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· September 28, 2012

Against a historic backdrop, bipartisan support of State Issue 2 – Redistricting Reform

In 1912, more than 5,000 women marched for women’s suffrage in Columbus, Ohio on the Statehouse lawn. Yesterday, 100 years later, women stood again in the Statehouse to continue the fight for accountability and fairness in our elections process. Former First Lady Frances Strickland (D) and former State Rep. Joan Lawrence (R) stood side by side in the Ladies’ Gallery, a room honoring women who take an active role in our democratic system. Strickland and Lawrence called on the voters of Ohio to vote YES on Issue 2. Issue 2 will change the way Ohio draws its legislative and Congressional districts, taking it away from the politicians and placing the authority in the hands of an accountable and transparent 12-member Citizens Commission. Prior to their press conference, Strickland and Lawrence an open letter to all Ohio women calling on them to join forces and vote YES on Issue 2 and work to get the initiative passed:

A Letter from Frances Strickland and Joan Lawrence

An Open Letter to Ohio Women: Playing fair and playing by the rules are two of the most important lessons we teach our children. Unfortunately, Ohio politicians don’t want to play fair and they want to make their own rules. The system is rigged to allow the majority party to draw Statehouse and Congressional district lines to protect their own seats and their political party. Drawing district lines that determine who gets elected is how the politicians hold on to their power. In effect, they have turned our government from “We the People” into “We the Politicians”. Passage of State Issue 2 will establish a system that takes the power away from politicians and gives good, decent people who want to fix our problems a real chance to compete against career politicians and win. We all want an impartial process AND WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN! The choices we make on November 6 will have a profound effect on the lives of our children and grandchildren. Politicians will come and go, but the passage of State Issue 2 will help ensure that neither party can unfairly dominate state politics. When elections are fair and balanced the people of Ohio win. In this election, you will have an opportunity to take a stand and vote YES on Issue 2. The system that decides who our elected officials are should be open to the public, transparent and without partisan manipulation. As women, one a Republican and one a Democrat, we invite you to unite with us around issues of fairness and accountability. There is much wrong with politics but how we choose our elected officials should not be one of those wrongs. We can fix this problem once and for all. Collectively, we must stand up and be heard. We must do this for our communities, our children, our values and our future. We have the chance to make a big difference in this election. Not in one politician’s life–but in the lives of all Ohioans. Please help us by talking with your friends and neighbors about this important issue and share this message on Facebook, Twitter and your other social networks. To volunteer or learn how you can become more engaged on this issue, please email and a Voters First representative will get back with you right away. Leave a legacy. Vote for fairness, vote for our future, and vote YES on ISSUE 2. Sincerely, Joan Lawrence Former Member Ohio House of Representatives League of Women Voters of Ohio, since 1957 State of Ohio Frances Strickland Former First Lady, State of Ohio

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