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Democrats are urging action on gun safety, detail next steps of Ohio Promise strategy

October 2, 2019
Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. News

House Democratic lawmakers today held a press conference detailing the next steps of their Ohio Promise legislative campaign. Democrats said safety and security issues, including commonsense gun safety, are top priorities as the state legislature returns for its fall session dates.

 “Democrats are committed to working together to continue delivering results for Ohio taxpayers that renew our promise of safer schools, safer communities and greater economic security for you and your family at every stage of life,” said Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).

 Leader Sykes highlighted several bipartisan wins to promote the safety and security of Ohioans, including bills to reform the state’s criminal justice system, create the first-ever Office of Drug Policy and ensure ride safety at state and county fairs.

 Dem lawmakers noted that though progress has been made this General Assembly, there is more work to do, particularly on ways to address gun safety.

 “Ohioans continue to speak up, urging their lawmakers to do something about gun violence,” said Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland). “We can’t continue to wait and push legislation that fails to address the root of the problem. Democrats are proposing commonsense legislation backed by the majority of Ohioans, legislation that will do something to save lives and keep our kids and communities safe.”

 House Dems introduced several new bills to curb gun violence in the wake of the shooting in Dayton, Ohio. They have continued to call for action, launching a website to provides resources for Ohioans who want to get involved and hold the legislature accountable to do something about gun violence.

 “We need to take action on gun safety to keep our kids and communities safe while also respecting our fundamental rights as Americans,” said Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon). “More than 90 percent of Ohioans support these commonsense measures. That’s why we’re calling on House leaders to begin hearings immediately.”

 Democrats also highlighted bipartisan efforts to protect victims of domestic violence, including Aisha’s Law, a bipartisan bill championed by Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) to help law enforcement address high-risk domestic violence cases.

 “As a fellow Dayton resident, and after experiencing violence in my own home, I was shaken up after the Dayton shooting,” said Diona Clark, a domestic violence survivor and advocate. “We need better laws, and better protections for victims. I want to thank everyone standing behind making our communities and our homes safer.”

 In addition to safer homes and communities, Democratic lawmakers stressed several bills promoting economic security and stability for everyday Ohioans, including efforts to expand the state’s homestead exemption to help keep elderly Ohioans in their homes as well as proposals to extend Workers Compensation benefits to first responders with PTSD and for certain workers who get sick on the job.

“When we talk about security, we are not only talking about being safe from violence, but also economic security when exposed to the burden of high healthcare costs for Ohio’s senior population, especially those on a fixed income,” said Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake). “Our legislative efforts reflect our ongoing commitment of working together to ensure Ohio’s promise of safety and security throughout one’s lifetime.”

 Democrats also pointed to efforts to strengthen labor and protect pensions for retired workers.

 Sykes and other Democrats joined striking UAW workers on the picket line in Toledo, Ohio Monday.

 Wednesday’s rollout follows the caucus’s Ohio Promise Tour, which saw more than two dozen town hall events in cities across the state over the past two months.