Ohioans Prioritize Their Rights and Reject Issue 1

Tonyisha Harris


August 11, 2023

Solar panels with wind turbines and electricity pylon at sunset.

Democracy prevails as the initiative to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution is struck down

Cleveland, OH –In a resounding triumph for democratic values, Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE) proudly declares the defeat of Issue 1 in Ohio. This momentous decision was reached during last week’s special election, as Ohioans united to reject a contentious ballot initiative that aimed to raise barriers to amending the state constitution. The voice of the people has prevailed, safeguarding a vital tool for direct democracy.

As an integral component of the One Person One Vote coalition, Climate Emergency Advocates (CEA), ACE’s dedicated 501c4 affiliate, orchestrated a monumental grassroots campaign. Their unwavering efforts galvanized Ohioans to emphatically reject Issue 1 at the ballot box. This collective determination sends an unmistakable message: Ohioans stand firmly committed to nurturing their democratic rights and demand an active role in shaping their governance.

Shaniqua Gibson, Ohio native, devoted climate activist, and OH State Organizing Director at Action for the Climate Emergency, reflects on the victory with pride: “Our achievements in defeating Issue 1 resonate deeply with me, as both an Ohioan and a champion for climate action. This initiative threatened the very fabric of our diverse communities, disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color – communities like mine, which rely on instruments like ballot initiatives to drive progress. Fortunately, that detrimental trajectory has been averted.”

Aana Shenai turned 18 prior to the special election and used her first vote to voice her support for democracy, “On August 8, I voted “no” in the special election. I’m proud to vote to be a part of the movement that stands for maintaining the integrity of ballot initiatives. Voting gave me confidence in our democracy and the power to express myself as a young person and protect what I believe in.”

The defeat of Issue 1 in Ohio stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of citizen engagement and a beacon of hope for preserving the democratic foundation upon which the state is built.

For press inquiries, please contact Tonyisha at [email protected].

Tonyyisha Harris

Tonyisha Harris

Associate Director of Communications and Partnerships

Tonyisha Harris is ACE's Associate Director of Communications and Partnerships. Having been introduced to the organization via a climate education assembly in high school, it is a full-circle moment for her to be working for the organization that inspired her to be a youth climate and environmental justice advocate. She helps ACE garner earned media opportunities, communicate with partners, and supports its coalition-building efforts. 

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