State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today released the following statement regarding the recent vote by the Cleveland City Council to allow transgender Ohioans to choose whichever restroom, shower, or locker room aligns with their gender identity, without fear of discrimination:  


“I congratulate the leadership of Council President Kevin Kelly and every member of Cleveland City Council for their unanimous vote to protect transgender citizens under the city’s public accommodations law.


“This historic vote brings Cleveland's code in line with more than 100 nondiscrimination statutes across the country that protect the entire LGBT community, with no exceptions.


The council’s action will help protect transgender Ohioans in the most fundamental way – by allowing them to use the facilities that match the gender identity that they live every single day.


“Full equality, legal protections and the civil rights that most in this country enjoy are fundamental core values of our nation. LGBT Ohioans in Cleveland and 15 other cities are one step closer to enjoying the full scope of those values. I will continue to work on state legislation, such as House Bill 389, until all members of the LGBT community in Ohio enjoy full equality. We should accept nothing less.”

 
 
 
  
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Ohio AG Needs To Open Independent Harassment Investigation Of Bill Seitz, Lawmakers Say

 

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today asked* Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine to hire an objective third party to reopen the harassment investigation of Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). The letter comes after it was reported that Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm which conducted the investigation, donated to Seitz’ campaign and had employed Seitz for 36 years. The investigation concluded that the allegations of inappropriate conduct made against Seitz by a female House employee did not constitute sexual harassment according to the House’s anti-harassment policy and said the complaint may have been politically motivated. The basis of the findings, however, directly conflict with the AG’s anti-sexual harassment training given to state lawmakers and staff prior to the event.



 
 

Ohio Republican Majority Writes Discrimination Into Law

 

State Reps. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today expressed disappointment with the passage of House Bill (HB) 36, which writes discrimination into Ohio law by allowing ministers not to solemnize marriages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.



 
 

Antonio, Burke Ask Kasich To Keep Local Behavioral Health Youth Program Running

 

State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today wrote a letter* to Gov. John Kasich asking him to reconsider his administration’s move to shutter Cuyahoga County’s local Positive Education Program (PEP) Connections, a behavioral health program that serves some 500 high-risk youth each day.



 
 

Antonio Responds To Latest Ohio Opioid Crisis Report

 

The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.