Ohio small business owners raise alarm about need to protect democracy

Press Release
October 20, 2022

Frank Knapp

Ohio small business owners raise alarm about
need to protect democracy

Recognize U.S. Senate and House candidates for their support of Congressional reforms
Full Video of Press Conference

Cincinnati, OH
—Today the Ohio Business for Democracy collaborative urged voters to be concerned about protecting democracy and announced the results of a Ohio Congressional candidate survey.

“Small business owners understand that a strong democracy is essential for a vibrant entrepreneurial economy where small businesses flourish.,” said Cynthia Pinchback-Hines, Racial Justice Educator and Co-op Developer at Coo-op Cincy and a leader of the Ohio Business for Democracy collaborative.  “The two go hand in hand. We are raising the alarm about losing our democracy.”

Joining Ms. Pinchback-Hines at the press event were other members of the collaborative.

“Today we have politicians who don’t believe in democracy and allowing all voters to have a say in our government policies.  They admire autocratic rulers of other countries and advocate that our government adopt some of their policies. When autocrats control government, the will of the people is no longer important. Businesses that give political contributions to those in power receive favorable treatment from government which creates an unlevel competitive playing field.  Entrepreneurs can’t compete with big-business campaign donors, regulations impacting big corporations are eliminated and all but the wealthy suffer,” said Flequer Vera of Sustainergy in Cincinnati.

“Entrepreneurs belief that if they work hard, sacrifice, and invest their time and money; that they can create a successful business for themselves, their families and their communities. But that spirit, particularly for entrepreneurs of color, depends on our democracy and our free, fair, and secure elections. Unfortunately, we have politicians today that want to take away our democracy.  They don’t want voters to determine election winners.  They want to manipulate and change voting laws so that they can be locked into power. If that happens, entrepreneurs will lose confidence in our stable business environment and fear that whatever they build, an autocratic government can easily take away,” said Kirk Mudd, owner of Christian Business Services in Cincinnati.

The Business for Democracy collaborative conducted a survey of Ohio candidates for the U.S. Senate and House to determine which candidates would support three Congressional reform bills that would provide firm and stable support for America’s democracy (see below).

Here are the Ohio candidates for the U.S. Senate and House who completed the short survey and indicated that they would support each of these bills if elected:

 Representative Tim Ryan
Greg Landsman (CD 1)
Samantha Meadows (CD 2)
Joyce Beatty (CD 3)
Tammi Wilson (CD 4)
Craig Swartz (CD 5)
Lou Lyras (CD 6)
Matthew Diemer (CD 7)
Vanessa Enoch (CD 8)
David Esrati (CD 10)
Shontel Brown (CD 11)
Amy Rippel-Elton (CD 12)
Email Sykes (CD 13)
Matt Kilboy (CD 14)
Gary Josephson (CD 15)


It is important that voters know where candidates stand on protecting democracy and who is committed to passing reforms to do that if they are elected,” said Ms. Pinchback-Hines.  “Democracy and our economy are on the ballot in November.”

Ohio is one of eight states that have built Business for Democracy collaboratives.

Business for Democracy is a campaign of the American Sustainable Business Network.

Voting Reforms Needed to Protect Democracy and
Our Economy


The aftermath of the 2020 Presidential election shows how critical voting reform is needed to guarantee free, fair, and secure elections that will not only ensure that the will of the voters is honored but that our vibrant, entrepreneurial economy will continue.

Congress must pass three pieces of legislation either before this November’s election or in 2023.  These bills form the three-legged stool providing firm and stable support for our democracy.

Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022.  This 1887 law governing Congressional procedures for how state electoral votes for president and vice president are cast and counted should be reformed to update the vague and outdated language.  The Act needs to be reformed by Congress to confront electoral subversion at both the state and federal levels by helping ensure that partisan politicians cannot substitute their own preferences for the judgment of the American people in presidential elections.  This bipartisan bill has 11 Republican and 10 Democrat co-sponsors and is supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  This bill would modernize and revitalize the Voting Rights Act of 1965, strengthening legal protections against discriminatory voting policies and practices, guaranteeing equal access to the ballot.

The Freedom to Vote Act.  The bill improves access to the ballot for Americans, advances commonsense election integrity reforms, and protects our democracy from emerging threats. Importantly, this proposal reflects feedback from state and local election officials to ensure that the people responsible for implementing these reforms are able to do so effectively. This bill also elevates the voices of American voters by ending partisan gerrymandering and rooting out the undue influence of special interest money in our politics.


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