Dani is a proud graduate of Walnut Hills High School, and knows the value of public schools for our kids, their families, and our future. His work with young people, both through Cohear and as a longtime mentor, have instilled a deep belief in the need to invest in more mental health and counseling for our students, in activities after school and on the weekends, and in creating a permanent fix to how we fund our education system. The last two years have been hard for everyone, but especially for young people. From addressing gun violence and neighborhood safety to growing our economy, we all depend on the strength of our education system. Most importantly, we owe it to our kids to make sure they are getting the investment they deserve.
Dani has gotten to see the positive impact that Preschool Promise has made for Cincinnati families firsthand, and believes we need to invest in universal pre-K at the state level. We can’t just have a plan for pre-K, though, because parents of kids at every age need safe places for their kids to stay and learn. For too many, access to childcare either costs most of their paycheck, or is out of reach entirely. The pandemic has made the challenges even more acute. Dani has worked with employers, parents, and kids in every neighborhood of our city, hearing about how businesses can’t hire and grow, people can’t take promotions, and kids aren’t ready for school because the childcare options just aren’t there. This is not a partisan issue, and it isn’t one that we can let politics get in the way of addressing it. There are creative, non-partisan ways to find win-wins through public-private partnerships, investments in training and quality, and strengthening community-based providers.
Being able to provide for your family, to make sure they have a roof over their heads, enough to eat, have presents at the holidays and make memories on vacation – those are the things that come from a good career. We need our state to be doing more to invest in pathways into the building trades, to become nurses, firefighters, or bus operators. From apprenticeships to making community college free, Ohio can do more to make sure that everyone – regardless of degree – can access the kinds of jobs that give stability and purpose.
When workers are able to organize and fight for their shared needs, we all benefit. Weekends, safety standards, parental leave – all of those are the result of working people coming together to make change. Our society is dangerously unequal, with way too much wealth and power concentrated at the top. Making sure that workers have an equal voice isn’t about tearing businesses down, it is about putting our economy on a stronger footing to be able to grow for the long-term. We need to protect the right to organize, and we need to fight for guaranteed schedules, prevailing wages, and bringing more workers of color and women into organized labor.
Dani has spent too many evenings organizing community efforts with mothers who lost their children, students who feared for their safety at school, and seniors who have seen their neighborhoods go through cycle after cycle of loss. Dani has also spoken to gun violence survivors, though, who are leading the effort to bring safety and common sense to how we approach these challenges. Safer gun storage, better counseling for young people, and stronger community relationships will all save lives and make our communities safer. Smart, common sense approaches are about more than just acts of gun violence, they will help address suicides and accidental deaths as well.
When it comes to how we treat our elders, the Golden Rule applies: we should make sure that everyone can age with the same dignity and respect that we would want for our parents or grandparents. Dani has worked hard to make sure that we have more policies to help seniors stay in their homes despite rising property taxes and cost of home repairs. He also knows how expensive home health aides can be, and how too many seniors struggle to get the care they deserve. We need investment and policies that protect seniors in their homes, and get them the services and home healthcare they need to enjoy their golden years with dignity and health.
Democrats need to prove to voters that we are the party of good government and produce results for working Ohioans—not special interests. Lobbyists have too much power in Columbus, and the results have been devastating for public faith in elected officials and good government. We have an opportunity to prove that we are the party that knows that public service is about serving the people, not companies and real estate developers that can afford to spend big to get what they want. Dani’s career has been about organizing in communities and getting results for everyday people, and that’s what we need in Columbus.