At our July monthly meeting we were joined by Taylor Albright (she/her), Regional Field Manager for Planned Parenthood Ohio. She gave us an update on redistricting and reproductive rights across the state. The local ordinances “banning abortion” are probably not constitutional but we won’t find out for sure until there is a court challenge.
Outside groups from other states are introducing anti-choice bills and transgender athletes bills in Ohio as well as across the US. The fight continues against such legislation.
A few of our members attended the Community Mapmaking workshop on July 20th sponsored by Green Umbrella. We learned about the DistrictR software that can be used to draw district maps or community maps. Due to an Ohio constitutional amendment there are new procedures for drawing congressional districts. The new districts will be in effect until 2030. More information on redistricting in Ohio is located here.
Communities of Interest (known as “COIs”) are groups or neighborhoods with significant shared interests that deserve consideration by representatives. Many states have rules that indicate that COIs should be kept whole by districting plans whenever possible.
More information as well as links to draw your own maps is located on the DistrictR website linked here. Or you may click the following links to go to your state mapping options. Direct link to Ohio maps. Direct link to Kentucky maps.
Science On Tap for July featured a Mars presentation by Andy Czaja, assistant professor in the UC Department of Geology specializing in Paleobiology, Astrobiology and Biogeochemistry. Recent NASA exploration on Mars is at the Jezero Crater where Ingenuity and Perseverance are located. Scientists are exploring Jezero because lakes are a great place for life to exist and be preserved. The Ingenuity helicopter is a true marvel as scientists were not sure they could make a helicopter fly due to the atmosphere being less than 1% of the pressure on Earth.
The Perseverance rover has a number of key missions including geologic exploration to study rocks for signs of life, preparing a “returnable cache” of up to 40 samples and blanks, and making progress towards future human exploration of Mars. Future Mars missions will send rockets that would be able to return samples back to Earth for more complex testing than is possible on the Red Planet.
Trivia Question: How long has the surface of Mars been without water?