Tired of political campaign ads and robo calls? I sure am. I guess this is a reflection of how important Ohio is in this election. It is important to vote!
If you have any questions about the election, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. This has all the answers to questions about voter registration, change of address, early voting, changes in district lines, voting locations and more. For example, you can find the list of county boards of elections here and the county boards are probably your best point of contact about voting locations. Remember that we just went through redistricting and this may impact your voting options (my congressman isn’t my congressman any more). The election calendar is important, since there are deadlines for registration and limits to early voting options. Since there are some legal challenges to early voting limits, watch the news about these as the courts rule on them.
You can also Google your local political parties for election and candidate information. Check out the state party websites (Republican Party; Democratic Party ; Libertarian Party of Ohio) to find endorsements and sample ballots. Unions and business groups also list endorsements on their websites. Many…probably all of them… candidates have websites on which they list their positions , priorities, resume and endorsements. Look for “meet the candidate” events in your community and attend one to see and hear the people running to represent you. Ask candidates questions about their positions on issues relating to psychology and health care. Local newspapers will be publishing their endorsements in the weeks ahead and often highlight candidate positions in explaining their choices. Inform yourself and vote.
Even better…get involved! Both incumbents and challengers for statewide races would welcome support from psychologists. Gifts to OPA-PAC (Political Action Committee) can help us make strategic gifts to people who support access to mental health services and support psychology. You can learn more about the PAC and make a donation online.
Candidates need your financial support and there are many benefits to making donations directly to statewide candidates (Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Senate, Ohio House). Be sure to let the candidate know you are a psychologist. Remember that you can deduct $50 for political donations for statewide candidates from your Ohio Income Tax ($100 for a joint return). Offer to volunteer. Money is important but people willing to work are equally in demand. Put up a yard sign. Help neighbors and family members get to the polls.
If the candidate(s) you help wins, follow up and stay in touch with them. Build a relationship with them. Be their “go to” person for information about psychology, insurance and mental health issues. Get to know their staff. Offer to help their staff learn how to deal with difficult people. If you do, let Bobbie Celeste or me know what legislators you have a relationship with so we can keep you informed of our contacts with them. Plan on coming to our Legislative Day on May 22, 2013 to meet with them and join other psychologists in talking about the work you do.
On the Central Office Front:
Our MCE office is still working with some psychologists who have not yet completed their hours for the 2010-2012 biennium. But we are ready to shift our attention to those who did and flip the switch to the 2012-2014 biennium. I understand that there are some who have already completed their 23 hours for the new biennium. Gold stars to you! If you have not registered for the new biennium, please do so. Remember that late registration penalty fees kick in each quarter.
While you are registering for MCE, don’t forget to renew your membership! Just a few clicks and you can get both done.
We are getting a good response to the OPA Convention, scheduled for October 24-26 here in Columbus. Check out the details and register soon. I look forward to seeing many of you there!