Ohio lawmakers on a tight deadline to redraw maps that meet voter approved reforms

Close up of the cupula at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. [aceshot1/Shutterstock]
Close up of the cupula at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. [aceshot1/Shutterstock]
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Ohio lawmakers are 0 and 2 when it comes to drawing new maps for the state.  Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court threw out both the new maps for state legislative districts for the Ohio House and Senate.  That 4-3 decision came down last Wednesday.  Then last Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court in another 4-3 decision threw out the new congressional map drawn for the state.

In throwing out the maps, the Ohio Supreme Court decided both the state district and congressional maps were unconstitutional and disregarded the reforms voters overwhelmingly approved in both 2015 and 2018.  Those reforms sought to curb gerrymandering and make elections more competitive. Both the statewide district maps and the congressional maps awarded a disproportionate share of seats to Republicans.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief  Justice Maureen O'Connor proved to be the swing vote in each of the decisions, siding with the court's three Democrats in each map challenge case.  In the opinion for the state district maps for Ohio House and Senate, O'Connor wrote that voters could again take up the issue and again amend the constitution to remove partisan politics from the map-drawing process and give that power to a non-partisan, independent commission.

Later on in the hour, Harry Boomer is a legendary Cleveland news broadcaster, and just last month, on he celebrated 50 years working as an anchor, host and reporter in the industry. He began his news journey on Dec. 27, 1971 to be exact.

Much of that time, since 1990 has been spent right here in Cleveland working for stations like WOIO Channel 19 News, where he works today covering everything from crime to politics to the pandemic and more. But he also spent some time at our very own station, WCPN Ideastream. 

Later, over the past year, Black artists in Summit County have come together to better promote their work and make arts connections. The resulting Akron Black Artist Guild now has 100 members, as well as support from the Knight Foundation and the advocacy organization Arts Now.

Ideastream Public Media's David C. Barnett recently spoke with co-founder Dara Harper about the guild's beginnings, what's ahead, and what the group has accomplished so far.



Jen Miller, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Ohio 
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV 
Harry Boomer, Anchor, Reporter, Host, Channel 19 News, WOIO-TV 
David C. Barnett, Senior Reporter, Arts & Culture, Ideastream Public Media 
Dara Harper, Co-Found, Akron Black Artist Guild

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