House Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair and state Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today issued a statement following claims that state Senator-elect Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) was discriminated against by security staff while entering the Vern Riffe Center government building in Columbus Tuesday.
“It is absolutely appalling that minority women are still facing discrimination in their own workplace. For security to stop Senator-elect Maharath and talk down to her like she doesn’t belong here is unacceptable. She was in Columbus to attend a Women’s Caucus meeting. She was effectively doing her job before officially being sworn in only to be turned away because she doesn’t look a certain way. She belongs here. We belong here. And I implore leaders in the House and Senate not only to apologize, but to require sensitivity and racial bias training at the start of the 133rd General Assembly.”
Maharath posted a video via Facebook explaining her encounter with Riffe security. At this time a formal complaint has not been filed. The incident comes just months after a similar discrimination case involving state Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) made national headlines.