May is National Military Appreciation Month, and this Monday we honor the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country and preserve democracy. We can never say thank you enough for the brave men and women who gave all in service to our nation.
This weekend I’m also thinking of our Gold Star family members. The coronavirus crisis has brought many of us closer to our loved ones, but for our Gold Star mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, they will never again have the chance to stay at home with their loved ones.
Today I talked with a number of Ohio veterans about what Memorial Day means to them and was deeply inspired by their stories.
If you are a veteran or a military family member, we want to hear from you — reply to this email and we’ll connect you with our growing Veterans and Military Families Caucus.
Ohio Democratic Party
Trump’s Broken Promises to Veterans
The Ohio Democratic Party today hosted a virtual roundtable with Ohio veterans to discuss the response to the coronavirus crisis, and how it has impacted our servicemen and women, military families and veterans.
OHIO DEMS IN THE HEADLINES
Protecting Ohio Workers
State Rep. David Leland and state Rep. Lisa Sobecki this week announced plans to introduce legislation to protect at-risk workers from being forced to choose between returning to unsafe working conditions or losing unemployment benefits. The proposal is the latest effort from House Dems to improve the safety and security of Ohio workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Workers on the front lines have been exposed to the most serious consequences of this virus — someone needs to be looking out for them,” said Leland. “No person should have to choose between their livelihood and their life.”
“Working men and women are faced with an impossible choice: either go back to work and risk the health of their families, or lose access to their unemployment insurance,” said Sobecki. “They shouldn’t have to make that choice. We should respect the dignity of their individual choice to protect their families during this unprecedented pandemic.”
Don’t miss this! The Biden campaign is hosting a virtual organizing event with Sen. Sherrod Brown and Chairman David Pepper on Tuesday, May 26 — click here to RSVP.
Here are more upcoming events:
- Saturday, May 23 — State Rep. Phil Robinson Virtual Office Hours
- Tuesday, May 26 — Biden for President Virtual Organizing Event with Sen. Sherrod Brown and Chairman David Pepper
- Tuesday, May 26 — College Democrats of Ohio Behind the Ballot Series: Judge Jennifer Brunner and Judge John P. O’Donnell
- Tuesday, May 26 — Virtual Town Hall with State Sen. Sandra Williams
- Wednesday, May 27 — College Democrats of Ohio Behind the Ballot Series: State Rep. Randi Clites
- Thursday, May 28 — Mahoning/Trumbull County Democratic Women’s Caucus Trivia Contest
- Thursday, May 28 — College Democrats of Ohio Behind the Ballot Series: Dontavius Jarrells for Ohio House
- Thursday, May 28 — Virtual Town Hall with State Rep. Phil Robinson
- Friday, May 29 — College Democrats of Ohio Behind the Ballot Series: Chairman David Pepper
- Saturday, May 30 — College Democrats of Ohio Behind the Ballot Series: Congressman Tim Ryan
- Sunday, May 31 — College Democrats of Ohio Behind the Ballot Series: Desiree Tims for Congress
- Tuesday, June 2 — Virtual Happy Hour with Crystal Lett for Ohio Senate and Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown
No one can accuse Republicans of letting a good crisis go to waste
No one can accuse Republicans of letting a good crisis go to waste, and they have not missed an opportunity during the coronavirus pandemic to push forward their own extremist agenda — whether it’s slashing taxes for the wealthy, attacking the Affordable Care Act or cutting food assistance.
Here in Ohio, we have a troubling new development. Republicans are using this crisis to make it harder for Ohioans to vote.
Here’s a quick history lesson. In 2004, Ken Blackwell was the Ohio secretary of state. He tried every trick in the book to disenfranchise eligible voters, and unfortunately it worked. During the 2004 presidential election, some Ohioans waited in line up to 10 hours, and perhaps more than 170,000 would-be voters left before casting a ballot.
The 2004 election in Ohio was universally acknowledged as a disaster, so much so that bipartisan legislation was passed — and signed into law by a Republican governor — to update our state’s election laws and address many of the issues that arose.
Then in 2008, Ohio went blue for President Barack Obama. And ever since, Ohio Republicans have been trying to roll back the reforms we made to our election laws.
One of the most urgent issues that arose in 2004 was a shortage of voting machines in majority African-American and university precincts — so we put it in state law that each precinct must have at least one voting machine for every 175 registered voters in that precinct.
Now, Secretary of State Frank LaRose — who brought in Ken Blackwell to oversee his transition and help staff up his office, the very same Ken Blackwell that completely bungled election oversight in 2004 — could roll back that very protection. In recent weeks, as part of a package of so-called “reforms,” LaRose is now pushing for consolidation of in-person polling locations in November — meaning that fewer polling places will be open.
And to be abundantly clear, this would be a disaster for voting rights.
If Republicans consolidate polling places — at LaRose’s urging — Ohioans could experience the 2004 Ken Blackwell days again, when overcrowded polling locations and hours-long lines made Ohio a national case study on how not to run elections.
Going backward on voter protection right now is troubling for a lot of reasons — but first and foremost, why would we want to allow for a shortage of voting machines and therefore cause long lines at the polls, when we’re dealing with a crisis that makes waiting in those long lines a deadly threat to public health?
At this critical moment, Ohio Democrats are leading the fight to protect the right to vote. We believe that our democracy is stronger when more people participate in the process, so we’re working around the clock to make voting more accessible and fair.
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