What's Good with Redistricting
What's Good Ohio?!February 15, 202400:26:0023.81 MB

What's Good with Redistricting

Welcome to Season 2 of the What’s Good Ohio?! podcast! Hosts James Hayes and Sarah Rodenberg are back and talking about gerrymandering and redistricting reform, specifically the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment, with Mia Lewis. Mia Lewis is the Associate Director at Common Cause Ohio and is part of the Fair Districts coalition and the Citizens Not Politicians campaign

The Citizens Not Politicians Amendment will

  • Create the 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of Democratic, Republican, and Independent citizens who broadly represent the different geographic areas and demographics of the state. 
  • Ban current or former politicians, political party officials and lobbyists from sitting on the Commission.
  • Require fair and impartial districts by making it unconstitutional to draw voting districts that discriminate against or favor any political party or individual politician.
  • Require the commission to operate under an open and independent process. 

Ohio’s current congressional maps were struck down twice, and Ohio’s state legislative maps were struck down five times by the Ohio Supreme Court, and yet, Ohioans are voting under those unconstitutional maps. You can read more about the history of redistricting with this timeline.

Mia references a political cartoon about gerrymandering.

Ohio is one of 24 states that has the ability for citizens to collect signatures and put an amendment on the ballot. Mia talks about the 2023 August special election — you can listen more about our work to defeat that initiative on our What’s Good with Democracy episode

Mia also mentions the November election where Ohioans voted to protect abortion rights — listen to our What’s Good with the November 2023 Election recap episode to celebrate that victory.

California, Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan are all examples of states that have passed independent redistricting commissions, which the writers of the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment learned best practices from while crafting the petition.

You can sign up to volunteer to collect signatures at bit.ly/volfairdistricts. The deadline to submit signatures to get on the November 5, 2024 ballot is July 3,2024. 

Learn more about Citizens Not Politicians on their website and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.