OH State Rep. Anielski (R) reportedly “supported Walton Hills police officers when they decided to unionize” & she was mayor

In today’s Chagrin Valley Times, columnist Barbara Christian wrote about our new statehouse representative, Marlene Anielski, a Republican and former mayor of the small (US Census 2000 says 2,400) village of Walton Hills. Christian seeks to highlight our preconceived notions related to party affiliation – the good, the bad and the as yet unknown.

In “Open mind may be hard to keep,” Christian describes a constituent event Anielski held at the Chagrin Falls library about ten days ago at which many attendees wanted to talk about SB5:

She had come to talk to constituents, one on one and face to face. She wanted to hear their concerns and maybe fix them. But while no subject was off the table, it appeared that the only one the majority of people wanted to talk about was one she was not prepared to address, Ohio Senate Bill 5.

That’s the one that seeks to curtail the rights of public employees who are members of labor unions. If passed in present form, at this writing, it would end their right to collective bargaining. It’s the same issue creating its own weather front of protest in Wisconsin these days.

So what’s an elected official to do? From the column:

Mrs. Anielski demurred on discussing S.B. 5, because she is a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, not the Senate, and was not involved with creating provisions of the bill, nor had she read it. As it turned out, she listened to those who wanted to talk about S.B. 5 anyway.

Later, some of those attending the meet and greet said they were surprised to learn that Mrs. Anielski, in deference to the capital letter behind her name, does not oppose unions. In fact, she supported Walton Hills police officers when they decided to unionize. She happened to be mayor of that town at the time. So much for capital-letter stereotypes.

As we now know, several state senators with that capital R next to their names absolutely and unequivocally support not just the right to collective bargaining, but unions themselves and defied that R. I appealed to my state senator, Tom Patton, in writing and with phone calls and of course while his vote against SB5 might have been a given because of his extensive background with unions (police in particular), as we’ve seen, nothing should be taken for granted.  Still, here’s a great piece by Talking Points Memo that says something about each of those six.

While the clichéd vision is that voting against one’s party affiliation is hard, to me, the reality is that if you don’t vote your conscience, before you vote as pressured, not only won’t you sleep when you do that, but you will be haunted by that vote one way or another.

I will be emailing my state rep. after I finish this post and I will be calling her, just as I did my state senator.  I will be letting her know that I read Barbara Christian’s column, especially the part about her supporting the formation of the police union, and that I recommend she read that bill before she votes. I will remind her that six state senators from her party found the courage to object to a bad bill and that she will have many Ohioans behind her, especially within her district, when she votes against SB5.

I urge all of State Rep. Marlene Anielski’s constituents to contact her about SB5 and reference all these things and whatever else you can think of to assist her in opposing SB5.

Her contact information:

Address:
77 S. High St
12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 644-6041
Fax: (614) 719-6956
Email: district17@ohr.state.oh.us

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4 thoughts on “OH State Rep. Anielski (R) reportedly “supported Walton Hills police officers when they decided to unionize” & she was mayor

  1. Agreed. I have worked for people in the past that took tough votes and paid for it later at the ballot box. I’m sure they hated to lose their seat, but they’d probably hate themselves if they sold out to keep it.

  2. Thanks, Anthony. I think the fact that it’s not something that wasn’t unanticipated undermines the I don’t knows plus the fact that as mayor, our state rep has dealt with unions, and then some, from the sounds of it. So – she’s playing it safe, is how it sounds to me re: when she was at the CF library. But I’m with you – I have voted no, I have voted yes, but I have not abstained. And I’ve been the lone no and I’ve been the unpopular no.

    And honestly, if you are only going to play it safe, why on earth enter the arena in the first place? I am struggling through a bunch of things right now, but if I ever get perceived as being complacent and I don’t realize it, I hope I get challenged and lose. The voters are giving you their voice – or in some cases, you take it. Use the damn thing.

  3. Jill, as you’ve already seen on Facebook, I’d be a “no” vote (or technically a “nay”) if I were representing the 17th. I find the whole “I don’t have an opinion” theme to be a little troubling. I heard Nan Baker use the same line last week at a education roundtable in North Olmsted. I appreciate not wanting to speak to passionately while a bill is being debated in another chamber, but there weren’t many grey areas here. That bill wasn’t going to change much and there were tens of thousands of people protesting outside their offices. I’m sorry, but Mike Foley had an opinion. Nickie Antonio had an opinion. Ted Celeste had an opinion. Armond Budish had an opinion. (I could go on forever, but you get the idea.)

    There’s a difference between holding out for concessions to a bill and hiding to avoid a tough vote. The fact that we still don’t know where she’s at probably says it all.

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