If you don’t like the polarization and gridlock in both Congress and the state legislature, you have a significant opportunity to do something about it with Issue 2 on the statewide ballot in this election.
Independent and moderate voters, especially, should jump on this, but so should members of both parties.
Right now, politicians get to draw state and federal legislative districts to their own advantage by gerrymandering the districts with absurd boundaries.
This concentrates their own party’s voters and disperses the other party’s voters. One only has to look at a map of state legislative districts or congressional districts to see how crazy this has become.
When districts are drawn this way, it means that the politicians of the dominant party have little or no competition from the other party.
They play to their own party’s base of voters and ignore the middle, both during the campaign and once in office.
Moderates of either party often don’t even make it onto the ballot, and we get the polarization we have today.
Further, if you are in the minority party in a particular district, it means than your vote rarely matters because the system is stacked against you. So our democracy suffers in this way, as well.
Issue 2 would fix this by amending the Ohio Constitution to provide an independent panel to draw both state and congressional districts.
Politicians would not be eligible to serve on this panel. Vested interests are opposing Issue 2 and are claiming, as they always do, that the legislature will fix this next time. Funny how that never happens.
So, independents and moderates now have a chance to fix this and make their voices heard.
Thoughtful members of both parties should support this as well because they can see how gerrymandering is undermining the ability of our legislators to take effective action.
I urge everyone to look critically at the ads opposing this issue and to support Issue 2 as a major step to restore the effectiveness of state and federal government.
Support Issue 61 for Akron schools
As a citizen of Akron, I am proud to say that we have an outstanding school system. Now more than ever, our students need high-quality schools to keep Akron’s economy strong.
That’s exactly why the Akron Public Schools offers innovative, nationally recognized programming to prepare our children for the 21st century with the right skills.
The Akron Early College High School was named a “school of promise” by the Ohio Department of Education; now, the citizens of Akron must keep this promise alive.
Without passage of the levy on the Nov. 6 ballot, Akron schools will face more teacher layoffs, huge class sizes and cuts to innovative programs.
Voting for Issue 61 will not only help our schools, it will help keep the city and its citizens strong.
The cost is just $3 a week for an average city property. Is this not a cheap investment in our children?
I have grandchildren in the Akron schools, and I will vote for Issue 61.
It is such a small investment for their future and the future of all of the children in the system.
I challenge all voters to keep our fine system moving forward and atop all the other urban districts.
Larry W. Johnson Sr.
The solution to our financial problems is so obvious that I am surprised that none of the politicians is using it.
The solution is that we should triple our national debt and let the rest of the world bail us out for a change.