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Ohio is a Harbinger
Change is Here
Yesterday, with a stunningly high turnout for an off-year, midsummer election, voters in Ohio turned out to defeat a proposition that would have raised the threshold to amend the State Constitution from 50% to 60%-- a craven move by Republicans who sought to keep the issue of abortion rights out of the hands of the voters later this year.
Driving this defeat were Gen Z voters, who voted in one instance– at Ohio State– at a record 98% against the measure, and women.
Prior to the election, many commentators suggested that if the proposition was successful, it would be a model for other states to use to take power away from the people despite wildly unpopular GOP legislation that is sweeping through red states.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the fact that karma season, it appeared, had arrived.
But with the onset of Hot Labor Summer, the reelection of Justin Jones and Justin Pearson to the Tennessee House despite a far right power grab that sought to oust them, and now the defeat of a far-right ballot initiative in Ohio, change is happening in the states and nationwide that bodes well for 2024.
Now, I’m always cautious about predictions because I don’t want anyone to get complacent. We have a long way to go between now and next November, a lot of work to do in between, and, not to put too fine a point on it, a lot of prosecutions to watch.
But there is little doubt that a movement that combines unionized labor, Gen Z, women and the movement for Black lives, among others, could be the most powerful political coalition ever built— one that could lead to real change in short order.
None of this negates the need to get involved as soon as possible in what’s happening where you live, because naked power grabs like the ones attempted by the Ohio and Tennessee GOP are the norm now, not the exception, and we all must be prepared to battle back.
This morning, however, there is hope, and the smell of change is in the air across the nation.
Let’s keep it rolling.