Former Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland and former Republican State Representative Joan Lawrence headlined a Thursday news conference to urge Ohioans to make sure their votes matter by voting YES on Issue 2.
The two released a an "Open Letter" to Ohio women urging them to support Issue 2, the common sense redistricting reform measure that would strip politicians and special interests of the right to rig the district lines for their own advantage.
"As women, one a Republican and one a Democrat, we invite you to unite with us around issues of fairness and accountability," the letter states. "There is much wrong with politics but how we choose our elected officials should not be one of those wrongs. We can fix this problem once and for all."
In order to fix this broken system, they offered a simple message: "Leave a legacy. Vote for fairness, vote for our future, and vote YES on ISSUE 2."
The two were joined by representatives of women's groups who said Issue 2 is needed to re-focus legislators on issues of importance to women and families, rather than promote the hyper-partisan legislation that wins approval today.
Planned Parenthood's Stephanie Kight said Planned Parenthood "isn't just a health services we offer; it's the attitude with which we approach our world. We stand up for women and their rights.''
The current state legislature has introduced 12 bills that seek to restrict a woman's access to essential health care services. At least 44 hearings have been held on the bills. Four of them have passed, she said.
She compared that with 9 bills and resolutions introduced to increase access to reproductive health care and preventive health care services. "Not one single hearing has been held on them,'' she said. "Politics have trumped women's healthcare at the statehouse.''
Issue 2 held the press conference in the Ladies' Gallery at the Statehouse, a homage to the Women's Suffrage Movement and the first group of women legislators.
"Meaningful elections are at the core of what their struggles were about,'' Ms. Lawrence said. "Let's make sure their struggles are not in vain."