The work Dani does at Cohear is about helping Cincinnatians build their sense of community, and it is why he is running for State Representative. Real leadership helps strangers come together in common cause. Too much of our politics at the State House is about tearing each other down, scoring points, and honing in on what separates us. We have real divisions and challenges, but if we allow them to consume us, everyone loses. Dani believes that when we lift as we climb, we are able to celebrate each others’ success and come together to solve shared challenges.
Dani knows how to organize, register, and turn out voters to expand the electorate and change the dynamic. He helped organize across the country to make Republican-held states more competitive for Democrats, has led grassroots community engagement efforts across Ohio, and will bring the same strategy and focus to the State House. We need a long-term strategy to deliver change. Republicans have had total partisan control in Columbus for too long, and we are all paying the price of single-party rule. We can’t keep using the same playbook and thinking we will get new results every two years. We need new energy, experience, and vision for Democrats to have a voice in the future of Ohio.
Dani is the son of immigrants, and is deeply committed to the idea that diversity is a source of richness and resilience. He knows that we can’t wish away the racial and gender disparities that exist in our schools, at work or in our neighborhoods. Instead, we need policies and systems that meet the challenges of historical inequities head on. But we don’t get there by focusing on our differences. Instead, Dani’s work at Cohear has taught him that we come together across differences when we are focused on a shared challenge or experience. Seniors in Madisonville and Mt. Lookout may have different backgrounds, but they share the desire to age with dignity in their homes. Finding that common purpose in everything we do is the path forward to a more equal future.
Addressing racial wealth and health gaps is at the center of what Dani hopes to achieve in Columbus. That goal has guided his whole career. Through Cohear, Dani has helped draft the first regional housing strategy for Cincinnati in 30 years to promote affordable housing and address racial homeownership gaps, and empowered a group of Black high school students to successfully push CPS to teach African-American history year-round. Almost 60 years after Dr. King led a march on Washington, our cities remain divided and zip codes still shape career paths and life expectancy. From housing to education and healthcare, we have more work to do to advance racial equity and invest in communities of color.
Dani’s work at Cohear is based on a simple idea: living an issue every day makes someone an expert. His career has been spent making sure that the everyday experts are at the table, and that leaders listen and learn from their experience before making decisions. If a young person is getting bullied in school, they should help shape the future of mental healthcare for students. Dani will bring that same commitment to his work as a State Representative, making sure that the people closest to the issues will always be at the table, providing their creativity and expertise to shape the policies and decisions that will impact their lives.
Everyone knows this in their personal lives, but too often we forget it when it comes to politics: we all need to feel cared for, and none of us can make it on our own. Dani believes this principle is fundamental to how we need to think about policy and legislation. Our parents and kids need better childcare, seniors deserve access to affordable home healthcare, and students have to get the counseling and support they need to avoid the cycles of violence that plague too many communities. Dani doesn’t believe that the government can solve every problem, but that it should provide equal access to the basic services people need to be able to be fully themselves, to put into practice the belief that we are all our sister’s and brother’s keeper.