Founded on January 1, 1976

New members are always welcome.To join the Democratic Women’s Club of Southwest Ohio, please contact us at swohdemwomen@gmail.com.



Request for calls to Ohio state legislators

From Sheridan Lijoi, DWCSO president:

My husband and I have been following the latest Legislative assault on women’s health introduced into the Ohio legislature by John Becker, a state representative from Clermont County. It is HB 182. This bill addresses some forms of birth control, insurance coverage, and even a non-medical required procedure for reimplanting a fertilized ovum into the uterus from an ectopic pregnancy.

Kathy Maehler shared the following from the Warren County Democratic Party newsletter:

State Rep. John Becker, a Republican from Clermont County, is pushing for legislation that would prohibit health insurance companies from providing coverage for abortion care and even some forms of contraception.

“Ohio is facing a crisis in infant and maternal mortality rates, and this bill would only make things worse,” said Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Vice Chair Constance Lighthall. “It would also limit insurance from covering many safe and common methods of birth control. John Becker admits this is ‘clearly not my area of expertise,’ and he didn’t consult insurance and medical experts, so it’s strange that he feels confident enough to try to make laws interfering with the health care and insurance coverage of Ohio women. For example, the bill seeks to define a method of treatment for ectopic pregnancy that doesn’t exist and would ban insurance coverage for existing treatments of ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition for women.

“A woman should have the ability to make her own personal decision about whether or not to become a parent, and no politician — especially not John Becker, an avowed non-expert — should interfere in that decision.”

Please call your state representative and object to this legislation. In Ohio you can call any state representative (even if you do not live in that district), so I would suggest flooding John Becker’s office with phone calls objecting to this unscientific proposal. It just seems that the ultra-conservatives are going off the rails on his issue.

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA133-HB-182 ( shows all those who are co-sponsors of this bill)


House District 51 – Sara Carruthers 614-644-6721

House District 52 — George Lang 614-466-8550

House District 53 — Candance Keller 614-644-5094

House District 54 — Paul Zeltwanger 614- 644-6027

John Becker — 614-466-8134


Sheridan and Kathy

Early Vote Tailgate Party

Rainbow over Butler County Board of Elections

Our club showed up in force to help “Get The Blue Wave Rolling” on October 10 by hosting an early vote tailgate party at the Butler County Board of Elections. Many of our local democratic candidates and their campaign workers attended. Donuts, coffee, cider, and camaraderie; what more could we ask for an early October morning? Perhaps a symbol of hope? Sheridan, our club president, always says, “Early votes are gold.” She’s probably right. On the 10th, we added our votes to the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.


For more information about Butler County candidates visit our candidates page, or the Butler County Democratic Party site.

DSCSO early voting tailgate party at the Butler County Board of Elections, under the glow of a full rainbow.
DSCSO early voting tailgate party at the Butler County Board of Elections, under the glow of a full rainbow.

“Right to Work” for less

Confused about what “Right to Work” means? Understandable. I was too.

At our April 16, 2018 meeting, Brian Griffin, Director of Communications at the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, gave us a presentation on the difference between “at will” and “right to work” doctrines.

In summary, the whole “right to work” argument is based on a union security clause, or agreement. This agreement is negotiated between the employer and the union and requires all workers, as a condition of their employment, to pay “agency fees” to the union. These fees are the employee’s share of the costs of representation by the union. I imagine much of this expense is actually lawyer and legal fees.

The “right to work” law stops employers and employees from making this agreement. In “right to work” states, employees are not required to pay union dues or their share of the costs of representation by the union.

In my view, it all boils down to whether you believe unions and collective bargaining are helpful. Those who do believe in the necessity of unions pay their dues and shoulder the expense for not only themselves, but also other employees who don’t want to pay the union dues. If the union successfully negotiates (lawyer and legal fees) higher wages, or more vacation time, it applies to everyone including the non-members. If a non-member gets fired for an illegal reason (for example discrimination) the union is obligated to defend and represent him or her. Again, lawyer and legal fees. Who pays for this? The union members who have paid their dues.

This doesn’t really seem fair to me.

It’s like getting insurance coverage without paying for a policy. Why would you pay union dues with these terms? Many people don’t in “right to work” states. You might pay because you believe in the power of collective bargaining, you want to have a voice, and you know that if people stop paying union dues there will be no money for representation and no union.

We’ve been there before. Read your history.

If you missed Brian’s presentation on the 16th, or if you want to bolster your arguments against that well-meaning, although perhaps misguided relative at your next family event, you can read most of Brian’s notes here. Being informed is one thing we have the power to do. “Right to work” for less.


Holiday Dinner

Please join us on Monday, December 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm for our DWCSO  Holiday Dinner at Chesterwood Village, 8073 Tylersville Road, West  Chester 45069.  The cost for the dinner is $15.00 per person.  Guests are welcome (we usually do not include spouses).

This is nice evening where we can actually get to know our fellow club members better in a relaxed atmosphere.

6:00 PM – Appetizers served in the PUB  (Chesterwood does not have a liquor license, but you are welcome to bring your own wine and spirits for the appetizer hour as well as dinner.)

7:00 PM – Buffet Dinner in the Dining Room prepared by the chef at Chesterwood includes:

Soup and Salad Bar
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Salmon Dill
Spinach Quiche
Rice Pilaf
Seasonal Vegetable
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Please enter through the main entrance at Chesterwood.  There is usually ample parking available in the lot.  Chesterwood Village is adjacent to West Chester Nazarene Church and Kohl’s on Tylersville Road.

Please RSVP to Sheridan Lijoi @ lijoi@fuse.net or Mary Hedrick @ mehedrick@fuse.net by Thursday, December 7. We do ask that you make your reservations responsibly.  We understand that last minute situations always arise, but last year we had to pay for quite a few dinners out of club funds for those who made a reservation but then did not attend. 

You can pay at the door on December 11 by check (made out to DWCSO) or cash. We hope to see you there.

As part of our club’s holiday outreach, we are still collecting personal care items for the Dove House (a shelter in Hamilton for female victims of domestic violence).  Twin sized bed pillows and sheets as well as household cleaning products, brooms, mops, etc. are needed. Pet food supplies would also be appreciated.  Donations will be collected at the Holiday dinner if you would like to make a contribution. 

Interview with Joan Powell – West Chester Township Candidate

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Joan Powell





“A familiar face ready to serve West Chester”

Joan Powell is one of three candidates the DWCSO is supporting for West Chester Trustee (3 seats are open). We’d like to thank Joan for taking the time to answer our questions and give us more information about her views and vision for West Chester Township.

Why are you running for West Chester Township Trustee?

I am running for Trustee because I believe I can make a difference.  I was approached about running after the initial meetings of 2017 when Right to Work was discussed.  I was appalled by the way the public was treated during these meetings.  There was no concern about those who would be affected by that decision.  I have continued to observe incivility and arrogance in the dealings of the current Trustees.  These all contributed to my decision to run.   

What in your background most qualifies you for this position?

My experience of 16 years on the Lakota Board of Education most qualifies me for this position.  During that time I managed a budget four times the size of West Chester’s.  I helped develop a community engagement program and participated in numerous union negotiations.  During my tenure on the Board, I served as President 8 years and learned much about communicating with the public and managing difficult meetings.  These skills would serve the Board of Trustees well.

What is your vision for the township, or what do you consider the most pressing issues we face in West Chester?

My vision for the township is for it to continue to be a great place to live and raise a family.  I believe the most pressing issues are for the Township to create continuing meaningful dialogue with the residents and to try to implement some of the things the community desires to improve quality of life.  We must define what we want for West Chester as it becomes a mature community.  How do we accommodate our aging population to allow them to age in place?  How do we make getting around our community safer for our children, cyclists and others?


In the past, what has our township done well, what could have been done better?

The township has done a good job of encouraging business growth and developing quality safety services.  The township has not done a good job of connecting with the citizens and involving them in determining the direction of the township actions.  West Chester Trustees have treated citizens as subordinates and not as equal.
If you could leave your mark on West Chester Township, what would it be?

The mark that I would most like to leave on West Chester is to increase the sense of community of residents.  I would like those who live here to feel as though their local government cares about them, their desires and their quality of life… and not just businesses and the bottom line.

What are you most proud of in your life?

I am most proud of my two grown children, Andy and Kate.  They are caring, involved citizens who give back to their families, churches and communities.

Is there anything you wish you could do over?

There are many small items that are not worth mentioning but no major things in my life.

What do you do for fun and relaxation?

I love doing projects with my husband.  We are both very hand-on people and between us, we can do almost anything.  I love to garden, quilt and knit.  And most of all I love spending time with my grandchildren who are 6,5,4,3,2 and 1,

You can learn more about Joan:
at her website
and at her Facebook Page.

Links to information about the other two candidates DWCSO is supporting.

Ohioans for Gun Safety

Ohioans for Gun Safety.jpg

Here are some facts about gun safety in Ohio that might surprise you. There are roughly 2000 deaths a year by gun in Ohio (1). For every 100,000 people in Ohio, 11.9 die from a gun injury (2). Two-thirds of deaths by gun are suicides. And more than 30% of the guns bought in Ohio are purchased without background checks.

Deb Athans and Anne Wallace visited the DWCSO on Monday, October 16th to speak about the Ohioans for Gun Safety organization. Ohioans for Gun Safety is a grassroots movement with the goal of bringing common sense background checks on gun sales in Ohio.

Ohioans for Gun Safety began about a year ago when the grassroots organization sprang up from around Ohio. Anne Wallace said she wanted to make a difference after the Sandy Hook shootings when she saw that Congress did not act. “I could no longer depend on elected officials to make change,” she said.

She wants to make a difference.

Ohioans for Gun Safety started by raising money and awareness through house parties. In the first year they raised about $30,000 from small donors. Now they’ve moved into a public, listening phase where their goal is to hear from diverse communities all over the state. They want to know what is important to Ohioans, those who own guns as well as those who don’t. They are trying to find out what people can get behind and vote for on a ballot.

Gun safety is a health issue. Ohioans for Gun Safety hope to reduce the number of deaths by guns in Ohio. After study and consideration, they have decided to focus on background checks. Background checks have a lot of support from the population and are one of the most effective measures to reduce gun violence.

Ohioans for Gun Safety hope to have an issue on the Ohio ballot in 2018 that will close the loopholes that allow individuals to buy guns privately and at gun shows without undergoing a background check. Roughly 30% of gun sales here in Ohio are completed without a background check at gun shows or privately.

Nineteen states in the country have already closed the loopholes and data shows it reduces gun deaths.

Anne and Deb reaffirmed, “We are not trying to take away guns; we are trying to keep people safe.”


Ohioans for Gun Safety would like to talk to gun-owners who are in favor of common sense gun safety. If you know of an organization or individuals who might support the mission of Ohioans for Gun Safety, please contact them at http://www.ohioansforgunsafety.com.

(1) Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(2) Ohio Life Expectancy