July Meeting!! Please RSVP!! Election Resources!!

A Note on Recent Developments…

This has admittedly been a troubling and upsetting few weeks…the presidential debate did not look good for President Biden, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump was able to lie and spew disinformation without reproach or fact checking. As if that couldn’t be worse, the extremist Supreme Court last week ruled that any President now has the right and ability to act with impunity. This threatens our representative democracy, our way of life, and our basic freedoms as citizens. Combined with the frightening Project 2025 transition plan set to go into effect with an (ostensible) second Trump term, our country could very much appear as a right wing totalitarian state come January 2025. We want you to know that we are as frightened and upset as we are sure you all are. Now is NOT the time to be complacent, now is NOT the time to think that “it can never happen”–as many living around the world know all too well, anything that can happen, will happen, if the circumstances allow it. We need you now more than ever…our COUNTRY needs you now more than ever. If you are afraid, please reach out…if you want to get involved, or know someone who does…PLEASE REACH OUT! We don’t plan to sit on the sidelines and neither should you–there is no effort too small and no voice to silent to have a profound impact–you can and SHOULD be heard!! Below, we have included some links to a video by the excellent author Heather Cox Richardson on the latest Supreme Court ruling, as well as more information on Project 2025, if you are interested in learning more. We can’t thank you enough for your past and continued support and can assure that we will continue to fight TOGETHER!!

Heather Cox Richardson Video

Project 2025: HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. The Center for American Progress also has a great page of resources HERE that addresses all the main issues with Project 2025.

Rocky River Democrats July Meeting

Our next meeting will be Tuesday July 30th at the Rocky River Public Library and on Zoom, 6:30pm social time, 7:00pm meeting start.

Our speaker for this month will be Jessie Hill, JD, Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University and Founding Director of the Reproductive Rights Law Initiative at CWRU. She will be addressing the status of the reproductive rights ballot initiatives passed last fall and legal challenges in Ohio and beyond. Please come out to see this great presentation, you won’t want to miss out!!


Great News from Citizens Not Politicians!

Citizens Not Politicians collected WELL over the necessary threshold for signatures to sponsor a ballot initiative to end gerrymandering. Thanks to everyone who supported or volunteered their time to get signatures to help protect our voices and end unjust redistricting! Read more HERE!

On Monday, July 1, U-Hauls backed in and out of a freight loading dock behind Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office in Downtown Columbus, delivering stacks of boxes filled with paper petitions from across the state. The petitions contain signatures from Ohioans in all 88 counties who want to change the redistricting process. Citizens Not Politicians delivered more than 730,000 signatures to put an anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment in front of voters. That’s almost double the more than 414,000 valid signatures they need. The anti-gerrymandering coalition started collecting signatures in early December 2023. [Statehouse News Bureau]
Although signature collection is quickly drawing to a close, volunteers are still needed to help spread the word about the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment from now until Election Day. 
If you have not yet done so, please sign up to volunteer.
Educating voters about why gerrymandering poisons democracy is going to be essential to victory this fall. If you would like to join the Speakers Bureau, please submit the speaker interest form. The next Speakers Bureau training is Wednesday, July 17 at 6:00 pm. Register HERE. This training is for those who are considering becoming a Fair Districts speaker, or speakers who would like a refresher. The training will include presentations updated with messaging to align with the campaign’s pivot to the election phase.
Also see this great op-ed from Cleveland Scene HERE about the hypocrisy of our gerrymandered system!

Voter Engagement Project!

Want to help turnout voters for this pivotal election?! The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party has spearheaded an initiative to connect volunteers with disengaged/infrequent voters to help get people out to the polls in November! If you are interested or want more information, read HERE and please fill out the volunteer form HERE! You can get involved by sending bulk texts and person-to-person texts, handwritten postcards, or going canvassing!

Initial targets chosen are 8 full Cleveland wards, east and west, that have either seen turnout decrease in the past two decades, or are part of a targeted State Senate district. 

As the project builds capacity, further Cleveland wards will be added. Democrats have a legitimate chance to flip three seats – Ohio House District 17 and two Ohio Senate seats – District 24 and District 18, where roughly a third of it is in Cuyahoga County.

You won’t want to sit on the sidelines for this election cycle–our recent challenges to democracy and representative government hang in the balance and we need every voice engaged!!

Important Election Dates!

  • Oct 7 – Voter registration deadline (9:00 pm)
  • Oct 8 – Early, in-person voting at the Board of Elections begins (photo ID required) 
  • Oct 8 – Mail-in voting begins
  • Oct 29 – Last day to request a mail-in ballot (8:30 pm; request or print your Vote-by-Mail application at www.443vote.us
  • Nov 3 – Early, in-person voting at the Board of Elections ends (5:00 pm) 
  • Nov 4 – Last day to postmark/mail your ballot (or, return ballot in person to Board of Elections by 7:30 pm on Nov 5) 
  • Nov 5 – Election Day (6:30 am-7:30 pm; photo ID required to vote in person)

Voting Information!

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has set up a Rumor Control Center
Elections are governed by state and federal laws and procedures. Learn more about how Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio administer elections and get the facts about various election myths. Mis- and disinformation can undermine public confidence in the electoral process, as well as in our democracy. 
Our goal is to combat and dispel rumors with facts.
When you talk with someone who doesn’t trust our elections, tell them about the Rumor Control Center! 
They’ll find facts about voting by mail, drop boxes, voting equipment and handling of ballots, and more.

Updating your voter registration is good practice! 
Be ready for next Election Day, update your voter registration today at https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/
See below (under “Take Action!”) for how you can help purged voters re-register!

The November 5, 2024 Presidential General Election will be here before you know it! 
Be prepared, and request or print your Vote-by-Mail application at www.443vote.us!
Birthdays are important! A leading reason for rejected Vote-by-Mail applications is incorrect Date of Birth!
Double-check your application before returning it!

Check to make sure you haven’t been purged!

Ahead of the November election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has instructed officials to purge inactive voters from the rolls. Here is what you need to do to find out if you are still registered — plus how you can stay registered!

One Fair Wage!

A proposed initiative to increase Ohio’s minimum wage won’t be on the ballot in November. The campaign to raise Ohio’s minimum wage is
shifting its focus to 2025. On July 5, the group One Fair Wage announced the collection of about 600,000 signatures needed to qualify for this year’s ballot, but the effort fell short of the state’s requirement to have signatures from at least 5% of voters in 44 counties! The plan is to collect the remaining signatures from rural counties in the coming weeks and submit petitions by the end of the summer to get on the November 2025 ballot. The proposal would increase Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and eliminate the state’s tipped wage. For more info, see their website HERE or sign up to help HERE! Also, there was a recent article on Cleveland Scene that emphasized the profound impact that raising the minimum wage can have, see HERE!

Ohio Votes Count Act!

House Bill 472, also known as the Ohio Votes Count Act, was recently introduced in the Ohio House, as announced by co-sponsor of the legislation, State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester). The bill is sponsored by State Reps. Bernie Willis (R-Springfield) and Bob Peterson (R-Sabina).

According to Rep. Gross, “the Ohio Votes Count Act aims to increase election integrity by reforming Ohio’s voter registration system and establishing cyber security protections and standards.”

This bill represents yet another attempt by the Republican-dominated legislature to make sweeping changes to how voting and elections work in Ohio. Among others, it includes provisions that would make it harder for some Ohioans to register to vote and cast absentee ballots (Ohioans have been able to register to vote and cast mail-in ballots by using the last four digits of their Social Security number. With HB 472, voters would have to provide a legible copy of their driver’s license or state ID card).

Read about the bill and its status here

Read an analysis of the bill here

Read Columbus Dispatch reporting here

Read Axios Columbus reporting here

Membership Renewals!

We are currently in our membership drive for 2024! If you have not renewed your membership, see one of us at the next meeting, or you can renew online HERE

Due to the rising costs of postage, scheduling of events, and other club duties, we unfortunately have had to raise our membership rates only slightly–individual memberships have increased to $30 (from $20), and family memberships have increased to $40 (from $30)–senior and student memberships will remain the same, at $10 and $5, respectively. While we hate to have to raise rates, it will go a long way to help us stage events, including postcard parties and community gatherings, maintaining the website, room rentals, printing, and sponsoring get-out-the-vote events and yard sign drives, all of which will become INCREDIBLY important in this CRUCIAL election year!

As always, if you can add more, it will cover someone who can afford less.  Everyone is welcome at the amount you are comfortable contributing.

We Need Your Help!

We are looking for a volunteer to join the Rocky River Democrats Executive Committee as the Corresponding Secretary. We are looking for some with good writing and technical skills to help with email communication and website updates. If you, or someone you know is interested, please fill out the form HERE. This is a great opportunity to put your talents to work, get more involved with the club, and help in this crucial election year!!

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