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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.

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

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?

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

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Here’s the trailer:

And its website.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:03 pm June 8th, 2013 in activism, Diversity, Elections, Gender, Women, Youth | Comments Off 

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From my day job:

Many political candidates don’t just have a fear of commitment. They have a fear of engagement. But with 2013 being a local government election year, voters should pull no punches in putting the question about committing to public engagement to the people who want their votes. Contrary to the immortal words of the ultimate Meatloaf song, we can’t just sleep on it. We want to know: what’s it gonna be, yes or no?

So often, we clamor to know how a candidate will vote on an issue he or she hasn’t yet faced. We provide hypothetical circumstances that we want them to imagine are real. Sure, plenty of politicians pick and choose issues about which they will shake their fist and blurt out a reliable yes or no (consider how few elected folks waffled on the Affordable Care Act; most knew what they wanted, the issue was whether they’d vote for what came before them). But mostly, we’ve come to accept as routine a refusal to comply with such a demand. It’s truly rare to see courage rear it’s head and and expose itself through the voice of a political wannabe as he or she, instead, silently calculates the local vote count that can be earned by resisting commitment.

Now, with the fear of engagement, there is hope. At least, I have hope.

Read about why I have hope here and add you thoughts in the accompanying conversation.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:20 am January 11th, 2013 in democracy, Elections, Engagement, Politics | 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!

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…

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 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.

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,

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.

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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Love this story in today’s Plain Dealer about how SB5 has led to a record number of teachers or former teachers running for the Ohio statehouse. An excerpt:

Fourteen teachers and former teachers – including two incumbents – are running as Democrats for seats in the Ohio House, and two for seats in the Senate. Some cite SB5 — passed by the Republican-dominated legislature — as their main motivator, and others the drastic cuts in education funding. But all of them agree that the legislature could use more people passionate about education.

I particularly love that some of these races are very likely to result in loss for the educators but rather than just get mad, they’re working to get elected.

Just this morning I opined with a group that it’s great for people to get organized and try to influence electeds. But wouldn’t it be even better to have electeds who didn’t need the mountain of persuading that often times comes to naught despite its critical mass and critical message in order to be the kind of public servants that, you know, serve the public, publicly?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:40 am October 25th, 2012 in Elections, Ohio | Comments Off 

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Short answer? None.

Long answer? Read his full analysis here.  An excerpt of how he breaks it down:

Actually, Mr. Romney has a bit of a problem. The Republican women with the most traditional qualifications for the vice presidency tend to be moderates, especially on abortion choice, probably making them unacceptable to the Republican base. Another group of up-and-coming female governors and senators may not be adequately seasoned for the rigors of the campaign trail. The few exceptions are probably too old, or too controversial, to be smart choices with swing voters. It has nothing to do with their gender, but any of the women that Mr. Romney might choose would be at least a little risky.

Then again, when I watch stuff like the new Political Animals, all I can think about is how primal people’s quest for power can be. Unsavory doesn’t begin to describe it.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:12 am July 16th, 2012 in Elections, Gender, leadership, Politics, Women | Comments Off 

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Of course it’s not me but her name is Jill. I could give her my See Jill Run shirts even.

She’s the Green Party’s candidate, a Harvard/Harvard M.D., age 62. Kinda rockin’.  Check her out:

Jill Stein’s Bid to Shake-Up 2012

NYT: Party Strains to be Heard Now That Its Voice Isn’t Naders

Jill Stein’s candidate website

ABC: Green Party Jill Stein’s Running Mate is Not Roseanne Barr

By Jill Miller Zimon at 7:32 am July 13th, 2012 in Elections, WH2012, White House 2012, Women | 4 Comments 

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Update: Let’s add Teri Christoph and ShePac to the list of folks who could easily give a statement on the Young Guns gender imbalance. This is not gotcha – I don’t care or have illusions about what the conservative women’s orgs will say about this matter. But the silence is deafening, as they say. In the ShePac solicitation email, after all, it says, “Support, Honor & Elect conservative women.”

Original post:

I don’t get it but then I don’t know if I ever will. How exactly are the women conservatives coming up through the system again? I’d be okay with groups like the Republican National Committee Women (which has a sidebar list of elected Republican women), Smart Girl Politics or the National Federation of Republican Women making some comment, any comment about this – I’d just like to hear their rationale – or their anger – related to the dearth of women being named to this program. Do they really not thinking anything about this at all?

If this sounds like old news, it is – I wrote about this several times in the past and the program didn’t do any better previously in terms of recruiting women. Then again, apparently there’s a growing belief that the Republican recruiting isn’t going well in the Senate side either no matter the gender.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:11 pm July 12th, 2012 in conservatives, Elections, Gender, Women | Comments Off 

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I’m out. I’m just all out. I can read more, talk more, opine more. But really — how much more is there to actually say, that hasn’t already been said, about the Republican candidates remaining in the primary battle to be the party’s nominee for the 2012 general election?

Even his three wins last night, in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, have failed to seal the deal for the delegate leader, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. For more background on last night’s elections, check out the exit polls and see how moderate the voters were in those three states, especially in comparison to several already-counted primary or caucus states; watch Romney’s victory speech given in Wisconsin, and see Santorum’s “we’re still going for it speech” from Pennsylvania.

Why is this fight not over?

Read the answer at the full post here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:45 pm April 4th, 2012 in Campaigning, conservatives, Elections, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Rick Santorum, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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You’d think I’d love all the attention Ohio is getting this year because of its swing state and must-win status – I’m a Leo after all.  But there’s really only four things you need to know about the race being voted on today.  Read it here in my post at

And don’t forget locally – tons of judicial races and our County Prosecutor.

Here’s the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website where you can see a ballot before you go so you don’t choke up.


By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:36 am March 6th, 2012 in Campaigning, Elections, Ohio, Voting | Comments Off 

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Read my thoughts on that question in my post, “Why Women Voters Will Dictate Ohio’s Super Tuesday Results,” at iVillage and let them know what you think!

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:10 pm March 5th, 2012 in Elections, Gender, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Sexism, Social Issues, Voting, WH2012, Women | Comments Off 

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One of the things I loved the most about the Meet the Bloggers forums of 2005-2007 was that it let me sit next to and ask questions directly of people like Ted Strickland, Richard Cordray, Jim Petro and Sherrod Brown. Once you have a taste of that, you never want to go back to just writing a letter or placing a call, but alas MTB is no more.

However, into the fray went my colleague, Dan Moulthrop, at the Civic Commons where he is moderating a fantastic online forum with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Candidates.  This forum is a SUPERB way to interact DIRECTLY with people who want to be elected to office. They want to be your public servant, you better believe they should be engaging in the public & this forum does that.

Today is the last day so please go read & ask and comment. It’s your county and your vote.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:07 am January 26th, 2012 in Campaigning, CuyahogaCounty, Elections, Government, Ohio, Politics, Transparency | 1 Comment 

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Well, the idea that the perceived and polled gender gap that appeared to favor GOP presidential nominee candidate and former Massachusett’s governor, Mitt Romney, absolutely fizzled and flipped when it came to election day in South Carolina last week.

Yet now, here again, CNN is reporting that their polling shows a gender gap favoring  – wait for it – Romney again:

A gender gap appears to have developed as well. In South Carolina, Gingrich won among men and women, according to exit polls. But in Florida, although Gingrich has an edge among men, Romney had the advantage among women.

“Some of that may be due to recent coverage of Gingrich’s personal life, but it is almost certainly due to other factors as well. Gingrich’s favorable rating has consistently been higher among men than among women for years before he became a presidential candidate, suggesting that men may find his red-meat approach to issues more appealing than women do,” says [CNN Polling Director Keating] Holland.

Many people have anticipated that Florida is not South Carolina, and I share that opinion.  How different is the female electorate in the Sunshine State from the same segment in the Palmetto State?

We won’t know for sure until next Tuesday evening, after they vote.  I have my suspicions but I’m going to keep them to myself until election night.

What do you think?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:59 pm January 25th, 2012 in Campaigning, Elections, Gender, Mitt Romney, Politics, Voting, WH2012, White House 2012, Women | Comments Off 

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Some of us have work to do that we hope really will make a difference in people’s lives, short-term and long-term, so I’m working very hard to keep myself from being utterly distracted by the inept field of GOP primary candidates, especially after watching last night’s debate in Florida. It’s totally like watching a train wreck – you just can’t turn away.

But here’s my main observation for the day:

To Newt Gingrich: You are not Russell Crowe, the debates are not gladiator matches, NBC is not the Coliseum, but you are a relic.

And good on the local journos who asked excellent questions including one which Rick Santorum totally did not answer (address the risk posed to Florida’s tourist industry by offshore oil drilling versus the jobs it could create) and why is it okay for the candidates to court Florida voters with Spanish language materials but it’s not okay for the government to provide them with anything in their native language?

That latter question led to a disgusting attempt for the candidates to one-up themselves on supporting the assimilation of all the glorious strands of our society into one.

How on earth does that represent anything other than a denial of liberty, the value supposedly so dear to the conservatives?

We all know how much I hatez the English-only talk.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 8:59 am January 24th, 2012 in Campaigning, Elections, Government, Politics, Primary, WH2012, White House 2012 | Comments Off 

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From an appearance last week, via this NPR report:

NEWT GINGRICH: We are fully human upon conception because all of the genetic patterns needed are in existence at that moment, and therefore the right should attach at that moment.

[NPR reporter Don] GONYEA: Gingrich also singled out an organization that is public enemy number one for many anti-abortion activists.

GINGRICH: We will defund Planned Parenthood sometime early in 2013.

Oh – if only there were just 57 reasons to vote no on Newt Gingrich.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:04 pm January 22nd, 2012 in conservatives, Elections, Government, Politics | Comments Off 

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