State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today recognized National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, a day to raise awareness regarding homelessness and remember those experiencing homelessness who have died in the previous year. Many cities across the country hold vigils each year to recognize and remember those who have passed.
State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the release of $190,790 in state funding for Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) community housing purchases and renovations in Summit County.
“Families in Summit County depend on services like community homes to ensure loved ones are able to live safely, with some level of independence,” said Sykes. “By helping purchase and improve community residences we are able to offer people with developmental disabilities access to a safe and affordable home.”
The DODD Community Capital Assistance program helps purchase and renovate homes used to provide community living space for those with disabilities. Summit County offers a variety community housing including in-home support, shared living, adult family living and foster care living.
State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today called on Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to respect the 8th District of Ohio Court of Appeals’ recent decision declaring a 2016 state law outlawing local hiring standards, House Bill 180, unconstitutional.*
“Local hiring standards represent a commitment by cities to combat underemployment and reinvest in local communities. Workers benefit from public construction projects that often include jobs with apprenticeships – clear career paths and quality on-the-job training that pay dividends beyond the duration of a single project,” Sykes wrote in a letter to DeWine.
The City of Cleveland sued the state in 2016 after the Republican-passed bill directly conflicted with the city’s Fannie Lewis law, a local ordinance requiring public construction be completed with at least 20 percent local labor. Akron similarly uses local hiring standards on more than $1 billion in public works projects.
“Ohioans deserve a fair shot at good-paying local jobs because they have a stake in rebuilding the communities where they live and raise their families,” Sykes continued. “By putting money back in the hands of Ohio workers, local hiring ordinances like Cleveland’s Fannie Lewis Law are strengthening local businesses and giving workers the opportunity to get ahead. Without local hiring ordinances, investments would be more likely to flow to out of state companies and workers with no stake in the health and success of our regional economies.”
Sykes said she plans to introduce legislation in the new year that will strengthen Ohio communities’ ability to make decisions about local hiring standards.
State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) announced new legislation to modernize Ohio’s wrongful imprisonment laws, House Bill 411. The legislation would streamline access to justice for people who have been wrongfully imprisoned in Ohio.
“Victims of injustice deserve vindication and reasonable compensation for the time spent in prison that takes them away from their families and community,” said Sykes. “With this bipartisan bill we are giving more people an opportunity to be compensated if they have been wrongfully imprisoned by the state.”
As Republicans in Washington try to dismantle healthcare and slash enrollment periods and public notice, state Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) is encouraging Ohio taxpayers without health insurance to sign up and get covered during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period, which ends on Dec. 15, 2017.
“This about more than just finding healthcare insurance you can afford at a reasonable price,” said Sykes. “This is about you and your family’s economic security and stability. Though many of us don’t think we need healthcare, we are all just one accident or diagnosis away from a life-changing hospital stay or operation.”
Sykes notes that last year, eight out of ten taxpayers who signed up for healthcare during open enrollment took advantage of a significant financial discount. Sykes warns that if you miss this open enrollment period in 2017, you likely miss out on healthcare for all of 2018.
You can sign up through healthcare.gov or find more information at getamericacovered.org
State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the release of $500,000 in state funds to the Summit Metro Parks to provide trail linkage from Mill Street at the University of Akron to the Towpath Trail.
“Improving our trailway infrastructure not only promotes healthy lifestyles, but also improves safety for walkers, bikers and all those who use our system,” said Rep. Sykes. “Summit County is fortunate to have such a beautiful natural resource in our metro parks. The funding to allow us to link Mill Street and the University of Akron to the Towpath Trail is major step forward in improving transportation, recreation and connectivity in our community.”
State Reps. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today both penned letters to Gov. Kasich renewing calls for him to declare a state of emergency to combat Ohio’s worst-in-the-nation opioid epidemic. While President Trump this week declared the opioid crisis an emergency on the national level, Gov. Kasich has repeatedly rebuffed Democratic calls to join six other states in declaring a statewide emergency. Ohio continues to lead the nation in opioid overdose deaths.
“The governor continues to wrongly claim that he can’t declare an emergency to free up desperately needed funds to combat this illness that is devastating our state—though we’ve seen him do it as recently as last year to pay for extra security at the Republican Convention in Cleveland,” said Rep. Sykes. “We need real leadership on this issue that’s crushing Ohio families and our state’s bottom line. Summit County has been taking the lead on this issue in Northeast Ohio, but we can’t do it alone. Only a bold, comprehensive statewide plan can get Ohio back on the path to health and prosperity.”
State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the Ohio Senate’s unanimous passage of House Bill 94, marking its last legislative stop before Gov. John Kasich’s anticipated signature into law. Jointly sponsored by Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), the bipartisan legislation establishes February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Ohio in an effort to raise awareness around teen dating violence in hopes of preventing abuse and helping victims find safety.
“By designating February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we are giving light to something that is tragically effecting our youth at high rates,” said Sykes. “Increasing public awareness and raising the profile of this problem in schools, communities and throughout our state will help more people get the help they need to stop the cycle of violence.”
The Office of Criminal Justice Services Family Violence Prevention Center defines dating abuse as a pattern of controlling behavior that someone uses against his or her girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury or even death, but does not have to be physical. One in five children between the ages of 11-14 say their friends are victims of dating violence. Teens who are victims of dating violence are more likely to be depressed and do poorly in school.
Governing magazine today announced State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) has been selected as one of 25 women elected leaders to the Women in Government Leadership Program Class of 2018. The women selected for the program are changing the face of politics in America, according to the publication, from council chambers to statehouses, during a tumultuous time in American history. The program celebrates their service, courage and commitment to advancing good government.
“It is an honor to be selected for the 2018 Women in Government Leadership Program. I look forward to collaborating and sharing experiences with intelligent and innovative women from all levels of government across the United States,” said Sykes.
Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program brings together outstanding elected women leaders from across the nation to acknowledge their contributions, provide leadership development and mentor the next generation of women leaders to run for office.
“The women in the Class of 2018 are subject matter experts, negotiators, civic activists and pioneers,” said Julia Burrows, director of the Governing Institute. “Each year, the program adds to a national network, with 25 new members who establish deep friendships, provide consultation and campaign support and recruit future female candidates. The common goals of gender parity and advancing good government forge a bond that rises above partisanship and will pay dividends for many generations.”
The 25 women in the program’s new class will be profiled in the February 2018 issue of Governing magazine and will participate in Governing events throughout the coming year.
The Class of 2018 will gather for their first leadership conference in November in Phoenix, Arizona.
State Reps. Emilia Sykes and Tavia Galonski today announced the release of $200,000 in state funding to better help local citizens in Summit County get the treatment they need to recover from drug addiction.
“The recovery process can be a long and difficult journey. Our drug abuse response teams are at the front lines, offering counseling, rehabilitation, and aftercare to our community members struggling with addiction,” said Sykes. “This funding will strengthen our community’s efforts to assist the people and families ravaged by the statewide opioid epidemic.”