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Last minute amendment will cost Ohio students their right to vote
March 24, 2015

Today State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D–Kent) and Democratic lawmakers stood with the League of Women Voters and an Ohio State student leader to denounce an attack on student voting rights included in the Senate’s version of the state transportation budget. 

 
 

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) and Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) recently released the following statement mourning the loss of former House Minority Leader and Toledo Mayor, Councilman Jack Ford:

“The people of Toledo and the State of Ohio mourn the loss of a great leader, colleague and friend Jack Ford. Toledo’s first black mayor and former House Minority Leader, Jack was a tremendous public servant whose legacy of mentorship and selfless service to our city and state will not be forgotten.

“Our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”

 

 
 

The Ohio Senate today reinstated a controversial restriction in the state transportation budget that would prohibit communities from requiring that public construction projects completed with state or federal money employ a minimum amount of local Ohioans.

The controversial prohibition returns to House Bill 53 after a House panel nixed the restriction that brought sharp criticism from Akron City officials, State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and other Democratic lawmakers. Sykes successfully drafted an amendment that removed the controversial language.

“This restriction could have a dangerous and untold reach into our urban communities which will disproportionately impact African Americans who remain unemployed at a rate three times higher than the state average,” said Rep. Sykes. “This could hurt local communities and jeopardize Ohio jobs, and we haven’t seen any information that says otherwise.”

 
 
A Women's History Month Tribute by Rep. Teresa Fedor

From the first six female legislators elected in 1923 to the nearly 200 women who have served in the Ohio General Assembly since, our state is rich in examples of women who have leant their names to Ohio’s history with courage, leadership and determination. We celebrate the many contributions of women during Women’s History Month in March.  And at the Ohio Statehouse, we can celebrate our past and present women lawmakers every time we walk through those hallowed halls.

 
 

State Representatives Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Mike Curtin (D-Marble Cliff) are seeking to present their congressional redistricting reform proposal, HJR 2, to members of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. Yesterday, they sent the following letter to the Chairman and Vice Chairwoman of the Legislative and Executive Branch Committee:

 
 

The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies recently released its “State of Poverty” report, which shows 1.8 million Ohioans, or 16 percent, living in poverty and nearly half of Ohio households living paycheck to paycheck. Ohio’s children and young adults are more likely to be living in poverty, with rates above 20 percent.

House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) issued the following statement in response to the report:

“The bitter truth is that prosperity in our state hasn’t been broad enough, leaving too many Ohioans living in poverty. Our state continues a troubling and dangerous ten-year trend, during which poverty in Ohio has continued to top national rates. Though some Ohioans are better off today than they were ten years ago, the opportunity for a higher quality of life has yet to reach almost two million Ohioans. Our economic approach needs to better reflect this reality with policies that strengthen Ohio’s families through fair tax policies, access to healthcare, good-paying middle class jobs and an affordable, world-class education system.”

 
 
Lawmaker and civil rights defender views events "not only as a celebration, but a rededication"
March 5, 2015

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President and State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) is traveling to Selma, Alabama tomorrow, Friday, March 6 for events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first historic march that ushered in a civil rights consciousness throughout the nation and ultimately led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“From Selma to Ohio, we are beginning the next chapter in a new generation’s fight for our most basic and sacred rights,” said Reece. “Fifty years later, too many are left wondering where we go from Selma. I view this trip not only as a celebration of the civil rights movement, but as a rededication to our generation’s fight for fairness and justice on new frontlines like Ohio.”

 
 
Proposal mostly mirrors recent bipartisan plan to reform statehouse districts
February 26, 2015

State Representatives Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Mike Curtin (D-Marble Cliff) today introduced a congressional redistricting reform proposal to put before voters. 

 
 

Tuesday night, House lawmakers listened to Governor Kasich lay out his priorities and recap some past policies during his State of the State address in Wilmington.Here is what House lawmakers are saying about the Governor’s State of the State address:

"The trickle-down economic policies that the Governor proposes shift the responsibility of paying for schools, roads and bridges and community services to middle-class families and those that can least afford it. This kind of tax shifting does not create economic growth…We need to invest in what matters to every day Ohioans." – Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati)

“What his proposals actually do is shift the costs of running our state to the poor and middle class in order to provide yet another upper class tax cut, which as yet hasn't provided the growth in both jobs and income that we desperately need...” – Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain)

“At this critical juncture, we must invest in Ohio's students and infrastructure in order to fully ramp up our employment capabilities as we prepare for global economic challenges. This budget makes it even more difficult to effectively educate our students.” – Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson)

“This [budget] proposal is a continuation of the ever increasing burden being placed on our local communities to provide the services their citizens expect with less and less support from the State, which inevitably leads to rising tax rates at the local level.”   -- Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake)

“The Governor's remarks this evening were out of touch with the realities of everyday Ohioans. With 16 percent of Ohioans living in poverty and middle class families' wages stagnating, Governor Kasich wants to shift the burden of restoring our state's economy on to the shoulders of those