Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, July 2, 2021

New Coalition: Time to Get to Work on Ohio Redistricting

Posted By on Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge A new coalition wants a fair, transparent process - EQUAL DISTRICTS OHIO
  • Equal Districts Ohio
  • A new coalition wants a fair, transparent process

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new alliance is calling on Ohio's elected leaders to get to work on this year's redistricting process.

The newly launched Equal Districts Coalition held a news conference Thursday, to demand a fair and transparent map-making process.

Katy Shanahan, Ohio state director for All On The Line, said it means ensuring citizens speak up and get involved.

"We should be centering the people in every conversation that we have about what our districts look like now, and what they need to look like in the future to best represent our communities," Shanahan asserted.

Prentiss Haney, co-executive director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, explained the coalition is helping residents create their own district maps online, with 1,900 submitted so far.

"Regular citizens right now, from Chillicothe to Dayton to Columbus, are actually modeling the process that our mapmakers should be doing right now," Haney argued. "They're showing them what the heart of the reform should be."

The maps will be presented to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which has not yet convened. Census data will be available in 45 days, mid-August, much later than usual because of the pandemic.

Tala Dahbour, policy director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Ohio, said the coalition will engage with diverse communities who have traditionally been left out of the map-drawing process.

"We know our communities best," Dahbour contended. "We must ensure that minority voices who have been politically disenfranchised receive ample representation and fair districts."

Darold Johnson, legislative director for the Ohio Federation of Teachers, sees the 2021 redistricting process as an opportunity to ensure that children know 'their vote is their voice.' He thinks for too long, some politicians have "rigged" district maps to their benefit.

"As educators we teach at a very young age that, you know, democracy is important, that we should participate in that process, and that you have the opportunity to choose your electorate," Johnson outlined. "Unfortunately, over the last 10 years, legislators have been choosing who will represent them."

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation