Take a glimpse into our 2019 progress by reading our latest Impact Report—a snapshot of the latest civil liberties hurdles we’ve overcome in the first half of the year. Each edition of the Impact Report affirms our progress, and shines a light on the urgency of our challenges. Sign up for our emails for the latest from the ACLU of Ohio.
So far in 2019:
Meet our new Director of Development, Mary Paxton
Early in life I learned the power of information, making educated decisions, not letting one’s present circumstances dictate one’s future path. I grew up believing in the strength that comes from being part of a collective body. I have always seen the glass half-full. I am hopeful.
Hopeful for a better tomorrow. Hopeful that I will be treated fairly, respected because of my humanness and the gifts I bring to the table—not for my skin color, not for my gender, not for my age. Hopeful that I can own my distinct voice in this world and that this world will hear it. Hopeful that my children, and my future grandchildren will be able to enjoy the rights and liberties promised them by our constitution. I found a place where my hope resonates—the ACLU of Ohio.
Together we can educate ourselves and others on the issues that are important to you, to us. We can continue to harness the power of our collective voices. Together, we can provide hope.
Director of Development
ACLU of Ohio
Fair Maps by 2020
On May 3, we celebrated a huge victory in our fight to end partisan gerrymandering in Ohio. On that day, a federal three-judge panel issued an opinion in our lawsuit, APRI v. Householder, that Ohio’s map was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
The state must now enact a new remedial map by June 14.* Thank you for rallying with us in the fight for fair maps by 2020!
As our Legal Director Freda Levenson put it, “This opinion, declaring Ohio an egregiously gerrymandered state, completely validates every one of our claims and theories in every respect.”
Now, with you by our side, we prepare for the long and uncertain road ahead. One more election under this unconstitutional map is one too many. Why? Because voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.
On May 24, after the Impact Report was sent to the printer, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state’s motion to stay.
On June 27, the Supreme Court found that partisan gerrymandering cases are a political question, meaning the doors of the court have been closed to litigants.
Bail Reform Now
Ohio’s reliance on cash bail has perpetuated a two-tiered system of justice and propelled our mass incarceration crisis. Cash bail tears families apart, uproots lives and destabilizes communities.
Earlier this year Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor invited the ACLU to join the Ohio Supreme Court Task Force on Bail, where we had substantial input on needed reforms.
We created a new experienced Campaigns Department staff team, charged with building the people power necessary to win meaningful legislative pre-trial system reform in Ohio.
We envision a world where justice, dignity, and freedom are not determined by wealth—and through grassroots collaboration and top-down accountability, we will achieve that vision. Thank you for making this work a top priority.
Artist: Joe Sharp
End Mayor’s Courts Abuses
In April, we released our extensive report, Off The Record: Profiteering and Misconduct in Ohio’s Mayor’s Courts.
Mayor’s courts highlight some of the darkest truths about our criminal justice system. In the report, we uncovered many mayor’s courts that were geared more towards turning a profit than delivering justice.
We are proactively seeking reform by urging the Ohio General Assembly to enact the recommendations from our report, and ensure that mayor’s courts are grounded in fairness, transparency, and accountability.
Photo: A billboard on I-90 westbound in Bratenahl, Ohio
Stop the Abortion Bans
Governor DeWine signed a total abortion ban into law in April. On May 15, just 34 days after SB 23 was signed, we filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging this blatantly unconstitutional bill.
Deciding whether and when to start a family is a deeply personal choice between a woman and her doctor; politicians need not enter. With you, we stand on the right side of history—with women and families—and will fight to the bitter end to ensure this bill is permanently blocked.
Our response to anti-choice politicians who treat women as political pawns?
We’ll see you in court.
“I donated to the ACLU on and off for years. But seeing children in cages, and watching the crisis at the border was the tipping point for me. Clearly something had to be done.
Who was doing something tangible? The ACLU.
All politics and all action is local. It was the ACLU’s aggressive and positive action in the courts that caught my attention.
When I see someone representing the ACLU on TV, and when I’ve met people working for the ACLU in Ohio, it’s very clear that my money is going to a great cause; these folks are the real deal, fighting for all of us every day.
I’m proud of the thoughtful, educated, moral positions the ACLU takes.
Our constitution is under attack. What was unthinkable as I was growing up is now commonplace. Now, more than ever, we need to defend our constitution, our institutions, and our way of life.
I’m fortunate that I can support the ACLU monetarily. I’d encourage everyone to give what they can. I firmly believe that our future depends on this.”
Photo: Carolyn Gilbert, Cincinnati, Ohio
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