COLUMBUS – House Democrats today held a press conference to introduce the People First agenda. House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), Assistant Minority Leader Dontavious Jarrells (D-Columbus), Minority Whip Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park), Assistant Minority Whip Tavia Galonski (D-Akron), Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Westlake) and OLBC President Terrance Upchurch (D-Cleveland) spoke at the press conference detailing the People First legislative priorities.
“We can have better jobs, wage growth and an economy that works for all of us if we invest in our greatest economic resource—people,” said Leader Russo. “Together, we can have the freedom to vote, dignity in our work and daily lives, and economic opportunity and prosperity for our families.”
For Ohio to be a welcoming state for both economic development and those in need we must fund projects that are key economic drivers in communities in need of investment, including more affordable housing and affordable, quality child care,” said Rep. Jarrells. “Being People First means creating an Ohio that meets people where they are—where no one is unseen, unheard or uninspired to reach greatness.”
“We know that preparing the workforce of the future starts in the classrooms of today. We can’t afford to subsidize non-public schools while not adequately investing in the anchors of our communities all across Ohio – good public schools,” said Rep. Miranda.
“Investing in Ohio’s workers is vital in ensuring Ohio’s success,” said Rep. Galonski. “It promotes economic growth, social mobility, innovation, and inclusivity, leading to a more prosperous and vibrant state of all Ohio. That’s what putting People First can look like in Ohio.”
“The state budget is a blueprint for our future and a key indicator of Ohio’s priorities as well as our People First priorities. It is one of the most important pieces of legislation, appropriating funds for the government over the next two years. After many long hours and late nights, I am confident that we have arrived at a balanced, bipartisan budget that better reflects the needs of our state and truly invests in our communities,” said Rep. Sweeney. “Many of the key provisions in this budget are not simply Democratic priorities or Republican priorities; they are Ohio’s priorities.”
“Our focus will remain on a comprehensive gun safety package that includes background checks, extreme risk protection orders and safe storage requirements—the things we know will reduce gun violence and save lives,” said Rep. Upchurch. “The OLBC and the Black Maternal Health Caucus have been working to address systemic issues in our healthcare system with a focus on Black women and children. Black women in Ohio are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. We cannot stand by as our mothers, wives, and daughters are put at increased risk during childbirth.”