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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Ohio House District 77

Salary: $60,584* Term Limit: 2 yrsResponsibilities: To represent the people of the district and the State of Ohio in dealing with matters not allocated to the federal government. *Base salary.

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  • Jeff LaRe
    (Rep)

  • Melissa Wilde
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

In what ways would you change our election system in order to be prepared for crises that impair the right to vote?

Under what circumstances is it appropriate for the state to restrain or check local government?

How would you implement a constitutionally compliant school funding system?

What will you do to combat gerrymandering and ensure that voter-approved redistricting reforms are implemented?

Where do you stand on efforts to protect our water, air, and land? Include how you would address climate change.

Where do you stand on gun safety measures?

Where do you stand on women’s reproductive rights and health?

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Twitter @wilde4ohio
Education Master of Public Administration
Training and Experience Pickerington City Council & Violet Township Trustee
I have served as a poll worker for several years. Every single election, we struggle to find poll workers, and those that we do find tend to be in the retired age group. Threats, such as the Coronavirus, serve to further exacerbate the problem as we lose workers who are worried about their safety. With a dwindling workforce made up of a vulnerable population, we must look at new ways of protecting our right to vote. Mail-in voting is effective in many states already. There are safe and effective ways to carry this out. Mail-in voting will be critical to the safe and timely execution of our elections this year more than ever before, and we must fight to ensure that it is unobstructed.
The state already has a number of ways to check and restrain local governments, such as during the budgetary process for some local governments. The Ohio Revised Code is a constant form of checks and restraints for both cities and townships. School districts also experience many forms of checks and restraints. Unfortunately, many of these checks and restraints are done by legislators who have never served as a local elected official and lack the experience to understand the impact that these restrictions have. This often creates problems that localities must solve without the proper resources to do so. As an experienced City Councilmember and Township Trustee, I understand the impact that state laws can have on local governments. I think it is important for every level of government to have checks and restraints, however, I also believe that the people creating those laws, regulations, and mandates must have a clear understanding of the impact they have.
Not only is the current school funding formula unconstitutional, it is fundamentally inadequate, unfair, and unstable. Districts across the State of Ohio are forced to rely heavily on property taxes and levies just to cover the costs of growth. Many districts, especially those in less-prosperous areas, cannot pass the levies they need to properly educate our children and therefore fall further behind. This entire process has made school funding in Ohio completely unsustainable. We need to fund each school from a state level creating equality for every single student across Ohio. Resources and quality of education as well as conditions of schools should not be based on the value of surrounding properties. Teachers should have equal support no matter which district they work in. I will fight to end growth caps, promote fair funding, overhaul the funding formula to make it constitutional, and work with Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation that improves school funding in Ohio.
I understand the importance of creating districts that make sense for residents. We must create districts that work for the people who live in those districts and not districts that make sense for those elected. I will work to create fairness and equity for every resident of Ohio.
As a mother of three children I am incredibly concerned about the future of our planet. We have the opportunity to work on protecting our precious resources while creating jobs for people here in Ohio. We must encourage renewable resource production here in Ohio to create jobs in our state and put us at the forefront of this developing industry.
As a woman who grew up shooting guns and hunting with her father, I have no problem with guns themselves. I do, however, believe that responsible gun ownership can coexist with common sense gun safety laws. There is too much on the line here. Too many children have died from accidental firearms deaths in their homes. Too many have lost loved ones to mass shootings that have become far too common. We must pass common sense safety legislation such as basic gun safety education requirements, red flag laws, background checks, and required training for concealed carry permits.
I believe that a woman's reproductive rights and health should be left up to her. No other person or government entity should be permitted to be part of her decisions regarding her body.