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When the 135th General Assembly passed amended Senate Joint Resolution 2, they put their thumb on the scale with an intent to destroy the principle of one person, one vote.  The amendment which is now Issue 1 changes the threshold to 60% to pass any citizen-led proposal to change the Ohio Constitution, giving greater power to a NO vote than a YES vote. The Ohio Unity Coalition in partnership with Black led institutions and leaders are mobilizing black voters in Ohio urban cities to turn out to vote and defeat this measure August 8th when it is on the ballot. The effort will be aligned with the overall “Protect One Person One Vote Campaign”.

“Ohioans have shown they want action on critical issues and when legislators fail to act, the citizen-led ballot initiative has always been a critical tool for voters to a have direct say in our government” according to Petee Talley, CEO and Convener of the Ohio Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Ohio Unity Coalition. Coalition members and partners believe that issue 1 is a deliberate act to silence our voices on issues that will improve the lives of Ohioans.  When legislators fail to raise minimum wages so it’s citizens can afford basic needs, or when they fail to look at whether police officers who kill innocent people should not be held to account, or when they fail to support an eduction system that allows teachers to teach all history, including black history, or when legislators attempt to interfere with health care choices for women; it calls into question the motivation of the General Assembly. “This legislative maneuver is the ultimate power grab. It changes the rules for amending the Ohio Constitution and robs us of our democratic right to “one person, one vote!”  This change means that a simple majority of us will no longer be able to express our will on the most important issues facing the electorate!” said retired Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine.

The process to amend the Ohio constitution by a simple majority has been in place for more than 110 years.   According to information provided on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, Ohio has had 76 citizen initiative petitions on the ballot, with only 20 that have passed.  This process is not easy, nor should it be, but DEMOCRACY should be fair and allow majority rule of ONE PERSON. ONE VOTE and not allow the loser to take home the trophy.

We urge every voter to vote in this important election.  Make your voice heard LOUD AND CLEAR.

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