Joe Schiavoni

Responses to CCPC's endorsement application questionnaire from:

Joe Schiavoni, Candidate for Governor of Ohio

Political Party Affiliation:

Current or previous elected offices:  Current State Senator, 33rd District. Former Senate Minority Leader.

Issue Responses

Economic justice

I'm proud that my jobs plan for Ohio encompasses most of the topics listed above. It is based on real bills that I've fought for at the Statehouse since 2009. Step one: close the "LLC Loophole," a massive tax loophole for wealthy corporations that costs Ohio over $1 billion every year and has failed to create any "trickle down" jobs. We can use the money saved for my jobs plan - and still have tens of millions left over! Step Two: my jobs plan will:
  • Protect collective bargaining rights to ensure workers get paid a decent wage and are protected on the job.
  • Invest in upgrades for our roads, bridges and sewage systems to create thousands of jobs right here in Ohio.
  • Encourage new jobs in growing fields by supporting green tech and emerging industries.
  • Train skilled workers with career tech education and union training programs.
  • Support small businesses with targeted tax credits that add new jobs and make important upgrades.
  • Make potential job sites build-ready by cleaning up blight.
  • Raise the minimum wage to give more workers the ability to support their families.
  • Protect existing Ohio jobs by ending tax credits to companies that go overseas.
  • Read the full jobs plan here:
  • Read my college affordability plan here:
  • Read my career tech education plan here:
  • Read my transportation and infrastructure plan here:
Healthcare is also a critical piece of economic justice. Everyone needs access to quality, affordable healthcare in order to live successful, productive lives. I support bills at the national level that move us toward universal healthcare, including Sen. Sanders' Medicare For All bill and Sen. Sherrod Brown's bill to lower the eligibility age to 55. As governor, I will do everything I can to increase and improve healthcare options for all Ohioans. As state senator, I have been fighting to protect Medicaid from constant attacks at the Statehouse. I've also been working to increase access to providers across the state, especially in underserved areas. " My bipartisan bill to expand broadband internet would help rural hospitals treat more patients using telemedicine. " I also fight for state support for healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood. These providers offer options to low-income families in underserved rural and urban areas. In addition, I am fighting every day to preserve and improve healthcare and block GOP efforts to cripple Medicaid and jeopardize private insurance. When I'm governor, Ohio's Department of Insurance, Department of Medicaid, and Department of Health will be entirely committed to getting as many people as possible the care they need to live independent, productive lives. I will not sign a state budget or any bill that doesn't recognize citizens' health as a primary responsibility of government.

Political justice

Throughout my time at the Statehouse, I have fought to redraw district lines in a nonpartisan manner, protect voting rights for all Ohioans, and increase voter participation throughout the state. In 2013, I co-sponsored a bill with Senator Nina Turner that included early voting protection, online voter registration, better handling of provisional ballots, and protection against long lines. I have also cosponsored a bill to create automatic voter registration in Ohio. As Senate Minority Leader, I was one of four legislators to negotiate the resolution that became Issue 1 in 2015. Thanks to Issue 1, State House district lines will be drawn in a nonpartisan manner in 2020. Most recently, I have supported the Fair Districts Ohio movement in their efforts to collect signatures to redraw Ohio's congressional lines properly. Their volunteers are always welcome to collect signatures at my events. In the Statehouse, I spoke out when Fair Districts Ohio advocates were shouted down by one of my GOP colleagues in committee. The Fair Districts initiative has been led by passionate Ohioans. They deserve to be heard in their Statehouse. Similarly, I voted for the redistricting compromise that just passed the Statehouse because it had the blessing of these advocacy groups. In addition, when I am governor, I will push the Democratic Party to place less emphasis on money and allow voters - not party insiders - to decide the nominees in open primaries. I will also work with advocacy groups to examine ways to lessen the impact of money in politics in our state. No candidate should be left behind because they don't have high-dollar connections in other states.
Read more about my voting rights records here:
Read more about my push for fair districts here:

Racial justice

I truly believe that education is the key to success in every area - including racial justice. Every single Ohioan deserves a fair shot in life. Without high quality public schools, we place children at an automatic disadvantage that they may never overcome. Education has always been one of my top priorities at the Statehouse. I have fought to fund our schools as a priority, decrease child poverty through the use of wraparound services in schools, and address the ongoing graduation crisis. I have also fought to regulate for-profit charter schools that make money off our kids. I am proud to have led the fight to reform ECOT and online charter schools for several years.
Read more about my education plan and record here:
In addition, I have fought to increase funding to our local governments so our communities can afford to train law enforcement officers properly. When local governments are forced to make cuts, they often scale back police training. That decision causes much less backlash than laying off officers. But it is dangerous for community members and law enforcement to expect officers to handle intense situations without adequate training. When I am governor, local governments will be funded properly, and I will encourage proper training in areas such as crisis situations, mental health calls, and racial sensitivity. If we can't find the funding that way, we will find it elsewhere. Police training must be a priority. In addition, our state and local governments need to do a better job at bolstering community police relations. We need programs that incentivize officers to live and spend time where they work, in order to build trust and decrease tensions. As governor, I will work with state leaders and local law enforcement to improve community police relations and build a framework for maintaining such incentives long term. I also have a detailed plan to revitalize areas of the state that have been forgotten and allowed to become run-down. We see this all the time in Youngstown. It is bad for business and dangerous for the community. The state needs to invest in struggling areas by cleaning up blight and creating build-ready sites for new jobs and opportunities to come in. I have introduced several bills to help make this happen in Ohio.
Lastly - I am currently working on legislation to address the very real problem of food deserts in our state. Too many Ohioans are forced to travel long distances - which can be difficult without access to public transportation - to find fresh, nutritious food. This is a problem we can solve - and I am working with the experts to find the best solution possible.

Environmental justice

This is another critical issue for our state - not only for our environment but for our state economy. In order to move Ohio forward, we need to support emerging technologies such as wind, solar, and energy efficiency. I've fought hard in the Statehouse to restore Ohio's clean energy standards, which are under constant attack by the GOP majority. In addition:
  1. I have introduced bills to invest in green infrastructure and new water projects, both of which would create jobs for Ohio workers.
  2. I am strongly opposed drilling in areas such our state parks, which should be protected for use by future generations. I introduced amendments to protect these areas.
  3. I have fought for years for a bill to increase penalties for people who dump brine (a byproduct of drilling) into waterways.
  4. I have fought to protect homes and residents from drilling, as well as for increased regulations surrounding its use.
When it comes to clean water, part of Ohio's problem has been that we keep putting new chemicals into our water to try and clean it. We can't just dump chemicals into the water and call it safe. We need to invest in repairing and replacing crumbling water systems so they don't harm our water in the first place. I have a resolution, SJR 4 (previously SJR 3), which would use bond money to fix and replace crumbling underground water infrastructure. This bill would NOT raise taxes. It has bipartisan support in the Statehouse, so we will keep pushing to move it forward. Last General Assembly, I also joined forces with US Senator Sherrod Brown to fight for water infrastructure at a state and national level. The issue of water quality hits close to home for me in several ways - from Mill Creek Park to Sebring to Lake Erie. After a water crisis in Sebring, Ohio, in my district, I introduced legislation to make sure Ohio residents are always alerted to potential dangers in their water. I will never stop working on solutions that will actually clean up Ohio's water systems, not just throw a bandage over a larger problem. I've also been traveling the state speaking to experts about the algae blooms in Lake Erie. This past Summer, I went out with a scientist from the Ohio Sea Grant Program to see the algal bloom in person and ask questions about how we can address this growing issue. As governor, I will make sure water quality is a state priority. I will fight to keep Ohio's water safe, clean, and protected for future generations.

International justice

As governor, one of the most important things I can do to push for international justice is to protect and care for immigrants and refugees in my state. I have recently been fighting to get one of Youngstown's favorite entrepreneurs out of prison. This man, Amer "Al Adi" Othman, helped rebuild downtown Youngstown by opening a store and hiring local workers. He was not a threat to anyone - he was a member of our community. Al just wanted to be at home with his loved ones while decisions were made about his future. Yet ICE arrested him without warning and forced him to sit in prison rather than say goodbye to his family. That should be unacceptable to us. State leaders need to push Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan that treats human beings with dignity and respect. I have also recently spent time with some DACA recipients living in the Columbus area. These Dreamers were brought to the US when they were small children. This is the only home they know. It was powerful and troubling to hear about the uncertainties they face on a daily basis. State leaders must demand that Congress renew DACA to allow these amazing Ohioans to continue to live, work, and thrive in our state. As governor, I will push the federal government to take action on the issues creating fear and uncertainty within these communities.

Social Justice

At the Statehouse, we are constantly defending the rights of Ohio women against endless attacks on their reproductive freedoms. I have a proven track record as an advocate for access to care. I will always stand up in committee and on the Senate floor to fight back against these ridiculous and often unconstitutional bills. All state leaders need to trust women to make their own decisions about their medical needs. We must support access to affordable birth control, safe and legal abortion, and accurate medical information from qualified professionals. Reproductive freedom means respecting working parents as well. Every Ohio worker deserves paid leave to care for a new child or sick relative. I cosponsored my colleague Senator Cafaro's paid leave bill, as well as a bill to require accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers. I will veto any bill (or item) that attacks a woman's right to choose or access to care. I am also a proud supporter of equal rights for racial and ethnic minorities and LGBTQ Ohioans. As governor, will push for the passage of bills to prevent discrimination and build a culture of support for all Ohioans, no matter who they are, how they worship, or whom they love. My cabinet will be diverse, and I will actively seek out diverse opinions on critical issues, as I do with each of the bills I write. When it comes to LGBTQ rights specifically, marriage equality is finally law of the land, but there are STILL places in Ohio where people can be fired, denied a mortgage, or even refused service in a restaurant for their sexual orientation. My colleagues and I are working to change this unacceptable situation now, with a bill called the "Ohio Fairness Act." Many Ohioans have waited years for this legislation. Let's not make them wait another minute. Regarding Social Security, politicians at every level must make sure there is enough in the system to give people the benefits they have earned through decades of hard work. I will always stand up for the rights of hardworking Ohio families. Everyone deserves a fair shot.
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