Community Empowerment


Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Leader Sykes’ dedication to public service is particularly strong when it comes to giving a voice to those without one. Emilia was proud to champion HB 1, giving victims of dating violence access to civil protection orders. 

Leader Sykes also sponsored HB 94 designating February as teen dating violence awareness month. HB 94 brings to light an issue that is tragically affecting our youth at high rates in Ohio. This bill increases public awareness and raises the profile of this problem in schools, communities and throughout our state, which helps more people get the help they need to end the cycle of violence.

Voting Rights

We’ve seen what can happen when our state government passes laws that restrict voting rights.  Leader Sykes is a tireless advocate for voting rights so that every Ohioan has equal access to the ballot. Leader Sykes has worked with her colleagues to remove a student voter suppression provision in the state’s transportation budget. The provision would have made it harder for out of state students to vote.


Supporting Local Government

Emilia is constantly working to ensure that policies are in place and resources are available so that local governments can adequately serve the community. Law enforcement, infrastructure support, and transportation are important tools to every community. These are essential for economic growth.

She has been successful in removing a local hiring ban in the state’s $7 billion transportation budget bill.


Criminal Justice Reform

Protecting the rights and freedom of our citizens is Minority Leader Sykes top priority, and when those rights are violated we all have a responsibility to take action. It is no secret that the current state of justice does not always act with a blind eye, but she aims to promote public safety and trust in the system through criminal justice reform.

Minority Leader Sykes championed House Bill (HB) 411, a bipartisan legislation to streamline access to justice for victims of wrongful imprisonment in Ohio. She also sponsored HB1, a bill allowing victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attackers. HB1 was signed into law in 2018. This legislation not only closed an unnecessary, outdated loophole in Ohio that will help victims to live without fear of their abuser, but will also save lives. She also jointly sponsored HB 555, which would have allowed for an offender to apply to the court for a reduction in their penalty, if the penalty for that crime is later reduced by legislation.