Dr. King talked about the danger of staying silent on the things that matter—a sentiment as true today as it was in his time. For too many people, times may have changed, but the story stays the same: disparities in education, health, economic status and within the criminal justice system continue to threaten the next generation of black leaders, innovators, educators and workers.


As our nation’s history shows, America’s success and its victories are only won when we come together and build strong coalitions that challenge convention and inspire greatness. America wins when allies from all walks of life and ethnic and racial backgrounds join together, stand firm, demand change, and refuse to be silent.


With the start of a new General Assembly, we have a unique opportunity to break that silence and deliver real change for communities across our state—if we’re willing to put aside our partisan differences and work together to give a voice to the people whose concerns too often fall through the cracks.


We can do better to bridge our state’s opportunity divide by investing in our children’s education, ensuring every Ohioan has access to quality, affordable healthcare, attracting good-paying jobs and reforming a broken system that incarcerates too many for low-level, nonviolent crimes.


Ultimately, for Ohio to succeed, we all need the opportunity to succeed.


This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, let’s come together, reflect on the past and look to the future—one where every Ohioan who works hard, regardless of their race or gender, has the opportunity to get ahead and achieve their own dreams.


By rising together to meet today’s challenges we honor the enduring legacy of leaders like Dr. King who stood tall and refused to remain silent, fighting to change our nation for the better.


Together, we too can dare our great nation to be even greater.


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


 


-Rep. Emilia Sykes

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Boyd Announces Aisha's Law To Protect Domestic Violence Victims

 

State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) held a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse today to announce Aisha’s Law, a bill to change how law enforcement agencies respond to domestic violence cases. The bill is named for Aisha Fraser, a former Shaker Heights sixth-grade teacher who was brutally murdered by her ex-husband, former state Rep. Lance Mason, in Nov. 2018 following years of domestic abuse. 



 
 

Driver's License Reinstatement Program Temporarily Available Through Local BMVs

 

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced that Ohioans looking to get driving privileges restored may be able to do so at a reduced cost under the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative, a six-month program that began Jan 31. Sykes supported the law change in the Ohio House last year.



 
 

Northeast Ohio Legislators Introduce Bill To Address Infant Mortality Through STD Screening

 

State Reps. Thomas West (D-Canton) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today introduced a bill to address infant mortality through increased sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening for expectant mothers. The legislation would require healthcare professionals to test pregnant women for HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea at different points of the pregnancy in order to connect mother and baby to appropriate treatment and counseling. 



 
 

Sykes Named To National Fellowship On Maternal And Child Health

 

The National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) today named state Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) to its inaugural Maternal and Child Health Fellowship program. Sykes joins 24 other lawmakers and health policy experts from across the country who will work together to improve public policy and practices related to better maternal and child health outcomes.