This campaign is about giving power back to communities all across Ohio. In the US Senate, I will be a fierce advocate for working people, fighting against the far-right and greedy corporations who have controlled Washington, D.C. for too long. We need policy written by the people of Ohio, not by lobbyists and special interests. Understanding why things have gotten so bad for so many families is the key to finding real solutions, universal protections, and true justice.
For generations, Ohio had more high-paying jobs per capita than any other state in the country. We were leaders in standard of living, innovation, wealth creation, and shared prosperity. We were leaders in the civil rights movement and the abolitionist movement, fighting together for a multi-racial democracy that worked for all of us. Our state led because we had political, labor and civil rights leaders who organized our communities and turned up for change. These leaders didn’t take donations from the multinational corporations who siphoned opportunity away and fleeced hard-working Americans — they fought them. We need to restore that kind of unafraid leadership in Ohio.
Over the course of this campaign, we will be rolling out an ambitious policy vision in collaboration with working people across the state. Below is a preview of some of the issues we will focus on:
- Universal Healthcare. Healthcare is a human right. But our system is failing Ohioans, 1 million of whom lost their healthcare during the pandemic. Giving power back to our communities means that no one dies or goes bankrupt because of medical treatment, and everyone can afford their prescription drugs. The best way to achieve universal healthcare is by extending Medicare, a proven program, to every citizen.
- Universal Childcare. Every child should be cared for and enrolled in early learning regardless of their parent’s income or working status. It’s the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in our country. Cleveland and Columbus have some of the highest poverty rates in the country. Giving power back to our communities means supporting working parents and giving every child an early start on learning.
- Universal 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 equitably fund primary and secondary schools across the state, take federal action to forgive student debt, and invest massive resources in public colleges, trade schools, and community colleges. Our communities prosper when everyone has a real chance to succeed.
- End the Pandemic. In order to rebuild our communities we need to put an end to deadly outbreaks with smart public policy. That means continued direct support to the millions of people who lost jobs, housing, and small businesses because of the pandemic. And that means working to make sure we defeat the coronavirus the way we defeated polio, mumps, and measles: universal vaccinations.
- Racial Justice. The far-right has tried to use racist distractions to turn Ohioans against one another. We won’t let them. We remember that Ohio was a leader in the abolitionist and civil rights movements. 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 requires that we move forward by reckoning with our past, which is why we also need to begin the process of closing the wealth gap with systemic reparations.
- Environmental Justice. 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.
- Reproductive Rights. We cannot let an ultra-conservative Supreme Court take away our fundamental right to choose. Our bodies are our own. This is a fight I will never, ever waver on. We will stand together to make sure the far-right cannot drag our communities backwards, putting lives at risk and cutting reproductive healthcare resources.
- Workers’ Rights. It is time to pass the PRO Act and begin a massive new wave of unionization across the country. America’s middle class was built by unions. In a time of intense corporate greed and declining wages, our communities need leaders who will confront corporate power (not bow to them after accepting their donations) and organize to create more powerful unions.
- Fixing Our Democracy. The far-right has declared war on voting rights, the cornerstone of our democracy. We urgently need to fight back at the federal level. We need to 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.
- Safe Streets. We need to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Keeping our communities safe means standing up to the National Rifle Association and the politicians who’ve been bought by the gun lobby.
- 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 individuals with disabilities and their families. We must also support children with disabilities and their families with early interventions and the educational access they need. We must provide quality healthcare to all individuals regardless of disability and improve the ability of individuals with disabilities 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 that much of the legal progress we’ve already won cannot be overturned by an ultra-conservative Supreme Court. We must fight shoulder to shoulder to protect equality every day.