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Fair districts are a must for Ohio

DEAR EDITOR:

If you’re an Ohio resident expecting your legislators to vote the way you desire, you’ll need plenty of luck. That’s why Ohioans amended the Ohio Constitution in 2015 and 2018, with 70 percent of all voters demanding legislative districts be drawn fairly after the 2020 Census in a process called redistricting.

Fair redistricting means House and Senate legislative districts should divide rationally, similar politically to how constituents voted. In 2020, Trump beat Biden in Ohio, 53.29 to 43.25 percent. In 2018, DeWine beat Cordray 50.4 to 46.7 percent. It’s pretty strange, then, to have a 70 percent majority of Republicans running the State Senate and House districts.

Think of recent issues that piqued your interest. Remember the HB6 debacle, with Larry Householder’s $60,000,000 bribery scheme? Even now that disgraceful bill only partially is repealed. Why should Rep. Mike Loychik sponsor legislation against face masks? Did you think it was fair for the free taxpayer money given to ECOT and charter schools? Polls show that much of Ohio legislation just lingers unpassed because it doesn’t behoove the legislators or their cronies. Or conversely, something actually does get passed. However, the legislators let important citizen rights slip away and nobody notices.

The new constitutional redistricting laws require the commission to draw new districts that could win 60 percent approval from both parties. If such a map cannot be presented in September, then a new map is reviewed in October. If that map is not accepted but wins simply by a majority vote, then it shall hold as the final map — but limited to four years.

Shame on those commission members who sent proxies to represent them at the hearings held throughout the state in August. It demonstrated their shoddy care about the impassioned pleas of Ohioans. In one such instance, Gov. Mike DeWine-R, skipped the hearing to attend a Bengals’ practice.

Shame on my representative Mike Loychik-R, who did not show his face when the redistricting commission held its Youngstown hearing. It would be nice to have a representative like Michael O’Brien-D, who cared enough to attend.

Shamefully, the new redistricting map submitted by Republicans on the commission is even more gerrymandered than before.

That’s why you must contact your local legislator using ohio.house.gov to insist on fair redistricting. If a new map is not accepted by at least two of the Democrats on the redistricting commission by the end of October, gerrymandering will continue for another four years unabated, with Democratic goals and hopes swept under the rug, per usual.

LINDA COCUZZI RICHTER

Nile

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