7/22 Update: Yesterday, the Ohio Secretary of State announced that the repeal of SB 5 will be on the ballot in November. More than 900,000 signatures were validated from all 88 counties. In addition, all 88 counties which have reported also exceeded the 3% threshold of voters from the last gubernatorial election. The response to repeal SB 5, the unfair attack on employee rights and worker safety, far outpaces any other signature collection drive in Ohio history.
6/29 Update: We Are Ohio announced today that it turned in nearly 1.3 million signatures to the secretary of state. Though the campaign only needed about 230,000 valid signatures, the final count was 1,298,301. The record number of signatures shows that the opposition to the union-busting SB 5 is both broad and deep—in fact, We Are Ohio collected signatures from at least 6% of voters in every single one of Ohio's counties. Once the signatures are verified, the next step will be getting the word out about the repeal referendum vote in November.
For Immediate Release: June 15, 2011
Contacts: Sara Kilpatrick, Executive Director, OCAAUP
Nsé Ufot, Government Relations Officer, AAUP
Columbus, OH─ At a press conference on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse this morning, the We Are Ohio campaign announced that in two months, it has gathered 714,137 total signatures in an effort to put a referendum on the November 2011 ballot that would repeal Senate Bill 5, the unfair attack on employee rights and worker safety.
We are Ohio is a citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition that includes the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors (OCAAUP) as well as students, faith leaders, small business owners, and a diverse group of Ohio’s public and private sector employees, including police officers, firefighters, K-12 teachers and health professionals.
Ohio law requires that We Are Ohio collect valid signatures from at least 3% of the registered voters in half of Ohio’s 88 counties—over 230,000 signatures. After only two months, the numbers of signatures actually collected by We Are Ohio equals almost 6% of the registered voters in ALL 88 of Ohio’s counties.
The Ohio Conference of the AAUP contributed nearly 10,000 signatures towards the effort. This number represents more than double the number of AAUP members represented by the Ohio Conference.
Through the OCAAUP, faculty members are continuing to educate friends, family, colleagues, and other members of the community about the how truly damaging SB 5 is and the need to repeal it via the “people’s veto” this fall.
For more about the actions faculty are taking to protect the fundamental rights of Ohioans, visit the Ohio Conference of AAUP on the web at http://www.ocaaup.org. For more about the campaign visit the We Are Ohio website at http://weareohio.com.
The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, and standards of quality in higher education. The AAUP has approximately 47,000 members at colleges and universities throughout the United States.