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What state of being would a person have to be in to run for the legislature in a state that can’t stay out of the news when it comes to the economy, or abortion, or voting rights, or labor issues? And run as a Democrat at a time when that party is outnumbered by a veto-proof majority in the statehouse?

A state of wanting to give voice to a community birthed by redistricting and to apply lessons and successes of being in a municipal government — including shaking it up a good amount — to a process woefully in need of some good ole checks and balances.

And so, in early July 2013, with the blessing of my husband of 22 years and my kids, aged 14, 17 and 20, I started to campaign for the State Representative seat for nine suburbs and a well-settled, well-established, very active portion of Cleveland – Ward 1.

Now, the Internet is replete with articles about women and electoral politics – good, bad and ugly. And they’re very helpful in sketching out the myriad contexts women encounter when it comes to being in elected, political decision-making roles. But there are more than a few things no boot camp can prepare you for. These are my top five discoveries so far:

Read the full post here.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:17 pm February 18th, 2014 in BlogHer, Politics, Primary | 1 Comment 

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Share, share, share.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:40 am February 13th, 2014 in activism, Diversity, Sports | Comments Off 

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I didn’t say it – Doonesbury did – and next year in Ohio, residents of my state House district have a chance to elect someone who doesn’t need a comic strip to get it.

by Garry Trudeau, 12/26/13

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:33 am December 26th, 2013 in Ohio House District 12, OhioHD12, Women | Comments Off 

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What’s so funny about this (and today’s strip) is that we have many excellent training programs that have been working with women on how to run for office, period. I’ve personally helped bring one to Ohio (White House Project’s Go Run! in 2008) and I’ve participated in many more. Read and share. And thank Garry Trudeau. And also know, this problem isn’t limited to folks running from the right – we know there are plenty of potential trainees to be found all along the political spectrum.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:50 am December 24th, 2013 in Gender, Humor, Politics | Comments Off 

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I sure hope so since I’m just about out of one arena and heading into another. You’d think it might leave me with lots of time to blog again but, well – we’ll just have to wait and see. Based on how intimidated I hear some electeds, past and present, are of The Blogger Councilwoman, I might just have to find a way to make that my new moniker. A good blog name is a terrible thing to waste.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:54 pm December 23rd, 2013 in Campaigning, leadership, Politics | Comments Off 

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Please visit the City website here or read the image below.


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By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:58 pm November 7th, 2013 in Pepper Pike, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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Jen Sorenson tells it like it is in this graphic illustration explanation of what the heck is being done to reproductive rights and legal medical care for women throughout Ohio and the country. Please share it widely and often.

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

By Jen Sorenson for the ACLU

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:08 pm October 24th, 2013 in Ethics, Gender, Health Care, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Women | Comments Off 

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The Pepper Pike Civic League Candidates & Issues night is tonight, Tuesday, September 17, at 7pm at Brady Middle School. There are six school board candidates between two races plus three county-wide levies. Lots to learn about – please share this information and attend.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:52 am September 17th, 2013 in Announcements, Elections, Voting | Comments Off 

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Read more here. Basics: Starts at 1pm. The Pepper Pike Community Band will play from 2:30-3:30pm. The weather looks gorgeous. There will be pony rides and Jungle Bob, balloon benders, free ice cream of course and free kids’ bike helmets to the first 200 children. This event is always a great time – hope to see you there.

Pepper Pike Ice Cream Social – Sunday, August 25 1-2:30pm

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:04 am August 25th, 2013 in Pepper Pike | 1 Comment 

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Please consider attending this multi-many things event on Wednesday, August 28 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington, D.C.  Learn more at the Urban League of Cleveland’s website where you can view the flyer. I know many people have been communicating, planning and meeting about this event for some time now. I’m looking forward to it very much.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:23 pm August 16th, 2013 in Civil Rights, Cleveland+ | Comments Off 

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Yesterday was my birthday. It was also the day I officially announced my candidacy for State Representative in House District 12.

WLST is not my campaign site or blog – you can see all that at But feel free to save the date for my kick off event which will be September 30th at 5 p.m. Please subscribe for the campaign’s email news for details on that event and more.

It’s not hard for me to pledge to work tirelessly and continuously for support and trust because it really is what I do and I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me while I do that on behalf of public service. I believe in public service, I believe in government and I do not believe it should take a second seat to the expectations we have for any other sector or system.

Training programs like the excellent Camp Wellstone have me brainwashed that I must follow my campaign manager’s orders so I have to include this message – which really will be one of very few if any additional ones directly related to the campaign that will ever appear on WLST. So – now, from my campaign manager:

Instead of emailing Jill to send birthday greetings or congrats on the campaign, please consider doing one (or all) of these things:

1. Share Jill’s announcement on your Facebook & Twitter.

2. Donate to Jill’s campaign

3. Learn More about Jill:

4. Sign up to receive news from Jill’s campaign at

5. Follow her on Twitter: @jillmillerzimon

Thank you!


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By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:55 am August 13th, 2013 in Jill Miller Zimon, Ohio House District 12, Politics | 3 Comments 

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The  Washington Post is up with an interesting article about women now taking the political mantle from dads, rather than sons or rather than just sons. But I personally know people who will tell you that it was their mother’s activism that got them engaged. Here’s one story that highlights how U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) got her game from her grandmother. Only toward the end does the article mention women as “bequeathers” rather than “inheritors.”

Here’s the WaPo piece – what do you think?

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:51 am July 30th, 2013 in activism, Gender, Politics | 1 Comment 

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:01 pm July 19th, 2013 in democracy | Comments Off 

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Don’t take the Plain Dealer’s word for it when they write a critical editorial, “Walling off the public from the right to know” about the expansion of topics that our electeds can discuss behind closed doors. Consider how the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has named Ohio Governor John Kasich as one of the “Worst Governor’s In America.”


In February 2011, Gov. Kasich replaced Ohio’s Department of Development with JobsOhio, a private non-profit exempt from public record laws. Gov. Kasich’s administration resisted efforts by the state auditor to procure JobsOhio’s financial records, leading to a subpoena. JobsOhio ultimately complied, but Gov. Kasich later fast-tracked a bill to strip the state auditor’s authority to examine the records.

You can read about the state legislators who support shielding public dollars from public scrutiny helped the bill race through the Ohio House and Senate here.

And then there’s the Integrity Index which placed Ohio at 40th. Look at Ohio’s placement on matters like public records, open meetings and whistleblower protection. How depressing.

At dinner tonight, my voting-aged son asked me what I could say I’ve accomplished since I’ve been on Pepper Pike City Council. And I can say, unequivocally that our work is more open, accessible and transparent – by far – than when I got on to Council. A culture of “need to know basis” of providing information has been replaced with a default of placing it online as soon as available. Now, I’m always pressing for more but there is unquestionably far greater public access to far more public information than when I ran four years.

Not only can’t our electeds in Columbus say that – many of them specifically vote to decrease that access. The Columbus Dispatch wrote, “A Better Government Association study paints Ohio as a backwater when it comes to government integrity.”

We can do so much better.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:47 pm July 18th, 2013 in OhioHD12, Statehouse, Transparency | Comments Off 

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From Cleveland’s own Mike Polk. Hattip the Plain Dealer.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:44 pm July 10th, 2013 in Abortion, democracy, Gender, Health Care, Women | Comments Off 

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Boys club signing away reproductive rights and health care needs of Ohio's women

Photo by Karen Kasler of the Statehouse News Bureau for Ohio Public Radio and Television. Hattip to 100% Men tumblr.

For more about the unconscionable agenda forwarded by these elected officials sworn to represent all Ohioans, read here.

UPDATE:’s Carl Weiser names names re: which boys got into the seemingly boys-only event.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:49 am July 1st, 2013 in Abortion, democracy, Gender, Ohio, Politics, Women | Comments Off 

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From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio:

Inspired by Texan Women, please wear RED for Ohio and join us to show Ohio’s Legislature & Governor Kasich that we Stand With Ohio Women beginning at 10 AM Thursday with a Press Conference on the High Street/West entrance side. We’ll then pack the Gallery for what could a long day! (wear comfy shoes!). Spread the word – this is a non-partisan event for ALL of us who believe that Ohio’s Budget should not be the “Abortion Budget”. Demand a VETO on abortion amendments! *** if you can not make it in person, please call Gov Kasich 614-466-3555. Tell him to veto all of the attacks on access to reproductive healthcare! See y’all in Columbus! #StandwOHWomen

DO NOT DESPAIR OR STOP USING YOUR VOICE – don’t just stand with Wendy, let’s be Wendy & Leticia and all the great advocates in Texas – read and see more here. From the first link:

Like hundreds of thousands of people, I listened to Davis speak — for me, for Texas women, for all women — thanks to a grainy livestream and obsessively refreshing Twitter. Katie Naranjo, a local women’s rights advocate who spent more than 13 hours in the Senate chambers on Tuesday, told me on the phone that night, “As she was reading the testimony of all the women who weren’t allowed to testify before the committee, we all knew she was our voice. We were her and she was us.”

She was us. And so when Davis was yanked from the floor on a parliamentary technicality — Republicans said she violated the rules of order by making points about women’s health that they deemed were “not germane” to the women’s health legislation under consideration — other women rose to speak. Or tried to. Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who had rushed to the capitol directly from her father’s funeral earlier that day, was granted the floor and asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”

It was at this point the women in the chamber, who had been shushed for hours, erupted in a chant of “Let her speak! Let her speak!” The chorus had a distinctly female, strangely jubilant timbre. It had been Davis’s intention to speak until midnight, not yielding the floor until the legislative session expired so that the abortion-restricting bill would not be able to come to a vote. But when she was pulled from the floor just minutes before midnight, the women who had assembled picked up where she left off, drowning out the legislators’ attempts to call a vote.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:03 am June 27th, 2013 in Gender, Ohio, Politics | Comments Off 

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There has been warning and there is a very easy way to check and make sure you are not on the list of voters who will have their registration information purged unless you are in fact supposed to be on that list. Please go here, to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections site specifically for this.

I checked to see how many registered voters in Pepper Pike are on that list and it was just under 200 and I actually know two people listed. I am going to call them tomorrow and ask them to please double-check. It’s possible they’re not domiciled here to vote or any other of a number of reasons but whatever the case, please share this information and check yourself.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:17 pm June 15th, 2013 in Elections, Voting | Comments Off 

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It’s really unbelievable, given the size of the city and its inherent diversity, not to mention that more than half its population is woman. What gives? Read the full article here.

On the lack of media coverage of these results:

Surprisingly, women losing ground in the nation’s second largest city garnered little media or public attention during the election cycle.

“If there was a lack of Latino or African American representation on the city council, think about the uproar you would have heard,” said Rachel Michelin executive director of California Women Lead, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to getting more women elected to office.

“It would have been national news,” she said.

On why it matters:

“Women bring a different perspective,” said Michelin. “That different perspective adds to the diversity of thought that members of the city council or statewide office need to have when they’re making public policy decisions. I think that you’re going to see a decline in certain issues and viewpoints being made because you don’t have more women on the city council.”

Women need to have a strong voice and play a central role in the development of public policy, particularly at the local level. We live in neighborhoods and cities, the decisions made by local government have the greatest impact on our daily lives.

With just one woman sitting the city council, Michelin asked, “How much can she accomplish if she doesn’t have the critical mass of other women colleagues on a board as political as the Los Angeles City Council?”

And on why it’s happening: According to the article, at least in California, there are fewer politically educated women (I’m not exactly sure what they mean by that, to be honest), “behind the scenes” activities (i.e., consulting, polling, strategy) is dominated by men, fundraising when women don’t have the political networks men do, and moving from Sacramento to a city council isn’t happening as much. In addition, women need to make political contributions to women and mentor them up the ladder.

Anyone in California, what do you think?

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:28 pm June 15th, 2013 in democracy, Elections, Gender, Women | Comments Off 

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I’d say I’m at a loss for words for how to express my extreme discontent over Ohio House Bill 200 but I’m going to save it for a steady and increasingly louder drumbeat of arguments against it starting tonight. Make no mistake, to defeat this absolute and absolutely invasive set of provisions that completely contradict the charades of conservatives who say they want to keep government out of our lives, we will need to be as adamant, sharp, specific, relentless and vocal as ever, if not more so.

Your education on HB 200 can start with these links but I have no doubt this is just the beginning of the battle:

The bill itself – it has no fiscal notes or bill analysis yet

The Plain Dealer story on it including the laundry list of restrictions:

Among other things, the bill would:

• Require doctors to give women a verbal description of the ultrasound, including an audible heartbeat, if available. (The bill notes, however, that a woman can refuse to view ultrasound images or listen to the sounds detected by a fetal heart monitor.)

Compel abortion providers to tell patients that fetuses and embryos can feel pain, and that a woman who has an abortion increases her risk of breast cancer.

Extend the waiting period for abortions to 48 hours instead of 24.

Require doctors to tell patients seeking abortions in writing how much money they earn and how much income they would lose by not performing abortions.

Eliminate “medical necessity” as a reason to waive the waiting period. Medical necessity had been defined as a medical condition that complicates the pregnancy so that it warrants an immediate abortion.

Allow a waiver for a “medical emergency,” which is redefined in the bill as a condition that would result in the woman’s death without an abortion, as opposed to one that presents a serious risk to her life or physical health.

Doctors who do not follow the rules could be charged with a first-degree felony and fined up to $1 million.

Look at all those job-creation proposals, eh? Exactly what Ohio needs – you smart drafters, you.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:02 pm June 13th, 2013 in activism, conservatives, Courage, democracy, Gender, Health Care, Ohio, OhioHD12, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Republicans, Sexism, Women | 1 Comment 

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