Volunteers Turn Out To Fight Ohio Anti-Worker Law
by Felix Perez, Laila Hirschfeld and Staci Maiers
With seven days until Ohio voters decide the fate of a law that silences the voice of workers on the job, teachers, educational support staff, firefighters, police and countless others are leaving nothing to chance. Every day, they are knocking on doors, calling voters, showing up at volunteer centers, stuffing packets and enlisting the support of family, friends, colleagues and neighbors.
And with good reason. Out-of-state corporate leaders, political donors and extremist organizations and politicians are flooding the state with millions of dollars and TV and radio ads to make the law — on the ballot as Issue 2 but more commonly known as Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) — the model for the rest of the nation.
We Are Ohio’s Newest ‘No on Issue 2′ Ad
Valerie Heban is fighting to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“I’m going out to educate people because I am a teacher. It’s in my nature,” says Heban, a 14-year classroom veteran who teaches science at North Canton Middle School. “A teacher’s working conditions are a student’s learning conditions. Issue 2 hurts everyone.”
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Another foot-weary volunteer relates an encounter that reminded her why she is hitting the streets.
I knocked on the door of an older couple in a working-class suburb of Cleveland. When the woman and her husband came to the door, they looked tired, as though they had worked hard their whole lives. Their house was modest and the yard was perfectly manicured. An American car sat in their driveway. These were not political activists or party loyalists … just ordinary people trying to live their lives.
I introduced myself and asked if they planned to vote no on Issue 2. The husband nodded and went back to his chair. The wife looked at me and said emphatically, ‘We are absolutely voting ‘no’ on issue 2.’ As I turned back to wave goodbye, I caught the woman looking up, as though she was trying to fight tears.
Then she said, ‘I don’t know how anyone could vote any other way. My husband is sick. That’s why I feel so strongly about this issue. I have to call emergency services to my home frequently. I cannot describe the feeling of relief I have every time one of those paramedics walk through my door. It is an absolute disgrace that these guys could leave their job today to work at McDonalds and earn about the same salary. I don’t know what I would do … I just don’t know what I would do if we didn’t have these people. They’ve saved my husband’s life.
To learn more about what’s at stake and get involved in the fight for Ohio’s middle class, visit We Are Ohio.