State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) will host the eighth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Thursday, February 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The annual event will bring together law enforcement officials, advocates, experts and survivors for interactive educational workshops and informational and inspirational presentations regarding ways to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking in Ohio. This year’s special guest is Dr. Elaine Richardson, an author, artist and inspirational professor.
“I believe that by bringing diverse voices from all across the state to the same table, we can help raise awareness and collaborate on strategies to combat modern day slavery,” said Fedor. “While we have made great strides at the state level against the spread of human trafficking, the real work is done out in the community by law enforcement, advocates, families and survivors.”
This year’s event will also include the first ever Ohio Youth Trafficking Prevention Summit focused on prevention and protection strategies for young people on Friday, February 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“Unfortunately, human traffickers often target young and vulnerable children,” said Fedor. “By educating our youth on prevention and protection strategies, I believe we can help keep our children safe from predatory criminals.”
The youth summit is free to attend but tickets are required. Those interested can register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-ohio-human-trafficking-awareness-day-youth-summit-tickets-28770533440
For the past ten years, Rep. Fedor has been a leading advocate in the fight to end human trafficking. Most recently, Rep. Fedor passed legislation to address the demand-side of the illegal sex trafficking trade, End Demand Act, Sub. H.B. 130. In 2012, the General Assembly passed Rep. Fedor’s Safe Harbor Act— a victim centered bill aimed at providing protection, prosecution and prevention. And, while in the Senate, Fedor passed Ohio’s first bill to define human trafficking and make it illegal, Senate Bill 235.
Democratic lawmakers today called on the Governor John Kasich to recognize the devastating opioid addiction epidemic for what it is: a public health emergency. At a statehouse press conference this morning the lawmakers said the state must have a strong, unified response and release emergency state funding to combat the statewide opioid crisis that is claiming lives in rural areas and urban centers alike.
“The first step in any road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, and it’s time for the administration to recognize the opioid addiction crisis as the public health emergency that it is,” said Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron). “Too many Ohio families are losing loved ones to drug addiction and overdoses. We must marshal all available state resources and attention to fight back against this rapidly growing threat to our communities.”
State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), today responded to Gov. John Kasich’s Thursday comments at the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative and the state’s actions to combat the opioid epidemic. The governor’s optimistic comments came on the same day the Ohio Department of Health released the report on 2015 Ohio Drug Overdose Data stating fentanyl-related drug overdoses more than doubled from 2014 to 2015. And the numbers continue to climb. For July 2016, Summit County alone experienced an estimated 395 overdoses, which matched the total number of overdoses in the county for the four months prior combined.*
“State leaders still refuse to call the opioid epidemic what it is: a public health crisis,” said Johnson. “It is imperative we remain hopeful and positive, but only if we are also employing all available resources to the law enforcement officers and treatment providers on the front lines. There has yet to be a coherent, statewide response to this devastating public health crisis that is killing more Ohioans than ever before. Summit County is doing a tremendous job at treating and preventing overdoses in my district, but with greater funding and direction from the state, we could be doing far more.”
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.
Ohio House Democratic members hosted a press conference today to speak out against the recent attacks on women’s access to healthcare. Led by State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), the lawmakers introduced a package of bills aimed at securing and expanding women’s access to comprehensive healthcare services.
WATCH Rep. Johnson deliver her powerful closing above.