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Erin Ryan · October 13, 2016

RELEASE: Ohio Leaders and Voters Call on Senate Candidates to Address Key Working Family Policies in Debate


October 13, 2016
Contact: Terrence Clark, (202) 741-8251,

RELEASE: Ohio Leaders and Voters Call on Senate Candidates to Address Key Working Family Policies in Debate

Ohio Leaders and Elected Local Officials to Underscore Need to Put Women and Working Family Policies at the Forefront of the National Dialogue and Shape the Politics of the Future

Columbus, OH – Today, Ohio leaders and elected officials discussed strategies to move the conversation forward on progressive policies central to Ohio families. Nearly 15 local organizations, representing a large electorate, released a letter calling on Ohio U.S. Senate candidates – Rob Portman and Ted Strickland – to put key issues impacting women and working families at the forefront at their upcoming debates.

From affordable child care and access to paid leave, to student debt and raising the minimum wage, working families and their needs are shaping the 2016 elections in races at every level. Ohio elected officials –U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Columbus City Council Member Elizabeth Brown, State Representatives Emilia Sykes and Stephanie Howse, and Toledo Mayor Paula Hudson Hicks – addressed the issues central to women and working families, and how to move the needle to ensure all elected leaders and candidates are not only talking about child care, paid leave and other key issues, but shaping the politics of 2017.

“For the first time, issues like child care and paid leave are at the forefront of the national debate,” stated Katie Hamm, Senior Director of Early Childhood Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “As families face growing child care costs and limited access to work-family policies like paid leave, there is growing awareness across the country that we need a national solution. Voters are demanding it of their candidates.”

Alongside other costs, working families in the United States lose out on at least $28.9 billion in lost wages annually due to lack of access to affordable child care and paid family and medical leave — severely crippling a major sect of the U.S. workforce. Child care for an Ohio family with two young children pay an average of more than $16,000 per year at a child care center, causing parents, especially working mothers, to exit the workforce to become full time caregivers, costing them hundreds of thousands in lifetime earnings.

During the event, numerous advocacy and labor organizations, on behalf of tens of thousands of Ohioans, presented a letter as a call to action for former Gov. Ted Strickland and Sen. Rob Portman to prioritize these key issues during the upcoming debates. Sen. Sherrod Brown also addressed the Columbus audience on their power to influence local and national politics.

“The success of working families and their access to opportunity have a direct correlation to our economic health, “stated Erin Ryan, Women’s Issues Program Manager for Innovation Ohio. “Lawmakers have a responsibility to advance sound, robust policy solutions that provide a pathway to economic security for working families, and Ohioans – and all Americans –deserve to know that our candidates are putting this first.”

Among the organizations involved in this call to action are: The Ohio Democratic Party
The Center for American Progress Action Fund
Innovation Ohio
SEIU District 1199WV/KY/OH
Progress Ohio
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio Ohio AFL-CIO
Stand Up For Ohio


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