The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Jan. 13
Barack Obama bid farewell to the nation as president in much the same way he embraced America eight years ago when he took the oath of office— with eloquence, grace and an unyielding faith in the greatness of this country and its people.
Indeed, his reaffirmation of the principles of democracy that set us apart from the rest of the world was timely and necessary, given the deep political divisions that exist today stemming from the highly contentious presidential election that saw political newcomer Republican Donald Trump defeat veteran politician Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Even the president’s harshest critics would have to concede— if they’re honest —that when it comes to stirring the soul of this nation, there are few better than Barack Obama.
His address last in the cavernous McCormick Place arena in Chicago before a standing-room-only crowd of 20,000 formally capped his historic eight-year tenure as the first African-American leader of the free world.
That speech, much like his first inaugural address in the subzero temperatures on the National Mall eight years ago, fused stirring imagery, apt metaphors and passionate pleas. It rightly included a mixed bag of reminiscences of positive changes his administration delivered to the nation and a strong and selfless appeal to hope and action among all citizens to achieve ongoing progress in the years ahead …
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Jan. 13
Surely, Ohio legislators can do the same thing for the state’s congressional districts that they did for themselves in 2015— find a more nonpartisan method of redistricting in reaction to population changes.
Republican leaders in the General Assembly reportedly have little interest in the idea, however. State Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, has expressed concern about weakening lawmakers’ power over the process.
But the way legislators do things now clearly allows the political party in power to gerrymander congressional districts in order to keep sending members of its party to Washington. That may sound like a good idea for Republicans who control the General Assembly now, but what about the future when, inevitably, Democrats at some point will win legislative majorities?
Legislative district lines will be drawn in the future through a system adopted in 2015. It has drawn praise for being a bipartisan process, more aligned with serving people and communities than with helping politicians.
Buckeye State congressional districts will have to be redrawn again after the 2020 Census is conducted. That may seem like plenty of time for state officials to hash out a new method of redistricting, but given the partisan maneuvering that no doubt will accompany the process, four years or so may be no more than adequate…
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