Responses to CCPC's endorsement application questionnaire from:
Andrew Schriver, Candidate for Ohio House of Representatives, District 10
Political Party Affiliation: Democratic Party
Current or previous elected offices: none
1. I am committed to public transit that works for residents and stands as one of the clearest ways we can address economic inequality. Transit must be safe, available, well-funded, and reliable for everyone in my district and for all of Ohio. This is one of the best ways to build a healthy city and region. But in the last eight years, Kasich and the State House have looted our communities with “smash-and-grab” budgets and regressive tax plans, and they’ve filled in the holes by cutting funding for GCRTA again and again. And when cities, counties, and even riders propose innovative solutions that meet local needs, our government finds ways to stop us for improving transit. It’s a reverse Robin Hood situation that steals from the poor to fund tax cuts for the rich. Hard hit communities like our district get hit even harder when RTA has to shift the burden to riders through rate hikes and reduced service. Economic justice means we need to fix this for everyone who needs public transportation to get to work and school. I’ve been proud to work together with groups like Clevelanders for Public Transit who are not only fighting back, but organizing riders and residents to regain control over this vital public resource. When elected, one of my primary goals will be a massive overhaul in the way Ohio supports public transit. No more rate hikes. No more route reductions. Restore funding to pre-Kasich levels. It’s time for us to step up and make government do what it is supposed to do: provide for its citizens.
2. Economic justice means more than just getting a raise. I am committed to fighting for a living wage, but it’s not enough if we just Fight for $15: we need to fight for a living wage and a union for all workers. Labor is under siege, undermined at every turn by politicians who care more about their donors than their voters. The Kasich administration is coming to an end, but the stain of corporate cronyism will persist in Columbus until we scour it from the halls of the Statehouse. Big business is looting our public institutions while their Republican lackeys stand guard in the General Assembly. While they once had a seat at the bargaining table, working families and the unions that represent them are no longer welcome. I am committed to changing this by making sure all workers are paid a living wage and can organize to protect their rights. Ohio will not become a so-called “right-to-work” state. I will fight to prevent reckless anti-worker policies and ensure that workers can organize without fear of retaliation. Employers who attempt to strip workers of their rights and benefits will be held accountable. I will not let the State House ignore how businesses evade responsibility by misclassifying workers as “independent contractors.” And I know the most vulnerable workers today are often the least organized, so I will propose a Worker’s Bill of Rights to protect everyone in retail and service industries with a set of laws ensuring fair scheduling, predictable pay, and basic worker protections. Workers need to be paid for time spent “on call,” families need a guarantee of their schedule well in advance, and we must prevent prevent businesses from punishing part-time workers who seek to unionize or fight back against discrimination on the job. Strong labor means a strong Ohio.
1. We must expand ballot access. Not only are our districts under attack, but our very right to participate is as well. Under the Kasich administration, Jon Husted, our well-beloved Secretary of State, has lead one of the most aggressive voter suppression movements in the country. Not only are the voter purges and restrictions wrong, they are actively undermining our democracy. Through initiatives like automatic voter registration and expanded early voting, we can create a system where everyone is able to have a voice. 2. Even with the recent compromise on redistricting, I am committed to continue to work for fairer districts where voters know who their representative is and where elections are fair and competitive. Look at the 10th State house District. Tremont and Hough, Ohio City and Glenville, Clark-Fulton and Downtown. These are communities with different needs and different priorities. Currently, they are packed together, compressed into a nonsensical district for one reason: ensuring a Republican majority in Columbus. If elected to the 10th district, I will make sure the district is drawn to suit the needs of the voters, not to push agendas. Instead of representatives choosing their voters, we need districts where voters choose their representatives.
1. We need Equal Funding for Equal Defense: Many defendants in Ohio’s court system find themselves there due to the inherent racial bias in policing and prosecution. The US Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right to counsel. Without effective and passionate attorneys, this right is meaningless. Many criminal defendants, however, are largely dependent on an underfunded and overworked public defense system. In Cuyahoga County, the prosecutor’s office receives roughly three times the budget and employs twice as many attorneys. This discrepancy reveals the true agenda of the state: locking away people they deem as “undesirable.” The denial of adequate counsel is a vital part of a system more concerned with punishment than rehabilitation. As Representative, I will fight the racial disparities in the criminal justice system by ensuring that public defenders have the resources they need to protect their clients’ Constitutional rights to the fullest.
2. Ohio must bring an End Police Brutality: From Tamir Rice to Philando Castile to Thomas Yatsko, victims of police violence cannot be protected by the current system. Police murders of people of color are investigated and prosecuted by local agencies are more concerned with their relationship with the police than enforcing the law. A better solution is possible; local prosecutors currently have the option to ask the Ohio Attorney General to investigate instances of police violence—yet few, if any, ever do so. I will introduce legislation that makes this mandatory, so that these murders are always investigated and prosecuted by an impartial body. The Attorney General can act independently of police unions and local pressures that undermine these investigations.
1. Lake Erie contains about 127 trillion gallons of freshwater. As Clevelanders, Lake Erie is not only our defining geographic feature; it is our most valuable asset, a rarity to be envied by the entire planet. And it is our responsibility to protect our lake. This should be a point of pride shared by all Ohioans, not a fight against shortsighted corporate interests. In 2014, we had to declare a state of emergency because a toxic algal bloom rendered Toledo’s water unsafe to drink, even after boiling it. Toledo, so close to trillions of gallons of freshwater you could literally walk over and cup it in your hands, needed the National Guard to truck drinking water into the city. There is absolutely no reason for this. It is negligence and incompetence if we are being kind, criminal dereliction of duty if we are being truthful. As a representative from Cleveland, I will be fervent in the defense of our lake: be it phosphorus runoff from concentrated animal feeding operations, overflow from decaying drainage infrastructure, or greedy interests looking to profit off the sale of our water, Lake Erie must be protected. The half-measures taken at the state level to preserve the quality of our water are not enough.
2. Ohio has been poisoning its children for years, and we must take dramatic action to end lead poisoning. . In 2014, the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply with lead captivated the nation. As a result of the crisis, Cleveland decided to have the water levels in its schools checked, something that has been an inconsistent practice since 2000. Upon running the tests, it was discovered that this pollution festered in the water supply at levels far outstripping those that are typically a cause for concern. Studies show that even the smallest amount of lead in the body can cause IQ deficits and learning or behavioral problems. No federal laws are in place to require schools to test for lead. How can we be so irresponsible, especially when our children are involved? As your representative, I will propose legislation that requires regular testing of schools to keep our children safe and healthy.
1. Ohio must support refugees and protect immigrants. My district is truly one of the most diverse districts in Ohio, and I am proud of the fact that we welcome families from across the world, especially refugees who come here to escape brutal conditions elsewhere. Currently, the federal government provides some assistance to newly-arrived refugees, but after this period ends our newest residents depend on state-run programs to help them fin employment, learn English, and fully join our community. But lawmakers continue to cut these necessary programs so that they can continue to cut taxes for big corporations and the 1%. For example, Ohio has now combined two previously separate programs for refugees – one for adults with professional degrees and one for teenagers – into one program, even though the needs of these two groups are drastically different. As your representative, I will ensure that our community remains strong and diverse by supporting our newest neighbors. State programs that assist refugees should have the resources to provide mental health services, assistance with navigating our country’s healthcare system, and targeted job, family, and educational services rather than the current one-size-fits-all approach.
2. Justice transcends the boundaries of our districts, and fighting for justice in all its dimensions goes beyond Ohio. Every fight for justice is international, and as a proud democratic socialist I recognize that our fights for healthcare, organized labor, an end to all forms of oppression are part of a worldwide struggle. I am a socialist because I believe that the people – regardless of their immigration status or country of origin – have a right to make democratic decisions about our shared resources. And the decisions that we make here in Ohio will echo across the country and around the world. But every day, Ohioans must fear being ripped from their families and their homes due to their immigration status. And while some of our cities – including Cleveland – have taken steps to protect our friends and neighbors, the federal government has promised to punish us. The State of Ohio must step in to shield our communities and protect the right of every village, municipality, city, and county to protect their residents.
1. Our state must stand in solidarity with LGBT+ Ohioans. As a proud member of the LGBT+ community, I have seen firsthand the struggle for justice that our community constantly fights. In recent years, brutal violence directed at LGBT+ people has increased at an alarming rate. Transgender women of color have been especially targeted for homophobic violence and murder, while the state stands idly by. LGBT+ children are more likely to commit suicide, drop out of school, and end up homeless. Appropriate sex education for LGBT+ children is nonexistent in many places. Our state, shamefully, lacks basic protections in housing and employment equality for LGBT+ individuals. As your representative, I will fight for my fellow LGBT+ Ohioans. This means joining Rep. Nickie Antonio in passing the Ohio Fairness Act, ensuring that school administrators and local officials take homophobic bullying and violence seriously, and guaranteeing adequate state funding specifically directed at homeless LGBT+ people and for equality in sex education.
2. The War on Women has gone on for too long in our government, in our workplaces, and in every aspect of our society. Women face constant attacks from legislators and discrimination from employers. Too many women face harassment and assault every day, and I will always stand with them in solidarity and work for ways to enforce greater equality. But we know that women, especially poor women and women of color, are attacked most often by state policies and legislation. While too many legislators spend their time praising “personal responsibility,” they also work to deny access to birth control and education. Instead of trying to expand healthcare, they work tirelessly to shut down women’s health clinics across the state, only to immediately turn around and blame unplanned pregnancies on the women themselves while making it difficult for women to obtain birth control. When legislators cut access and services to patch holes in the budget, they don’t seem to realize how health care and pregnancy affects all facets of a woman’s life. The earlier she gets pregnant, the less likely a woman is to have a higher education. Access to birth control and sexual education not only improves the chances for women to succeed but, more importantly, lets women decide when they are ready to start a family. It is time for the party of “small government” to get out of the most intimate decisions Ohioans make. As your Representative, I will work with my fellow legislators to start undoing the damage that has been done to women’s health care in Ohio. The lack of resources available for women to care for themselves during pregnancy, or to prevent one they aren’t ready for, is creating unnecessary hardship.