The Ohio Civil Liberties Snapshot is the ACLU of Ohio’s comprehensive resource that allows supporters to stay up to date on the latest issues affecting civil liberties in Ohio. Each issue is filled with stories related to current attacks on civil liberties, and includes our recent victories. Be the first to know when our next Snapshot is released by signing up for our emails.
Unrig The Maps
Unconstitutional gerrymandering has wreaked havoc in Ohio for many years, and we’re fighting back. Thanks to you, we are working to ensure fair maps and honest elections. On May 23, we filed a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio’s U.S. congressional map as unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. The existing map has skewed our election results for 8 years, allowing extremely partisan politics to take hold.
Since 1979, plaintiff Doug Burks and his wife have lived in their home in Norwood, a city surrounded entirely by Cincinnati, but placed in a different congressional district.
“As a Quaker, and having grown up working class, economic and social justice is very important to me. For 15 years I have volunteered helping the homeless in Cincinnati. Many people in Hamilton County are impoverished but they’re not being served because their votes are being discounted due to gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering gives more power to certain individuals through a statistical game. The division of the Hamilton County urban area between two districts, aimed to swamp out the Democrats, diminishes the power of my vote.
I joined this lawsuit because I want the process of unequal power to stop. I want my voice and my beliefs to be counted and valued when I cast a ballot.”
Through our lawsuit and your support, we are fighting for everyone to have an equal voice.
Ohio is one of four U.S. jurisdictions that do not allow transgender people to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. On March 29, we filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s harmful, discriminatory policy. Gratefully, the backing of our members, allies, and coalition partners enables us to take on this legal battle.
Plaintiff Stacie Ray was born in Ohio and forced to leave her job due to harassment.
“Ohio’s refusal to correct my birth certificate is a constant reminder that my home state does not recognize me as who I am, a woman. This antiquated law isn’t just humiliating – it’s dangerous.
Upon beginning a new job, I was required to publicly present my birth certificate. After this, many of my coworkers refused to speak to me. I was referred to as a ‘freak,’ and a female coworker said if she ever encountered me in the woman’s restroom she would ‘beat my ass.'”
Photo: Stacie Ray, Plaintiff
After the 2016 election, I was extremely motivated, like many others, to get involved politically. I believe in equity and fairness, and I want those values to be reflected in both local and national policies.
The ACLU of Ohio is an organization I admire. No matter what, they continue to fight against the injustices that occur at every level of government. I support the ACLU because their work has long-term impact.
Here in Bexley, I donate my time and efforts to the local People Power chapter, a grassroots movement comprised of amazing activists committed to upholding the ACLU’s mission. We convert our frustration into action. Currently, we’re gearing up for the Midterms and are focusing on voter registration.
Get involved, support the ACLU!
Photo: Raeal Moore, ACLU member, supporter, and activist
Join us in welcoming the newest member of our policy team!
Ashley Braxton will be leading our Clinic Access Project, tackling the complex civil liberties intersection of First Amendment rights, police practices, and reproductive choice in Ohio.
We call on you, our dedicated justice advocates, to be on the forefront of this new campaign.
Our goals are threefold. We aim to ensure that reproductive services are accessible, that protestors have a forum to exercise their First Amendment rights, and that police response to disruptions are appropriate and just.
Facilitating and maintaining a symbiotic relationship between these rights is not easy, but your support will enable the path forward as we work to protect everyone’s civil liberties.
Photo: Ashley Braxton, Columbus Office
Across Ohio, communities have enacted nuisance ordinances, which penalize land lords if repeated criminal activity occurs on their property – even if the residents of the property are the victims of the activity.
Last fall, researchers at Cleveland State University, including our staff attorney Elizabeth Bonham, authored a report detailing harmful consequences of these predatory ordinances in Northeast Ohio. These local laws frequently result in evictions, the study found, and disproportionately impact low-income renters, people using housing vouchers, and people of color.
Horrifically, they also target individuals who seek help by calling a suicide hotline or emergency services as victims of domestic violence or drug overdose.
With your help, we can protect those who are affected by dangerous nuisance ordinances. We will confront municipalities that target renters and low-income residents – in the courts and in city council chambers across the state. No voice should be silenced when calling for help.
In June, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carried out devastating immigration raids across Ohio.
In Sandusky, Castalia, Salem, Massillon, and Canton, families and communities have been shaken to their core and will never be the same. The tactics used by the Trump Administration only serve to fuel racism, instill fear, and sow distrust.
Together, we must fight for our immigrant neighbors. We called for help, and you stepped up. Over 2,500 messages were sent to Ohio’s U.S. Senators and Representatives urging deportations to end and demanding due process for those detained. Representatives Tim Ryan and Marcy Kaptur followed our lead and called on the Department of Homeland Security and the Administration to protect our immigrant neighbors.
Ohio is breaking records – and not the good kind – when it comes to ICE raids. Keep demanding an end to deportations, a safe path for asylum seekers, and a guarantee to end family separations and detentions. Let’s keep up the fight!
Did You Know
You Can Leave a Legacy of Liberty?
You can make a gift through your will or trust or even name the ACLU of Ohio Foundation as a beneficiary on a variety of accounts, such as life insurance or 401(k) policies.
Many Employers Have a Matching Programs?
Companies and organizations all across our state—big and small—have matching gift programs to help support the causes most important to their employees. Matching gift programs often match the full dollar amount of an employee’s contribution and can double your support!
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