Ohio Issue 1

Our friends at Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) won a major victory this summer in generating enough petition signatures to get an initiative on the ballot that could make powerful changes across the state. Among other things, the ballot initiative will reclassify some drug charges (such as simple possession) from felonies to misdemeanors -- which has the potential to free thousands of Ohioans imprisoned under those draconian penalty systems. The law would also reallocate millions of dollars from the prison system to to health care services to care for people who use drugs (more on the ballot initiative here).

SURJ Action has hired a full-time organizer to build support for the ballot initiative in rural, predominantly white Ohio counties where opioid deaths are some of the highest in the nation. SURJ Action will be running a robust Get Out The Vote effort in these counties that will include building a volunteer led canvass and  phone bank. This work will lay the groundwork for deep local and state organizing after this election cycle.

There are lots of ways to get involved in the campaign in Ohio:

  • Register to join a national call on October 24 at 8pm ET to hear a report from the ground in Ohio and ways to take action in the final weeks of the campaign.
  • We know that one-on-one conversations with voters are the most effective way to get people to vote on November 6. Sign up here to make calls *from your home* to critical voters in Ohio.
  • Come to Ohio for get out the vote weekend! We’ll be talking to folks on the doors in majority-white communities about committing to vote for issue 1. You can either canvass outside Athens, OH (sign up for Southeast Ohio here) or you can canvass outside Cleveland, OH (sign up for Northeast Ohio here).
  • Make a financial contribution specifically to this campaign that will allow us to run trainings, provide materials needed to run canvasses, and convene member-leaders after the election to capture our learning and plan next steps.