In recent years, we have seen divisions emerge in our public debate. Partisan rancor spills from the halls of government to our homes, our classrooms and on our social media. We see demonstrations of hate in small towns and big cities and read profiles of self-proclaimed white nationalists in our newspapers. While this division reveals the many imperfections of America, like Dr. King, I do not believe it defines us.


Ohioans, both black and white, march together against racial and economic injustice. Politicians work together to pursue policies to better the lives of every citizen. Neighbors come to the aid of families out of work or those struggling with opioid addiction. Countless Ohioans live as Dr. King did: with passion and purpose, fueled by a desire to spread hope, compassion and love. Dr. King believed in an America where we all work together to right the wrongs in society and afford equality and opportunity to everyone.


Dr. King believed that our policy discussions should not be about scoring political points or petty arguments. Rather, they should be about doing the most good—putting people back to work, educating our children, treating addiction and ensuring everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare. I am excited to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to roll up our sleeves and get to work on these critical issues here in the new year.


Overcoming our state’s greatest challenges will not be easy, however. Though Martin Luther King was shot and killed 50 years ago, we still fight injustice on many fronts in our society, from race and economic opportunity to mass incarceration and community-police relations. Despite our shortcomings, despite our propensity to fail to live up to Dr. King’s Dream, we know that the potential for good in America is boundless. Dr. King saw this and fought for it. He taught that there is no place for hate when our hearts are filled with love.


Dr. King’s legacy is not simply something for the history books. It endures. With that, let us summon the courage to do what Dr. King did, to love in the face of hate and to rise up to meet the real challenges of our time. It is up to us, the beneficiaries of his efforts, to carry the torch of justice to truly honor the legacy of Dr. King.

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

House Dems Remain Hopeful Heading Into Budget Conference Committee

 

Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today issued a joint statement as members of the state budget conference committee were announced. Cera, the lead Democrat on the House Finance Committee, will represent the caucus on the panel.



 
 

Leader Sykes: Bipartisan Priorities Delivering Results For Taxpayers

 

Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today applauded this week’s passage of a series of bipartisan priority bills, including criminal justice reforms, funding to protect Ohio waterways and a proposal to keep moms and babies healthy. Sykes joined Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) to announce the bills at a Statehouse press conference last month. Their joint-announcement followed the Democrats’ unveiling of Ohio Promise, their blueprint for Ohio’s future focused on working together to restore Ohio’s promise of better lives and brighter futures for working people and families. 



 
 

Boggs, Galonski Applaud Attorney General's Call To Lift Statute Of Limitations On Rape

 

Ohio House Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) andHouse Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today issued a statement following Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s announced support for ending the state’s statute of limitations on rape. Boggs and Galonski are sponsoring a proposal this legislative session to modernize Ohio’s rape code, including lifting the statute of limitations on rape. 



 
 

Dem Lawmakers Issue Statement Of Support Of Ohio LGBTQ Community As Pride Month Begins

 

Central Ohio House Democratic lawmakers, including Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and Reps. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester), Erica Crawley (D-Columbus), David Leland (D-Columbus), Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville), Beth Liston (D-Dublin), Adam Miller (D-Columbus), and Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), today issued a statement in support of the nearly 500,000 LGBTQ taxpaying Ohioans who call the Buckeye State home. The statement follows controversial remarks from House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), regarding the permissive use of libraries for LGBTQ events.