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Please come join the online live chat tomorrow (Thursday, November 15, 2012) with me and Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration, Ed Jerse. Many of you may recall that I love live chats, so I’m very excited to be doing this with the Civic Commons (my day job).

To add more fun, I’ve known Ed for many years and it is going to be an honor to moderate this conversation about the County’s efforts in shared services, collaboration, consolidation and yes – I’ll say it – merger. Please come lurk and engage from 11-12noon.

Can’t be there? Leave a question or comment now and Ed will respond later.

You can watch the event unfold here.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:31 pm November 14th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Ohio, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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I’ve been writing for a lot of other places – I know. From my post-election night BlogHer column:

What might the United States political world look like in 2016? The predictions began to roll in even before 2012 votes were counted, with Vice President Joe Biden being one of the first to tease about being a candidate — for something — in that year.

My first thought is, just how long is four years anyway? In four years, my second of three children will be starting college and my youngest will be a high school freshman. My own re-election for City Council, should I choose to run again, is next year — and for me, that’s a nine-month birthing event as it is since, with kids, a full-time job, being on Council now and still doing writing and speaking. In case President Obama’s win didn’t demonstrate this axiom enough, planning a campaign out in excrutiating detail is mandatory if you also want to plan on winning.

Only 1458 days left until Election Day 2016! Go read the full post here and get ready!

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 12:00 pm November 13th, 2012 in Election 2016, Elections, Politics, Voting | Comments Off 

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Judging Judges

Filed Under Elections, Law, Ohio, Voting | Comments Off

Wow – that is one of those words that if you say it or spell it too many times, it’s not even a word anymore.  Here’s a snippet from my latest Civic Commons blog post – stick til the end at the full post for the twist:

According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, “Thirty-nine states elect at least some of their judges, and the vast majority of cases in the United States are heard by elective courts.” But the experience and results of this year’s judicial races in Ohio’s general election demand that we ask: Is it time for Ohio to join the eleven states that don’t elect judges?

The first question: Why is the selection method even an issue? Let us count the ways in which our current manner – partisan primaries followed by nominally non-partisan general elections – can be attacked:

Yeah, you’ll have to go read the full post for the analysis. And I really wanted to make the title something that played off Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them but I couldn’t quite figure out the words. Judges and the Judging Voters Who Judge Them? Nah…

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:37 am November 12th, 2012 in Elections, Law, Ohio, Voting | Comments Off 

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A teaser from a piece I wrote for USAToday.com last week during election night:

So rather than watch the tick-tock around the swing states of Virginia, Ohio and Florida, I’m following the record number of women who are running for office this year. If you are not familiar with that statistic, check out the 2012 Project (which has corralled women to run in this first post-redistricting election, a time when the increase in open seats also increases the chance of women winning those seats).

Where might this history be made? In New Hampshire. Its situation reminds me of the 2010 Diane Sawyer discussion with United States Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor. During the conversation, Sawyer asked Ginsburg, how many women would be enough women on the bench.

“Nine,” Ginsburg replied with a smile. “There’ve been nine men there for a long time, right? So why not nine women?”

Something approximating Ginsburg’s prophecy has come true this election eve in the Granite State because its voters elected the first all-female congressional delegation.

So awesome – New Hampshire did indeed become the first state to have an all-female congressional delegation, with a female governor to boot. So coveting them.

Ohio – you’re next. No, really. I told Henry Gomez, so you know it’s going to happen.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:27 pm November 11th, 2012 in Diversity, Elections, Gender, Ohio, Women | Comments Off 

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Back in 2008, I spent a night in the NPR DC blogger warroom with a bunch of other social media political junkies – here’s one post from that evening. And this year, I’m very excited to again be part of the social media activity at NPR’s DC headquarters. They’ve posted a very nice intro to the occasion here, including the twitter handles and names of all my compatriots who’ll be there.

How can you follow along? Several ways:

1. On Twitter, search on the #nprmeetup hashtag

2. Follow me on Twitter – @jillmz

3. Check out the Twitter list, https://twitter.com/JuanSaaa/npr-election-night

Now, if you really want to dig in, the Civic Commons backchannel live-chat with my colleagues Dan Moulthrop, Jason Russell and probably a few others will be the place to be. You can follow that action here. If you haven’t had civic engagement courtesy of a Civic Commons backchannel conversation, you will not want to miss it there tomorrow night.

At NPR, we’re going to have a chance to meet Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie, if anyone has any questions, and Andy Carvin, NPR’s senior social media strategist, really is a rock star in his own right for many reasons but perhaps he’s best known for his coverage of the political and civil movements in North Africa and across the Middle East.

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 11:17 pm November 5th, 2012 in Elections, Ohio, Politics, WH2012, White House 2012, Writing | Comments Off 

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Please read the full post at the Civic Commons (and add to the conversation) but here’s the teaser:

If someone is offering to send me to Seattle, Washington to attend a four-day conference dedicated to talking and cogitating, does anyone who knows even the remotest thing about me believe I would ever say no?

Precisely. With a blog called, Writes Like She Talks? Yeah. No.

And so it was that I spent October 11 through 14 in the Pacific Northwest at the 5th National Conference of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. Being an itinerant backgrounder, before heading out, I dedicated a good chunk of time to researching the sessions, speakers and attendees, as I tried to assess whether my perception that I’d be among rooms full of kindred civic engagement enthusiasts would be borne out.

Within a very short time of reviewing the materials, my anticipation of the conference developed into almost a hunger for being among others who “get it.” Organization after organization listed included words like “civic” “democracy” “public” “engagement” or some meaningful combination of those words in their names (although initiatives with titles like “Portsmouth Listens” and “New Hampshire Listens” relayed the same notions).

Seriously? I was like a kid in a candy store from even before the pre-conference activities began. And, just as with each of the three formal conference days, there were dueling good options (and I’m not including the Vice Presidential Debate). My highly annotated hard copy brochure tracks my struggles with narrowing the choices as I tried to figure out what to attend and who I wanted to hear and meet and caucus with if at all possible. But here’s the way it broke down ultimately:

(Continue here)

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By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:29 pm November 2nd, 2012 in Government, leadership | Comments Off 

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