Today marks the two year anniversary of the defeat of Kasich’s signature ALEC-inspired anti-labor bill. Ohioans came together in a broad coalition to send Kasich and his Republican allies packing. Policemen, firefighters, teachers, and many other public workers showed up in unprecedented numbers at The Statehouse to turn back the governor’s harmful agenda.
We here at the site remember this time as some of the best we’ve seen in terms of traffic. Many were turned on to what we do because of our work on this issue. Plunderbund was widely recognized as the best source of information for those opposed to the bill and anti-union agendas in general. Beginning in late February and early March of 2011, we began to see some of the highest traffic in site history. It reached a peak on March 2nd when we saw over 19,0o0 visitors on the site in a single day. That number is only surpassed by November 6th, 2012 as the highest in site history – and we all know what happened on that day.
We wanted to hear your memories and experiences from this important time in Ohio political history and you responded! We got lots of great submissions in response to our book giveaway contest. We have some favorites that we’ll be highlighting soon, but we chose 4 of them at random to receive Professor McNay’s “Collective Bargaining and The Battle of Ohio: The Defeat of Senate Bill 5 and the Struggle to Defend the Middle Class.”
…and the winners are (in no particular order)
In February and March of 2011, when our collective bargaining rights were under attack, I made many trips downtown with colleagues after school, to help show our solidarity with many in the labor force feeling attacked by the governor and the GOP legislature. Each rally seemed to grow in size as the word spread across Ohio through social media and our labor networks.
Once our coalition of labor leaders, called We Are Ohio, made the decision to move forward with a referendum, I could not wait to get involved and volunteer. This was a cause close to my heart, as a lifetime classroom teacher. I first had to get through until June 6th, my impending retirement date from my public education career of 37 years. My husband, also a retired educator, who retired one year before me was already hard at work, volunteering with the cause, helping in the basement of SEIU regularly. We both however, continued to collect signatures for We Are Ohio against this bad legislation.
In early June, our daughter called us and said, ” Guess what? I got a job with We Are Ohio and I’m going to be an organizer for the western half of Franklin County!” Boy were we excited! This effort was truly going to be a family affair! Having just retired, my husband and I became full time volunteers for We Are Ohio and also for our daughter. Once the signatures were collected and turned in, we turned our attention to voter education and volunteer action. Our home away from home became the Local 67 fire union hall, where our daughter’s office was located. Our days were spent launching canvasses, walking door to door, attending phone banks, working in the office putting together turf packets, and doing anything we could to support the effort.
The 3 of us worked tirelessly throughout the summer and fall leading up to election day and brilliant defeat by the the people, of Senate Bill 5 or State Issue 2! It was a labor of love for all the working people of Ohio. We are poised and ready… but we hope we never have to do this again. Everyone needs to stay vigilant and working together, we can win!
This was my first real foray into politics and man did I jump in with both feet. I attended rallies in Akron and Columbus. My wife thought I had moved to Columbus because I spent so much time there. I was asked to speak to a “few” Educators at a rally in Cuyahoga Falls, It turned out to be a few hundred, I went off the cuff on my speach and closed with..”don’t say no on SB-5, say HELL NO” and the crowd loved it.
I am sure my co-workers were sick of hearing me rally against a bill that I knew would cause serious harm to the public sector.
I did learn my way around the Capitol building and spent many hours in my Senators and Representatives offices. I even took my children to the capitol building for spring break.
I was fortunate enough to make some very good friends during the fight against a very bad bill.
If I had it to do all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Front Page of the Youngstown Vindicator the next morning after we defeated Issue 2/SB5. Picture was taken at a Campaign Election Day Party downtown Youngstown after the official announcement of the this major VICTORY!!!
I went to the rallies and gathered petions. This fight brought union brothers and sisters together not only from Ohio but from around the whole country . I was so impressed with the public support of this issue . I am proud of my state that took a stand against wealth and greed.
Congrats to our 4 winners. We’ll be in touch via email on how to get you your books!
Thanks for sharing all your stories with us. We’ll highlight a few more in the coming days. We were happy to have been in the fight to hold Kasich & Co. accountable and we appreciate the continued activity of our readers. We love you all.
Happy Kill Bill Day!