House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement today outlining the caucus’s next steps to expand on the Opportunity Agenda for Ohio, their legislative framework to restore Ohio’s promise of better lives, brighter futures and economy that works for everyone. They released a short list of key legislative priorities in the coming months, including delivering fair maps, combatting the coronavirus pandemic and reforming the state’s broken unemployment insurance system.
The caucus recently concluded its Ohio Promise: Opportunity Agenda Tour, a 28-stop, 10-week tour hosted in 24 communities across the state, where hundreds of constituents weighed in on the issues most important to them and their communities.
Leader Sykes released the following statement:
“Across the state, we heard from Ohioans who are frustrated and angry with a Republican-controlled legislature that empowers the extremes of our politics at the expense of progress on the critical issues facing our state.
“Instead of fixing our broken unemployment system and getting our people back to work safely, Republicans have politicized a virus that continues to kill people, jobs, and small businesses.
“Democrats have been listening to Ohioans and we want to end the pandemic, protect workers, raise wages and get our economy moving again, but the gerrymandered Republican majority is holding this state back.
“Ohioans know that if we want to make progress on the issues that matter, from commonsense gun reform to investing in our children’s future, we’re going to need Republicans to get on board and drop the conspiracies and divisive issues they have devoted far too much time to in the first 10 months of this General Assembly.
“We owe it to Ohioans to address the issues that are important to them, not the extreme figures on the fringes of our politics—and that begins with delivering on the promise of fair maps and working to improve the lives of working people and families one day at a time. That’s our priority heading into the final months of this year.”
Democrats today highlighted their short list of priorities heading into the final months of 2021, including:
- Passing bipartisan, 10-year congressional maps that keep communities together and reflects the preferences of Ohio voters;
- Ending the pandemic by improving vaccine access, reducing hesitancy, enacting paid family and medical leave for workers who get sick on the job, among other legislation;
- Fixing Ohio’s broken unemployment insurance system;
- Investing in working people by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour;
- Pushing for commonsense gun safety reforms supported by the majority of Ohioans;
- Protecting victims of the most serious domestic violence cases by passing Aisha’s Law;
- Expanding opportunities for justice for survivors of sexual violence and abuse;
- Pushing back on Republican attacks on Ohioans’ freedom to vote.