Democracy Day allows citizens to address issues in front of city officials

March 6, 2018
Jay Hannah

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) — 

A public forum created to allow citizens to tell elected officials what they think needs to be done.

The idea behind Democracy Day began two years ago, after a group managed to get enough signatures on the ballot. After its passing, March 5th became a day where Toledoans voiced their concerns about the impact of money in politics coming from corporations.

Other issues that came up included a group looking for Universal Health Care in Ohio, the prison system and for one Maumee school teacher, the controversial water issue in Toledo.

"We've been waiting for elected officials, representatives of the people to do their part about the quality and vitality of our water."

There were more than 20 people that took part in a public hearing, voicing their opinions on a number of issues directly to a few representatives of city council, and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
"Sometimes it's different to have the public have the forum and to be able to say this is what we think you should be doing. So, hopefully they'll be receptive of the messaging that they're hearing today and maybe take some action on behalf of some of these issues," said Move to Amend's Doug Jambard-Sweet.

The League of Women Voters set up inside council chambers, as well, in search of signatures to help stop gerrymandering in Ohio.

"It's all about fair government. We don't want the party in power to be able to draw the lines to benefit themselves. This makes it more of a non-partisan approach. It's a compromise, but it's a good compromise, so we're behind it 100 percent," declared League of Women Voters' Judy Kehrle.

Council Member Nick Komives hosted the event, with Yvonne Harper and Tyrone Riley sitting in, as well. They were the only attendees out of the 12 members of council.

Groups audience: