Message from Schwarzenegger, Ohio Citizens to Gerrymandering Politicians: ‘Hasta la vista, baby!’

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday called on all Ohioans to support the Citizens Not Politicians amendment to end gerrymandering in the Buckeye State. 

“The Constitution says, ‘We the people’ not ‘We the politicians,” Schwarzenegger said to a standing room only crowd at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. “This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue, the politicians of both parties manipulate the maps to eliminate competition, and when there is no competition there is no performance and we have division and we can’t solve our problems. It’s time to get the legislators and other politicians out of the map drawing business. Fair maps now!”  

The “Terminate Gerrymandering” event drew supporters from across the state and was organized by Citizens Not Politicians, the bipartisan statewide coalition working to amend the Ohio Constitution this year to create a citizens redistricting commission, require fair maps, and mandate an open and transparent redistricting process.

Speakers featured no small measure of allusions and tributes to Schwarzanegger’s decades-long movie career. 

Matt Iseman, renowned for his role in American Ninja Warrior, opened the evening with a compelling introduction about the amendment’s significance and the urgent need for political reform. “Tonight is about more than just an amendment; it’s about reclaiming our democracy,” Iseman said.

Ange-Marie Hancock, Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University, provided expert analysis on the detrimental effects of gerrymandering on democratic processes. “Gerrymandering undermines the very foundation of our democracy by distorting representation,” Hancock explained, emphasizing the importance of equitable districting for the health of the political system. Hancock, formerly of the University of Southern California, has published extensively on the topic and written of the “deep political solidarity” among citizens of diverse backgrounds with a shared interest in fundamental fairness and justice.

The keynote address by Schwarzenegger highlighted his experiences with political reform in California and the power of citizens to solve problems when they set aside petty partisan differences and work together for the common good. He said that when citizens implemented an independent commission in California, approval ratings for legislators elected in citizen-draw district lines went from 20% to 40%. He said today one third of legislative districts nationwide are drawn by citizen led commissions like the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment proposes. “But that leaves two thirds still drawn by politicians, and we need to change that. Ohio is next.” 

A letter was read from retired Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who was unable to attend the event because she is currently in Kyiv vetting candidates to recommend for appointment to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

O’Connor wrote: “With your help and the help of our thousands of volunteers around the state – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – this November, the citizens of Ohio will have one thing to say to the gerrymandering politicians and their cronies: ‘Hasta la vista, baby!’” 

Jeniece L. Brock from the Ohio Organizing Collaborative discussed the human impact of gerrymandering, pointing out how it disproportionately affects marginalized communities. “This issue of redistricting is close to my heart, because I know what it is like to live in a gerrymandered district and to have my voice silenced by district lines,” Brock said. “No matter who you are, what you look like, where you live, or where you worship, we ALL deserve to have a fair redistricting process where our voices are heard, and we deserve to have maps where we are all represented in the state legislature and in congress.”

Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, concluded the speaker lineup with a powerful call to action: “The path to change is in our hands. By supporting the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment, we can make a difference,” Miller urged, encouraging attendees to get involved in the movement by signing up to collect signatures and to donate their time, talent and treasure to the cause.

Citizens across Ohio are currently collecting thousands of signatures every day. The group needs more than 413,000 valid signatures by July 3 to place the amendment on the ballot this November.

The Citizens Not Politicians Amendment will: 

  • Create the 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of Republican, Democratic and independent citizens who broadly represent the different geographic areas and demographics of the state. 
  • Ban current or former politicians, political party officials, and lobbyists from sitting on the commission.
  • Require fair and impartial districts by making it unconstitutional to draw voting districts that discriminate against or favor any political party or individual politician.
  • Require the commission to operate under an open and independent process. 

The amendment can be found at

Currently, the process of redistricting is controlled by politicians who are able to draw districts that all but ensure their own re-election. This amendment puts an end to that by banning current and recent political officeholders, those with strong political party or campaign ties, and lobbyists from participating in the process, and instead empowers Ohio citizens by creating the OCRC and requiring the Commission to draw fair maps through an open and independent process.

For more information about the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment and how to get involved, visit

About Citizens Not Politicians
Citizens Not Politicians is a coalition of people and organizations seeking to end gerrymandering in Ohio by removing politicians from the redistricting process and instead empowering Ohio citizens to draw fair and impartial legislative and congressional districts through an open and independent process. Read the amendment and learn more at