CDA: It’s in the hands of your legislators

Community Defense Act:  It’s in the hands of your state legislators.

They need to hear from you!

During the last quarter of 2006 – during those busy back-to-school, get-ready-for-the-holidays months – hundreds of volunteers across Ohio gave selflessly of their time.

At shopping centers, in church foyers, at soccer games – wherever people gathered – ordinary, concerned citizens circulated a petition.

To many of them, this was new territory.

They had never thought of themselves as political activists.  But they knew the devastation brought by “sexually oriented businesses” – the polite term for strip clubs, “adult” book stores, massage parlors and the like.  They understood the crimes invariably linked to such businesses – crimes such as prostitution, rape, other violent sexual crimes, and illegal drug sales.  And they were willing to step out of their comfort zones to participate in an “initiative petition effort” that could significantly curtail those crimes and that devastation.

The petition that they circulated was entitled “Community Defense Act” (CDA).  It was the first step in a procedure that allows Ohio registered voters to take a proposed statute directly to the Ohio General Assembly for consideration.

The Community Defense Act consists of two straightforward regulations that would apply to all sexually oriented businesses in Ohio:

  1. Sexually oriented businesses in Ohio would be required to cease operation between the hours of Midnight and 6:00 A.M.  (Law enforcement officials confirm that the majority of crimes linked to these businesses occur after Midnight.)
  2. Employees who regularly appear nude or semi-nude would be required to maintain a six-foot distance from patrons.  (This would put an end to “lap dances,” which are a common practice in strip clubs, and which amount to outright prostitution!)

Here’s what’s happened as a result of the selfless efforts of so many concerned citizens across the state.

  • On December 11, CCV personnel delivered 14,000 of those petition forms, with signatures of over 200,000 Ohioans, to the office of the Secretary of State. That office quickly sent the petitions to the 88 county Boards of Election to validate that they contained the required number of signatures of registered voters. On December 29, the Secretary of State wrote to notify CCV that the validation process was successful. On January 2, 2007, in accordance with constitutional guidelines, the Secretary of State transmitted the proposed statute to the Ohio General Assembly.
CDA is now in the hands of our state legislators!

The Ohio Constitution allows the General Assembly four months in which to act on a statute proposed by initiative petition.

During the four-month period, the Legislature can respond in three ways:

  1. Enact the law as presented to them by the electorate;
  2. Pass an amended version of the law;
  3. Refuse and/or fail to act upon the proposed law.

If the Legislature fails to pass the proposed law, or amends it in a manner unacceptable to the electors, the Constitution then allows the electors to place their proposed statute on the next General Election ballot, to be voted on by the people of Ohio.  In order to do so, however, the electors must collect a second round of signatures, in a number equal to that required for the first round.

We – i.e., the concerned Ohioans who care about the families of Ohio, and who already have poured so much time and energy into CDA – should not be required to spend an additional three months collecting signatures to place CDA on a ballot. We have petitioned our elected officials and have made our case clear:

Help us put an end to the devastation.  Put an end to the hurting.  Pass CDA into law.

We believe in our hearts that most Ohio legislators want to do what is right for our families.   But lobbyists for the strip club industry have the ability to apply intense pressure on legislators.

They need to hear from you!

Please send your Ohio representative and your Ohio senator a message of encouragement to do everything in their power to pass this pro-family bill into law – just as we delivered it to them.  We’ve prepared a suggested text, which you can replace with your own, alter, or send as is.  Click the link below to send your message.

We meet with your elected officials in Columbus regularly, and we know that a message from you, their direct constituents, is a powerful motivator.

Please click the link below to e-mail both of your Ohio legislators a message of encouragement regarding the Community Defense Act.

To see a copy of the petition, which includes a Summary of the proposed law and the Complete Text, click here.