Letters to the Editor: May 6, 2023

I sent a message to Ohio Representative Brian E. Lampton, Ohio Senator Bob D. Hackett and Governor Mike DeWine, asking each of them three question. 1) Why do they want privatize Ohio schools? 2) When are they going to fix gerrymandering? 3) When are they going follow the March 24, 1997, twenty-six years ago, Ohio’s Supreme Court declaration the state’s method of funding public education unconstitutional? No response from any of them. The recent election had dozens of school funding issues on the ballot. 30% of them failed, which hurts students the most. I cannot find the cost of the putting the levies on the ballot and the time superintendents and school board members put into every levy. Fix school funding and most of that goes away. Gerrymandering is keeping power. The problem is the people that are tasked to do that have everything to lose. A non-partisan panel would fix that. Privatizing schools means schools select what students get admitted. What happens to those who don’t get selected? Drop out of school? Are unemployable?

- Jim Lemanek, Beavercreek

I am exasperated that House leadership is threatening to tank our economy to extract devastating budget cuts that target people experiencing poverty. As a condition for allowing the U.S. to pay its bills, the House plan slashes dozens of services including SNAP, Medicaid, housing assistance, preschool and childcare, and core global poverty programs. These cuts would force deep hardship onto tens of millions of people still recovering from the COVID economic downturn and rising costs of basic needs. It is dangerous for House leaders to even hint that the U.S. will not honor its debts. It is cruel for them to do it on the backs of people experiencing poverty. I strongly urge President Biden and congressional leaders to reject the House cuts to anti-poverty programs and pass a clean debt ceiling immediately.

- Annick Richardson, Dayton

I am so disappointed that legislators wish to diminish the will of the voters to the point of making it more difficult for voters to have a say in the Ohio Constitution. In addition to that, the legislators wish to charge the citizens $20 million for the inability to have a fair citizens’ initiative. You, I, and legislators know that there is a majority of voters who wish for reproductive freedom, so undemocratic ways have been devised to cheat voters out of their right to ask for a ballot in November to be able to vote on this issue. House Joint Resolution 1 is that undemocratic idea. If it goes through, 41% of voters can block what the majority of Ohioans support. One year ago, those same lawmakers pushed to block August elections due to low turnout and huge expense of those elections for Ohioans. Now, in order to thwart the voter’s vote, they wish to reverse that legislation. You know this is wrong no matter how you feel about the subject, voters should be able to have a fair ability to have an issue on the ballot for a vote.

- Deb Mustard Gibson, Washington Township