Issues

Opportunity Guarantee for Every Ohioan

The American Dream means economic opportunity for everyone, regardless of the circumstances of your birth. Ohio was once a beacon of such opportunity. I know because I lived it. My story is an Ohio story. But Ohio has changed. A generation of politicians have sold us out. We need a U.S. Senator who is unbought and free to go all out to guarantee opportunity for all by fighting for the following policies:

For Ohio’s Economy

  • Bring Good Jobs Home. At one point, Ohio had more high-paying jobs than any state in the country. Today, we have one of the lowest. This is the unacceptable result of decades of manufacturing jobs getting shipped overseas. It’s decimated the middle class and gutted our communities. Yes, we need businesses to do well, but not at the expense of working families. We need to stop multinational corporations from outsourcing jobs to low-paying, union-busting countries and dodging their taxes, and instead, create secure, high-paying jobs here at home. 
  • Level the Playing Field. Cleveland is one of the poorest cities in America. Columbus is one of the most economically segregated places in the country. Many of the Southern counties in Ohio, including many of Ohio’s Appalachian communities in rural parts of the state, are experiencing devastating levels of poverty.  The free market isn’t free as long as large, multinational corporate monopolies get to make and break the rules while the rest of us suffer. We must refresh antitrust and labor law so workers have power, and so small and medium-sized businesses can start, grow, compete and pay a living wage.
  • Universal Healthcare. America has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, yet delivers among the worst results. Insulin costs more here than anywhere else in the world. One million Ohioans lost their jobs during the pandemic, and as a result many lost their healthcare coverage as well. Another four million struggle to afford it. At any moment, an employer providing healthcare can change the terms. Rising costs make healthcare an economic burden on both small businesses and workers. To do something about this, we must be honest about the forces arrayed against change. Big Pharma and the insurance industry pay billions lobbying Congress to keep healthcare costs high and healthcare outcomes low. To ensure coverage and control costs, we must implement universal health care through Medicare for All – including mental healthcare.
  • Made Clean in Ohio. Where better than Ohio to jumpstart the Clean Energy Manufacturing Revolution? Renewable energy will create millions of well-paying union jobs, trillions in investments called for by the Green New Deal, and exponential growth the same way the automobile and computer revolutions did. Wind turbine technicians make, on average, $52,000 per year, and represent one of the best maintenance and repair jobs in the country. Protecting the future is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and Ohio can be a leader in getting us there.
  • Investing in Rural Ohio. Half of Ohio does not have access to broadband. How can small businesses thrive, entrepreneurs innovate. or medium-sized businesses grow if they cannot access this critical utility? Big Ag has depressed wages, crushed family farms and put small farmers out of business. Guaranteeing opportunity in rural Ohio requires fighting back against Big Ag and breaking them up so that families can run the farms, not multinational monopolies. 

For Young Ohioans

  • Debt-free public education. Ohio’s public schools and universities were the engine that built our middle class. But today, the future of Ohio’s young people is being erased by unequal school funding and massive student debt. We need to take federal action to forgive student debt, and invest massive resources in public colleges, trade schools, and community colleges to make sure young people are prepared for the jobs of the future here in Ohio.  
  • Clean Environment. Every community deserves clean air, clean water, and safety from extreme weather. We cannot leave our grandchildren an uninhabitable world, a world of asthma and poisoned water, of destructive fires and floods. We need the massive investments and political will called for by the Green New Deal to fight the climate crisis — and create hundreds of thousands of union jobs in the process. The recent IPCC report left no doubt: the time to act is now.
  • Safe Streets. We need to end the violence across Ohio. That means getting dangerous weapons out of the hands of those with mental health issues. But the most important thing to keep our communities safe, is getting at the root cause of why many people, including young people, resort to violence. We must make sure that all of our young people have good schools, access to mental healthcare, and access to well-paying job opportunities that they are prepared to work in. In my first 90 days, I will call on faith leaders, community leaders, activists, healthcare professionals to come up with a comprehensive plan for keeping our streets safe.
  • Ending the Opioid Crisis. More people have died from overdoses in Ohio than any other state in the country except West Virginia and New Hampshire. The opioid epidemic is devastating a generation of young Ohioans. We need to get drugs off our streets and hold the drug pushers responsible, including Big Pharma. We have to ensure that naloxone and comprehensive drug treatment programs are available in every community.

For Working Ohioans

  • Worker’s Rights. Ohio’s minimum wage of $9.30 doesn’t even cover the cost of renting an apartment in most parts of the state. Ohio workers have lost their bargaining power. It is time to pass the PRO Act and support the massive new wave of unionization we’re seeing across the country. America’s middle class was built by unions, but over time, corporate lobbying changed that balance of power. Our communities need leaders who will bring that power back to working people, allowing them to organize and undo the damage done by 40 years of unchecked corporate power.
  • Affordable Childcare. Ohioans are doers and strivers. Each person in our state should have the opportunity to work and care for their families. Half a million working mothers in Ohio are parents to children under 6. Most cannot afford quality childcare. Only two states make it harder to get childcare than Ohio. Pre-K for all children is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in Ohio. My mother was able to afford childcare for me and my brother, even as a single mother, because she had a stable union job. It’s possible. I know because I lived it.

For Retired Ohioans–Secure, Stable and Safe Retirement

  • Kinship Care. Many retired Ohioans hope their children and grandchildren will stay in Ohio and take care of them as they age. Part of keeping young people here is creating economic opportunity. The other crucial part is making sure we are supporting those who become primary caregivers for aging family members. Also, many older Ohioans are unexpectedly becoming caretakers for their grandchildren. Caregivers need financial support to provide this care. They should get paid a living wage.   
  • Cut Property Taxes. Research shows that staying in one’s home as you age leads to better health outcomes. With the rising costs in many housing markets across Ohio, many seniors are finding it hard to keep up with the costs of their housing, even if they no longer have mortgages. We must support seniors, many of whom are living on fixed incomes, by reducing their property tax burden as they age.
  • Fraud Protection. Retirees are often targeted by scammers who fraudulently prey on them and steal their money. My mother was one of those who were scammed. These scams increased during the pandemic and will only continue if we don’t put a stop to it. While I was at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, this was one area I was focused on, but career politicians stood in the way of fighting these scammers. As Senator, I would empower the CFPB to specifically target and stop scam artists.
  • Social Security & Medicare: Won’t let anyone in Congress touch it.

For All Ohioans

  • Reproductive Freedom. We cannot let an extremist Supreme Court take away our fundamental right to choose. Our bodies are our own. This is a fight I will never, ever waver on. I was born to a teenager who was not prepared to raise me and gave me up for adoption. At the core of that story is a decision, a decision that every person has a right to make for themselves. We will stand together to make sure the far-right cannot drag our communities backwards, putting lives at risk and cutting reproductive healthcare resources.
  • Affordable Housing. One of the cornerstones to pursue opportunity is a stable home. With housing and rental costs increasing across Ohio, we need to increase the supply of and improve the quality of existing housing that is available. That will require more enforcement and investment in rehabilitating existing housing. On a teacher’s salary my single mother was able to raise me and my brother in a safe neighborhood. Affordable housing was the key.
  • Voting rights. Far-right extremists have declared war on voting rights, the cornerstone of our democracy. We urgently need to fight back at the federal level. We must pass the John Lewis Act and the For The People Act, and work to make our elections more secure. The citizens of Washington DC deserve statehood. Arcane Senate rules like the filibuster cannot stand between our people and their rights. The Supreme Court should be expanded to restore balance after Trump stole seats to push the Court far right. At a basic level, our communities cannot gain back their power if our people are denied their right to vote.
  • Racial Justice. We remember that Ohio was a leader in the abolitionist and civil rights movements. Far-right extremists have tried to use racist distractions to turn Ohioans against one another. We won’t let them. We’ll put an end to violent policing, end inequities in the criminal justice system, and make sure that Black and brown communities get the resources they deserve. True justice also requires closing the wealth gap with systemic reparations.
  • Disability Rights. We must protect the civil rights and economic security of people with disabilities and their families. We need to expand and improve programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to ensure that they are meeting the needs of disabled people and their families. We must also support children with disabilities and their families with the educational access and support they need. We must provide quality healthcare to all individuals regardless of disability, and improve the ability of disabled people to lead independent lives.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights. We need to protect equal justice under the law for all Americans, and we must end discrimination against LGBTQ people. Toward that end, it’s long past time for the Equality Act to become law. In addition, we must go further to address a wide variety of issues still facing LGBTQ Americans, while also remaining vigilant in protecting the legal progress we’ve already won. We must fight shoulder to shoulder to protect equality every day.
  • How We Pay For It. Close tax loopholes. Avoid endless wars. Invest in us.