Meet Katy Shanahan, AOTL Ohio State Director
By Team AOTL
Katy Shanahan is an attorney and activist who has been involved in her home state of Ohio for more than a decade. She’s focused her work on protecting the fundamental right to vote and to ensuring that all voters have an equally accessible path to the voting booth and to fair representation.
Katy received both her law degree and graduate degrees from The Ohio State University, where she wrote a thesis on redistricting and which entity draws the fairest maps. Spoiler: it’s not legislatures!
What does All On The Line mean to you?
No matter what issue brings you to the political table — whether it’s fighting for access to affordable healthcare, working to prevent gun violence, acting on climate, or protecting reproductive rights — they’re all on the line in 2020 and 2021. Without fair maps, we get another 10 years of status quo, another decade of our legislative bodies ignoring what their voters want and years of election after election lacking any accountability at the ballot box. All On The Line is our best opportunity to shift state and national politics for the next decade.
Why are you fighting for Fair Maps?
I believe deeply in the democratic process and in the power of our vote. But in the last 10 years, I’ve watched the power of our vote be diluted by politicians in our state because of the rigged maps the legislature drew in 2011. Despite only winning 52% of the votes in 2018, Republicans took 75% of the congressional delegation and 63% of the Ohio’s legislative seats — decidedly not how democracy is supposed to work. The result? A decade of terrible policy for our state that doesn’t reflect the will of the people, including harmful attacks on some of the most important issues facing Ohioans.
Here in Ohio, because of gerrymandering and voter suppression, we live in a system where politicians pick their voters — not the other way around, like it’s supposed to be — and where our elected officials are more responsive to their donors than to their constituents. Our system is broken — both here in Ohio and in Washington — and the best shot at fixing it, at putting the power back into the people’s hands, is by fighting for fair maps.
Why should people get involved with All On The Line?
This campaign is about harnessing the power of the people to demand that our democracy be put back in the hands of the people. In 2015 and 2018, Ohio’s voters sent a clear message to the legislature: We want fair maps drawn through a transparent process. Those victories, though, were just half the battle — now we have to demand that legislators and elected leaders follow through on their promise to support a fair and transparent redistricting process. We’re in an all hands on deck moment. Together we’ll get our democracy back.
Which district in your state is the wackiest?
It’s so hard to choose just one! There’s the “Snake on the Lake” (OH-09) that meanders 96 miles across Lake Erie and is only connected from end to end by a bridge. OH-12, my home district, splits my street in half to crack apart my left-leaning neighborhood into a district with six other partial and whole conservative rural counties. OH-04 famously looks like a seahorse (or a duck). Let’s not forget OH-06 which, from top to bottom, spans 190 miles along the state’s eastern border.
Katy is a passionate activist, and we hope you’ll join her (and us!) in the fight for fair maps in Ohio. Click HERE to get involved!