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
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.
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
When we’re talking public bodies, who gets to say, “enough’s enough” and then ban public dialogue at a public meeting?
This being the United States, intuition might tell you that no one does. If it’s a public body and a public meeting, then the public gets to talk. But, for starters, you’d be wrong here in Ohio where the law provides for a right to attend public meetings, but it does not provide for the public to have a right to participate or comment.
Punctuating the (perceived mis)use of a similar power, but in this case in New York, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy have sued the town of Sanford’s board for its September 2012 resolution that bans public comment on fracking:
The resolution said: “It is the determination of this Board that hereafter no further comment will be received during the public participation portion of this or any future meeting regarding natural gas development,” until the state’s environmental review was done.
Not so unreasonable?
Read the rest and start a conversation about it. Should electeds get to ban the public from what they can discuss?
Very very unfortunate for everyone that Debe Terhar did not take the advice of the Anti-Defamation League when it explicitly wrote:
As a public figure she should know better. We hope that Ms. Terhar will retract the comparison and apologize. She should make clear that Holocaust comparisons are inappropriate and a terrible distortion of the history of World War II.
Thanks to reporter Matt Bruning’s tweet from this morning’s Ohio Board of Education meeting, you can read precisely what Ms. Terhar had to say – and you will not see the words “Hitler” “Holocaust” “history” or “World War II” in it:
This is incredibly unfortunate – that in a state of 11 million people, and at least 3 million children in public school, the person who is the president of our public government body charged specifically with improving public education in Ohio (I read the ORC on their duties last night), Debe Terhar continues to refuse to see or perhaps just lacks the competency to see how the content of her Facebook posting is the problem, not her “mistake” for sharing it somewhere where the public might see it. Her characterizing the Facebook posting as “hasty” contradicts her prior statements that said she was only trying to get people to be thinking.
This is incredibly bad precedent to set. How on earth will Debe Terhar have the ability now to lead the board to a “healthy consensus” for kids’ best interests, let alone judge with any credibility what far lower level education system people do given that she’s suffered zero consequences?
Although I absolutely do not question the integrity of a number of individual members of the State Board of Education and in fact am grateful for their speaking out and stepping up, I have no faith in the entity’s credibility so long as Debe Terhar is its leader. This is not what Ohio needs or deserves if it wants to play the game of attracting people here. Education is almost always the first thing many people look at when considering where to live. Her inability to recognize the wrongness of referencing Hitler as she did, whether the public sees it or not but simply as a matter of what educated people should not do, chills me to the bone and I know it affects many, many people the exact same way.
Scary, scary stuff at the top of education system.
Due to travel and illness, I’m very sorry to be unable to attend this morning’s Ohio Board of Education meeting. I have emailed this statement to every board member, Governor Kasich, J.C. Benton (the Board’s communications person) and both the State House and Senate Education committee leaders. I hope it will be read into the record.
Statement of Jill Miller Zimon, resident of Pepper Pike, Ohio
Ohio Board of Education meeting
Monday, February 11, 2013
In the matter of Board President’s use of a photograph of Adolph Hitler
I know what it is to be an elected official who took an oath to faithfully perform duties in a non-partisan seat. As a city council member, I constantly contemplate how all my constituents, regardless of whether they voted for me or not, rely on and expect me to act with their best interests in mind. However, today, I speak as a parent, taxpayer and resident of Ohio.
The current president of the Ohio Board of Education, an elected official whose constituents include literally millions of children who have no vote, has irreparably compromised faith in her ability to perform her duties, as she has sworn an oath to do, on behalf of this nonpartisan, public, government body and all Ohioans. This lack of faith is a direct result of her intransigence in refusing to recognize and publicly express how wrong she was to offer up a photograph of Adolf Hitler, allegedly to provoke thought on gun policy. In the absence of this faith, the Board president must step down or be removed as leader of this Board.
As the Anti-Defamation League has stated specifically in regard to the Board president’s inflammatory posting,
“Whatever one’s position on the gun control issue, analogies – whether direct or implied — to Hitler and the Holocaust have absolutely no place in the debate over gun control,” said Martin H. Belsky, ADL Cleveland Board Chair, and Nina Sundell, ADL Regional Director. “While one can disagree with the Obama Administration’s position on gun control, comparisons of his proposals to Hitler’s trivialize the memory of the six million Jews and the millions of other who perished in the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Holocaust survivors.
“Clearly Ms. Terhar needs an education about the history of the Holocaust,” added Mr. Belsky and Ms. Sundell. “As a public figure she should know better. We hope that Ms. Terhar will retract the comparison and apologize. She should make clear that Holocaust comparisons are inappropriate and a terrible distortion of the history of World War II.”
The social media aspect of this incident has served primarily as a costly distraction to the critical work of this Board. It has also exposed an unacceptable lack of sophistication on the part of the Board president in regard to how social media work and demands implementation of Board social media policies and training.
I thank you for your time and attention and respectfully urge you to act in the best interests of all Ohioans: Please either remove Debe Terhar as Ohio Board of Education president or, I say to Ms. Terhar directly, step down now as Board president and give this public body a chance to rebuild and earn the credibility your presence as Board president keeps in doubt.
Still haven’t heard back from the governor but I did get a distinctively unprofessional email from State Board of Education member, C. Todd Jones, one of the governor’s appointees (apparently he has a predilection for writing unprofessional emails to constituents) and a mostly formulaic email from Debe Terhar saying that notice requirements related to a public meeting would keep her from saying anything before the February 11th board of ed meeting a week from today. I respectfully responded to her that she certainly doesn’t need to wait for a special or regular meeting to take action.
Feel free to comment there as well.
Thought for the weekend: Maybe we’re hearing people drop literary equivalents of bombs – shiny distracting explosive objects – in the midst of debates about complicated issues precisely because the issues are so complicated. And isn’t it easier to follow the shiny object and debate that? But if anything, we should note those explosions as red flags that tell us 1) just how critical it is to keep our focus on the issue and 2) just how critical it is that we hear each other, work toward and achieve solutions. Dropping shiny explosive objects into tough discussions is a tell about a lack of interest in getting to a solution. Know it, call it out and get back to the discussion that needs to be had. I just so happen to know a place where that’s exactly the mission.
By the way, did people realize that the originating incident came at the beginning of National No-Name Calling Week (my emphasis):
No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.
No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled “The Misfits” by popular author, James Howe. The book tells the story of four best friends trying to survive the seventh grade in the face of all too frequent taunts based on their weight, height, intelligence, and sexual orientation/gender expression. Motivated by the inequities they see around them, the “Gang of Five” (as they are known) creates a new political party during student council elections and run on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. Though they lose the election, they win the support of the school’s principal for their cause and their idea for a “No Name-Calling Day” at school.
Motivated by this simple, yet powerful, idea, the No Name-Calling Week Coalition, created by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, and consisting of over 40 national partner organizations, organized an actual No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation during the week of March 1-5, 2004.
What an interesting twist of fate is that?
I’ve sent this letter or a very near version of it to every member of the State Board of Education of Ohio, to Governor Kasich and to State Senator Lehner and State Rep. Stebelton who are Ex Officio members of the state board. I’ve had phone calls with both Mary Rose Oakar and with Ann Jacobs, both board members (Mary Rose is my state rep for the board and originally I only sent the letter to her). I’ve received a more or less pro forma email from Ms. Terhar stating that there’s not enough time to give notice for a special meeting so she says that she will speak on February 11. I wrote her back to assure her that she has a right to speak before that if she wanted to tell us she’s stepping aside as the board president and going for sensitivity training and social media bootcamp, rather than hide behind a rule. No meeting of the board is needed for her to announce a decision. Maybe for a vote on it, maybe, but certainly not if she wants to tell us all about it. In any case, my letter pretty much says it all. Also, if you are able, the next regular meeting is Monday, February 11 at 8:30am. It is a public meeting – please try to attend. They’re at the School for the Deaf in Columbus, 500 Morse Road.
Dear Board Member Oakar,
My name is Jill Miller Zimon and I’m a resident of Pepper Pike and therefore in your School Board district. My three children have attended the Orange schools, and two are still there (oldest is now in college). I’ve been dedicated to public education my entire life and find wholly unsatisfactory Ms. Terhar’s inability to comprehend that her actions this week have been inappropriate, offensive, inaccurate and unworthy of someone whom you and your colleagues have placed in the position as the nominal and actual leader of our state’s top public body related to the education of millions of Ohio children.
I realize that unless you were absent, you must have voted to affirm Ms. Terhar’s place as president of the Board (my understanding is she was re-elected to being president unanimously), but clearly the Board must possess better alternatives among the remaining 17 of you (I note that there is one at-large vacancy at this time). For if there is not a better option at this time than Ms. Terhar, we should all be questioning the fate of our state’s education system. I am asking you to do everything within your power to remove Ms. Terhar as president of the Board and install a member who can appreciate the wholly inappropriate actions and reactions of Ms. Terhar.
In addition, I would urge that the following steps also be taken:
1. Social media policy for the Board members be reviewed, modified and adopted as necessary.
2. Social media training for the Board members be designed, implemented and required for all Board members.
3. Sensitivity training be procured and implemented with all the Board members. Facing History and Ourselves is an outstanding, award-winning program that could be contacted, but groups like the Anti-Defamation League as well as the NAACP and I’m certain many others (we have the Diversity Center here in Cleveland) could also handle such an assignment. Read more
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.
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…
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.
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.
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?
I am so radical about voting that I don’t even have a problem with mandatory (also called compulsory) voting. This isn’t new for me and I’m familiar with the arguments about why, in a so-called free society, we wouldn’t mandate voting. But we incentivize so many other activities with rewards and punishments. Why not voting and why not to the extent that we could actually get national voter turnout rates closer to at least 75% (look at this history of voter turnout rates in presidential elections – even 2008 was not even 58%!).
Please not only read it, but GO VOTE. Starting this Tuesday, October 2, you can VOTE. So do it.
And if you haven’t kept up with my work at the Commons, you can catch up here.
It went FAST. It will broadcast again tomorrow (Sunday) at 11:30 on WVIZ, then Monday and Tuesday on the Ohio Channel and then the video is posted at this link where you can also find this blurb:
Newsmaker: Wade Steen, Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer—local property owners are finding out this week what their new real estate valuations are. County officials say values are down about nine per cent overall. But it will mean little, if any, tax relief. State laws that suppress millage when property values rise, bring up millage when values drop. Mr. Steen will explain how it all works.
Roundtable: Elizabeth Sullivan, editorial page editor, The Plain Dealer; Stan Bullard, senior reporter, Crain’s Cleveland Business; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks.
More Support for the Port—Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s board this week voted to take a new port levy to the ballot this fall. Money would be used to shore up the banks along the Cuyahoga River, repair bulkheads and pay for provisions to dispose of dredging material. The levy is a countywide issue, but in Cleveland will compete for attention with the Cleveland school levy.
Dimora Sentencing—former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora learns Monday how long he’ll spend in prison for his spring conviction on racketeering and bribery charges. Federal prosecutors want Judge Sara Lioi to impose a harsh sentence befitting a former official who betrayed the public trust for personal gain. Dimora’s lawyers argued for a lighter sentence given the non-violent nature of his offenses.
Aftermath in Aurora—a Monday court appearance gave the public its first glimpse of James Holmes, the accused killer of 12 people in a Colorado movie theater. While Holmes’s bizarre outer appearance—including orange-dyed hair—was on display, his inner self remains a closed book. He’s not cooperating with police and has not indicated why he started shooting. The incident has, for now, reignited the national debate over gun control and ramped up gun sales in Colorado.
On Thursday evening, July 5, for the first time in over four years, I saw Barack Obama in person.The last three times I saw him, he was either just plain ole U.S. Senator Obama (2006) or Senator and presidential candidate Obama (2007, 2008). The main differences I noticed? Age, confidence, charisma, and fervor — he displayed more of all four.
You can read the transcript or watch a video of the President delivering his remarks, made at James Day Park in Parma, Ohio. This stop was his last public speaking event of the day after multiple other stops in Ohio, all part of the Obama Bus Tour, complete with Ground Force One – the tripped out rolling home for presidents (note, however, as does the Wall Street Journal, that the campaign is paying for the trip). My tweets tell the story of the Parma stop, while my journalist friend at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Henry Gomez, covered all of the Ohio visits.
Why, at this point, would anyone who follows politics as much as I do, attend one of these highly choreographed and usually tightly scripted media-ready occasions? Especially when we are on the umpteenth day of 95 degree and 95% humidity weather, with a good mix of thunderstorm threats?
[now go read the full post]
Haven’t gone to anything live-Obama since February 2008 but now I have a voting-age kid who wants to go – so we are going. I’ll be live-tweeting for BlogHer.com where I’m a Contributing Editor for News and Politics (and moderating an amazing panel in NYC on women and online politics, including the head of Rutgers’ Center for Women and Politics, Debbie Walsh).
The Twitter.com hashtags will be #ObamaBusTour and #campaign2012 (that’s what I saw the Plain Dealer’s Henry Gomez using – looks good, a bit long – I might try #Obama #Parma).
I don’t know, but I can tell you that the work I’ve been doing with the Civic Commons and the EfficientGovNetwork since September 2011 has been geared toward making sure that NE Ohio leverages the government collaboration experience its gained over time to drawn down state money set aside in the Kasich administration’s first biennium budget via the Local Government Innovation Fund. Word came down today that the Ohio Department of Development office in charge of the LGIF grants and loans will gather at 1pm on Friday to announce awards:
The Local Government Innovation Fund Council will hold a public meeting on Friday June 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, 19th Floor Room 1960, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
The Council’s agenda includes reviewing Round 1 Loan and Grant applications for approval and award.
At my age, there just are not that many things about which I can say I’m still a virgin. And now, I’ve given it up for TED.
So I thought I’d overshare for a bit, given that the sold-out audience was limited to about 700 folks at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium. That leaves thousands of TEDxCLE virgins remaining, all of whom deserve to hear, first-hand, if it was everything I’d hoped for.
Short version: If I hadn’t stopped smoking cigarettes nearly 22 years ago, I would have had one when the event ended.
Long version: There are so many ways to slice and dice this, and I’m an overthinker as it is, so let’s do it like this: