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State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today applauded the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity for their work with “Buckeye Build,” while saying state and federal inaction has made affordable housing in the Cleveland area and throughout the state hard to come by. Recent reports show that, though the nation as a whole has experienced a decrease in the number of Americans losing their homes, more Ohioans continue to lose their homes to foreclosure.

“Though affordable housing is out of reach for too many Ohioans and our state continues to be a leader in the number of people losing their homes to foreclosure, I am pleased Habitat for Humanity has managed to build over 180 houses over the last 25 years while engaging politicians to raise awareness and get their hands dirty,” said Howse. “As Ohio’s GOP continues to provide tax cuts for the wealthy while Cleveland and many cities across the state are in dire need of assistance, Habitat for Humanity is working hard to offer some of our most vulnerable populations a path towards economic stability.”

 
 

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today released the following statement regarding the recent vote by the Cleveland City Council to allow transgender Ohioans to choose whichever restroom, shower, or locker room aligns with their gender identity, without fear of discrimination:

 
 
Many rejected ballots belong to infrequent Ohio voters who were purged
July 14, 2016

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) sent the below letter to Secretary of State Jon Husted providing an analysis of the effects of rejecting ballots from ‘purged’ voters in Hamilton County and requesting records to determine the extent of the problem statewide.

“Ohioans who play by the rules are being purged from the rolls and their votes are not being counted as a result. It happened in my county, it happened in Hamilton County, and it happens in every county in our state. People who have properly registered to vote and who are eligible to vote in Ohio are being struck from the rolls arbitrarily. We need to fix this problem immediately and make sure no one is deprived of their fundamental American right to vote.” said Rep. Clyde.

 
 
State hotline would allow for anonymous reports of wage discrimination, information sharing
July 13, 2016
Lawmakers push equal pay hotline as new resource to fight pay discrimination

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today announced a new proposal to fight pay discrimination in Ohio by establishing a toll-free equal pay hotline, an easily accessible, anonymous resource for Ohio workers to report wage discrimination and gather more information to find out if they could be victims of pay discrimination. 

 
 

In a letter sent last week to Speaker Rosenberger and other state leaders*, Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) called on the legislature to convene a task force or special legislative committee to establish a unified statewide strategy for addressing heroin and fentanyl addiction and abuse in the state. The letter comes amidst numerous overdoses that claimed the lives of citizens in Akron last week and in Columbus over the weekend.

“We have begun to address the opiate addiction epidemic destroying our communities, but not at a rate fast enough or with an approach thoughtful and thorough enough to successfully reduce the pain and burdens faced by families and communities across the state,” said Johnson. “We must bring everyone to the table – elected officials, lawmakers, law enforcement and healthcare professionals, advocates, and community members to coordinate an effective and unified strategy to take back our state.”

 
 
Says right to work is wrong bill is an affront to working families, Ohio voters
June 30, 2016

House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today issued the statement below regarding the introduction of House Bill 583, legislation to limit the rights of public employees to collectively bargain: 

“Five years ago, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected Senate Bill (SB) 5, an attack on working families across the state that would have limited workers’ ability to speak with one voice to negotiate for fair wages and safe workplaces. 

 
 
Says politics in Congress prevented approval of crucial funding this week
June 30, 2016

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his frustration over Congress’ majority vote against funding efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus after county health department officials announced that two Mahoning County residents have tested positive for the harmful virus. Federal legislation that reached the Senate floor Tuesday would have appropriated $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika, but Republican lawmakers inserted several various last-minute provisions that forced their Democratic colleagues to block its passage.

“This dangerous virus is in our homeland now – it’s past time to get serious about this epidemic,” said Boccieri. “We’ve got to be able to test people and prevent the virus from spreading. Part of the funding that the majority of Congressmen and women voted against would have been appropriated for testing, which could involve utilizing our mass aerial spray mission at the Youngstown Air Reserve Base. While citizens back home are getting sick, Congress is scoring political points. I believe we need to vote on a clean bill, with no other unrelated provisions on Obamacare or anything else.”

 
 
Bipartisan recommendations aim to keep families together, connect youth with critical support services
June 29, 2016
State lawmakers, advocates reveal action plan to support Ohio families with multi-system youth

State Reps. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today joined families, youth, advocates and colleagues from across the aisle to announce the release of the Joint Legislative Committee on Multi-System Youth Recommendations, a bipartisan action plan on how the state can better deliver behavioral and developmental services to children and families in need while reducing the need for custody relinquishment. 

 
 
Say Ohio can be beacon of equality, opportunity and freedom
June 24, 2016

Democratic state lawmakers today called for the state legislature to consider three bills they say will guarantee equal opportunity for gay, lesbian and transgender Ohioans. The renewed push for consideration comes in the wake of the tragic Orlando massacre that targeted the LGBT community and in advance of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to guarantee marriage equality in America.

“Our state and our country have taken great strides toward true equality over the past several years, but there is still much work to do to ensure LGBTQ members of our community have an equal opportunity to work, have a safe place to call their home and – most importantly – be who they are without fear of intimidation, coercion or violence,” said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “Ohio has an opportunity to create a more inclusive society that promotes freedom and opportunity for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”   

 
 
Report shows state drops to 26th in nation for overall child well-being
June 24, 2016

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today issued the following statement in response to data found in the 2016 Kids Count Data Book, which shows that Ohio’s rank for overall child well-being has dropped from 23rd to 26th in the nation:

“Unfortunately, it should come as little surprise that nearly one in four kids are living in poverty and young adults cannot afford to pay the rising tuition to attend college. Instead of passing policies to benefit working families and their children, the legislature has repeatedly shifted taxes to benefit the wealthiest Ohioans and steered hard-earned taxpayer money to failing, for-profit charters schools.