Here we capture the news and views on issues important to League members and the Dayton area community. Most of these articles were featured in our monthly newsletter, The VOTER. See The VOTER page for back issues in their entirety. Others have been published in local media.

March Programs Bring Communities Together to Focus on Top Issues
Beth Schaeffer, President LWVGDA, Published 7 April 2024

On March 11 we collaborated with the Sisters of the Precious Blood to co-sponsor “A Conversation with David Pepper.” Pepper is the author of Laboratories of Autocracy and Saving of Democracy and several other works. Not only were the current threats to democracy identified, but he highlighted the importance of re-engaging the electorate by going beyond registering voters and encouraging them to vote.

Author David Pepper is pictured with League members and moderator Marcy Walker (left of David Pepper) at the 11 March program “A Conversations on Democracy”.

The League recognizes the critical role that Public Education plays in preservation of democracy. On March 21 the League brought together a distinguished panel of experts to help identify the challenges and opportunities that currently exist for public schools. The panel was moderated by Thomas J. Lasley II, Ph.D. the founder, CEO emeritus, and director of policy at Learn to Earn Dayton, which leads efforts to “ensure that all children in the Dayton region are successful first in school and ultimately in life.” Read more about both events.

The audience was very engaged at the “Public Education Today: Challenges and Opportunities” event on 21 March 2024.

Battle Over Voting Rights Heated in Election Year
Mary Robertson, Published 28 February 2024

There is unprecedented interest in either restraining or loosening laws that affect state voting rights, especially in this 2024 presidential election year.

The League of Women Voters, as part of a coalition of voting rights organizations, is supporting the Citizens Not Politicians amendment to the state constitution. This amendment would create a committee of nonpoliticians to draw congressional and state district maps. This amendment will finally allow Ohioans to choose their politicians rather than politicians manipulating map variables to carve out their voters and squash competitive races.

There are also eight active bills in the Ohio legislature that would affect voting rights. Two of those bills would expand access; the remaining are designed to reign in voting access. Here is a run-down: Read more.

Money in Politics: How to Track Money’s Influence on Elections and Public Policy
Mary Robertson, Published 28 February 2024

The amount of money raised and spent by political campaigns, political parties and political action committees (PACs) to influence elections and the shaping of public policy has been breaking records with each presidential election. In 2020, the battle for the White House and Congress resulted in $14.4 billion in federal spending ( Who is raising and
spending this money is often hidden from the public. There are sources that can help voters understand how much money is being donated to politicians and who is donating that money. Read more.

League Letter to the Editor, Dayton Daily News, on Ballot Issue 1
Published 14 October 2023

Miami Valley voters are facing a consequential election this November that includes an emotionally-charged Issue 1, a citizen-led initiative asking voters if Ohioans should have a constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions” including decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, and continuing pregnancy.

Voters deserve clear, factual information to make educated and informed decisions. The Ohio Ballot Board accepted revised, contested ballot language for Issue 1 in place of the actual amendment. Voters need to be aware that the language seen on their ballot leaves out parts of the amendment. This can leave voters uninformed. And as in all elections, voters seeking information should not rely solely on advertising paid by unknown out-of-state sources or messaging on social media unvetted for accuracy and extreme bias.

Elected Officials: Do Your Work in the Sun (Dayton Daily News: Voices – Mary Sue Gmeiner)
Published 17 October 2023

When the sun shines through my window, it makes me smile. And it shows every speck of dust that has settled on my furniture. Those of us who still hang clothes on the line to dry know that sunshine is a great disinfectant. So it’s not surprising that the Ohio Public Records Act and Ohio Open Meetings Act are collectively known as the Sunshine Laws. These laws say that public business must be done in public—announced to the people ahead of time, done in a place that allows access, and that government business must be recorded and available to the public. Transparency in government is the sunshine that promotes clean governance.

Ohioans to Vote on Bail Reform Amendment
Published July 2022

On November 8, voters will decide whether a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution to change the rules for cash bail is, as proponents claim, a better way to maintain public safety, or as opponents claim, a shift in power from the Courts to the General Assembly that won’t impact public safety at all. Like anything in politics today, this is not as simple as we might like, and may have consequences that we don’t foresee. To help you decide which way you want to vote in November, let’s look at some frequently asked questions…

The City of Dayton Continues to Wage Peace
Published June 2022

The City of Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina Annual Student Leadership Exchange program allows Bosnian high school students and a few of their teachers to visit the Dayton area for three weeks. During this time, these students join students from local high schools, colleges and universities in learning about democracy, diversity, volunteerism, leadership, human rights, and having fun in the USA. At the end of their time here, the Bosnian students present a project idea they plan to implement in their own community . . .

Our American Journey: The Black Perspective in America
Published May 2022

There’s a new exhibit at Sinclair you do not want to miss. It is comprised of personal mementos of Black History Memorabilia collected throughout the years and from all over the country by Michael Carter, Senior Advisor to the President/Chief Diversity Officer at the Sinclair Diversity Office. The hands-on exhibit allows participants to examine and explore the African American journey through a variety of artifacts such as books, magazines, and pictures as a means of capturing and understanding the determination, courage, and resilience of Blacks in America.