issue 1 Campaign by posting 900 signs in Cuyahoga County and mailing 6,300 postcards, among other actions.
Jen Miller responded to several questions from those in attendance on several subjects. Below is a summary of her remarks:
Vote NO on Issue 1 Campaign
Jen Miller expressed her “profound gratitude” for the work that League members have done on Issue 1. She pointed out that “never before has the Ohio legislation put such a critical issue in an August election,” since it is, traditionally, a low-turnout election, indicating the Legislature’s unscrupulous intent. Because of this, she reminded those in attendance that we “cannot rest” until the August 8 election is over. Our campaign, so far, has been successful, as evidenced by the 42,000 absentee ballots already submitted. Through this campaign, Miller has learned that labor unions and faith leaders are good partners for the League, two resources she hopes to tap in the future.
Arguments for a “No" Vote on Issue 1 include keeping the balance of power in check in Ohio and asking the question, “What happens if the Statehouse flips?” She also pointed to important citizen-initiated amendments that would not have passed in Ohio without the 50%+1 threshold that has been in place for over a hundred years, including several important bond issues, home rule for liquor sales, and a 10-mil limit on unvoted property taxes, among many others.
Attacks on the League
Regarding the recent attacks on the League from conservatives, Miller reminded members that the League is being attacked because “we are effective.” Proponents of Issue 1 have argued that the League is hypocritical for advocating for a 50%+1 majority since our bylaws call for a two-thirds majority. Miller pointed out that that’s like comparing “apples to bowling balls” since the LWV is a non-profit organization whose goal is to build consensus.
When asked why LWVO hasn’t taken a stand on abortion, Miller, while noting she is vehemently pro-choice, explained that the decision was made to keep the League’s focus on voters and on keeping democracy afloat. Also, the League gains “seats at the table” by remaining neutral on abortion.
According to Miller, information about how we will move forward on Redistricting is forthcoming.