Chris and Lori Griffith have been on a mission. The two were on hand Friday morning touting the "We Are Ohio" organization's battle against Senate Bill 5.
SB 5 would reduce collective bargaining rights of all public workers in the state. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and supporters argue the changes are needed to help public employers control labor costs. Organized labor groups and other opponents say the bill is a union-busting attack on the middle class.
"I got involved to refuel this campaign for Senate Bill 5," said Chris Griffith, a 10-year employee with the Norwalk City Schools as a daytime employee at the high school. "It's wrong. It's an unfair attack on public service workers and on the community, really."
Lori Griffith is a seventh grade teacher at Norwalk Middle School.
Together they collected signatures with drive-and-signs and door-to-door. "Basically, I took my petition book wherever I went," Chris said.
"How many police officers are in a cruiser? How many firefighters are on a truck? How many kids are going to be crammed in a classroom?
"Senate Bill 5 does not create one job. Fewer jobs mean fewer customers for local businesses. One teacher gets laid off that's less money going to local restaurants, local stores and local businesses."
We are Ohio collected 1,298,301 signatures to get the SB 5 repeal motion on the ballot. That's 1 million more than the 231,149 needed.
"We had more than 10,000 volunteers (across the state)," Griffith said. "We are humbled and grateful ... for the support. If our supporters vote we are very confident we will win."
In Huron County, 497 signatures were needed based on the 16,572 votes cast in the 2010 governor's race to hit the 3 percent mark and 994 were needed to hit the 6 percent mark. "We are Ohio collected 3,818 or about 23 percent of the vote in Huron County," Griffith said.
If the signatures are verified, the issue will be on the November ballot.
For more information, log onto the website weareohio.com.