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GCC Leaders Hold a Press Conference to Urge Voters to VOTE NO on Issue 1

Written by Greater Cleveland Congregations

GCC Leaders Hold a Press Conference to Urge Voters to VOTE NO on Issue 1

Power to the people, not politicians

Early voting for the Aug. 8 special election began on Tuesday, July 11 as GCC members and leaders gathered outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections here in Cleveland to speak to the media and the people of Ohio. We made our case that Issue 1 destabilizes our democracy and gives politicians too much power. 

"When the people have to have a supermajority and politicians need only a simple majority," said Rev. Lisa Maxine Goods, Senior Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church. "This is not democracy. This is not equality."

The Columbus Dispatch has said that a yes vote on Issue 1 would “drive a dagger into the heart of Ohio.” The Ohio Capital Journal has called Issue 1 “a sucker punch to the face of majority voter rule and democracy.” We could not agree more. 

For over 111 years, the citizens of Ohio have been able to change old laws and create new ones with a simple majority vote — 50% + 1. We have been able to right the wrongs of the past. For example, we were able to get rid of the law barring women and people of color from serving in the Ohio National Guard. And we have been able to build a brighter economic future for Ohio, including a 2005 vote that created the Third Frontier economic development program focused on modernizing Ohio’s economy.

Should Issue 1 pass, it would take a new super majority of voters — over 60% — to change anything. And with tougher signature requirements and petition thresholds, Issue 1 would also make it even more difficult to get citizen-led initiatives on the ballot in the first place. 

“Issue 1 says that the votes of politicians are more important than the votes of the people,” said Goods.

This is a power grab, plain and simple. Politicians are trying to take our power so we cannot cannot keep them in check. That’s why we oppose Issue 1 and encourage all Ohio voters — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — to vote NO on August 8. 

“We are here because GCC says no to Issue 1,” said Goods. “We stand together as people of faith to say ‘no’ to this unjust system. Power to the people and not the politicians.”

If you can’t make it to the polls on August 8, you can vote early by mail or in person