North Shore AFL-CIO Legislative & Political Bulletin, December
STATE OF PLAY: OHIO HOUSE & SENATE
AND THEY'RE OFF: The filing period has closed for candidates to make the March primary ballot. As new state legislative maps kick in, we’ll likely see several changes at the Statehouse.
Rep. Tom Patton is running unopposed in the Republican primary in State Senate District 24. It was widely believed that he would face stiff primary opposition from far-right candidates after supporting Jason Stephens for House Speaker, a move that got him booted from the Cuyahoga County Republican Party. Recently elected Parma Heights City Councilwoman Sue Durichko is unopposed in the Democratic primary. District 24, which includes the southwest region of Cuyahoga County, is a true toss-up district, with Republicans holding less than a 1-point advantage.
Incumbent Jerry Cirino is unopposed in the Republican primary in Senate District 18, which includes Lake County, the east-side outer ring suburbs, Brecksville, Seven Hills, and Independence. On the Democrat side, Oakwood City Councilman Chris Callendar will face Katie O’Neill, daughter of former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill. Republicans have a 4.5-point advantage in that district.
On the House side, Lakewood City Councilman Tristan Rader is running in House District 13 and Rep. Mike Skindell will retire at the end of his term. HD 13 now includes the Edgewater, Cudell, Detroit Shoreway, and Ohio City neighborhoods. North Olmsted City Councilman Chris Glassburn and one-time congressional candidate TJ Mulloy will face-off in the Democratic primary in the new House District 15. The old HD 15 was drawn into Phil Robinson’s District 19 and reappeared as a 5-point Democrat-leaning district that includes parts of Cleveland wards 13, 16, and 17, Brooklyn, Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, North Olmsted, and Olmsted Township.
Republicans have an 8-point advantage in the new District 17, which encompasses Berea, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, and Strongsville. Anthony Leon Alexander, Strongsville City Councilman Gordon Short, and Mike Dovilla, who held the seat before Patton, are running in the Republican primary. Berea progressive Jessica Sutherland is running unopposed on the Democratic side.
Multiple candidates are in the race in District 21. The seat is currently held by Elliot Forhan. He will be challenged by community development professional Jonathan Holody, Beachwood City Councilman Eric Synenberg, and small-business owner Angel Washington.
OHIO SUPREME COURT
PRIMARY IS ON: Ohio Democrats will try to take majority control of the state Supreme Court next year. Ohio Republicans have controlled the majority of seats on the seven-member high court since 1986. Justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart will run to retain their seats and a primary will be held between 8th District Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Forbes and 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Terri Jamison.
Labor has consistently supported both Forbes and Jamison. Labor strongly supported Terri Jamison during her 2022 Supreme Court run. She received over 17 labor endorsements, including from the Ohio AFL-CIO, ATU, OAPFF, BLET, CWA District 4, IAFF, Ohio Laborers, OAPSE, OFT, SEIU District 119, and the UAW.
CITIZENS NOT POLITICIANS: The AFL-CIO has officially joined the coalition to place a redistricting amendment on November 2024 ballot. The amendment seeks to create a 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission that would ban party insiders from participating in the process and require fair and impartial districts instead.
Background: Right now, in Ohio, politicians and lobbyists manipulate voting districts to protect their interests and guarantee re-election. As a result, incumbents running for reelection almost never lose.
Take Action: We’ve set the goal of collecting 7,300 signatures by May 30. We need your help. You can volunteer to collect signatures by signing up or simply responding to this email.
HIGHER EDUCATION BILL: The Ohio House Higher Education Committee voted 8-7 on December 7 to advance Senate Bill 83. SB 83, which passed in the Senate earlier this year, now awaits further consideration in the House. However, Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens said previously the bill isn’t likely to pass in the House, saying “it doesn’t have the votes.”
Background:State Sen. Jerry Cirino introduced SB 83 earlier this year – which is currently in its 11th version. The current version eliminated a controversial anti-strike provision, but added a new retrenchment provision that would prevent unions from negotiating on tenure. It would allow universities to fire tenured professions for a broad list of reasons including reduction in student population. Faculty with between 30-35 years of tenure would be protected.
Check out our Legislative Tracker
YOUNG WORKER PROGRAM
THERE IS A NEW ENERGY ACROSS THE COUNTRY fueled by young workers who are standing up and fighting for rights and a voice in the workplace. We want to engage, encourage, educate, and support the next generation of active union members and leaders to build long-term collective power. That is why we are starting the Young Worker initiative for workers under the age of 35. The timing is right, as 2024 is a critical year for working people.
Sign Them Up: Please encourage young workers to sign-up at https://northshoreaflcio.org/youngworkers. We are planning a January happy hour to meet with the new group, and everyone is invited!
REQUEST YOUR VOTE BY MAIL APPLICATION
90 DAYS UNTIL THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION: Voters can submit their applications for absentee ballots for the March 19, 2024 presidential primary election beginning today! You can learn more by visiting VoteOhio.gov.
NEW AGENCY RULES
NEW FEDERAL PLA RULE FROM BIDEN: Acting DOL Secretary Julie Su was in Cleveland this week to announce a new game-changing federal rule that not only will benefit workers, but also make our tax dollars go further by making construction projects more efficient.
The rule mandates the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) for large federal construction projects that cost $35 million or more. In expanding the use of PLAs, contractors and subcontractors will have to negotiate with unions to set terms for project construction – ensuring that the safety and dignity of workers are prioritized on the jobsites.
— "Workers at Valley Ford Truck go on strike right before Christmas," from Cleveland.com
— "Slaughterhouse Children: Child labor exposed in America’s food industry," from NBC News.