The explosion of the coronavirus pandemic throughout our state, our nation, and our world is challenging us in ways we have not seen in generations. These are serious times that require a serious realignment of what we are doing and how we are doing it, both individually and together civically.
The conditions we are all experiencing right now obviously makes the process of running for office more difficult in many ways. The ongoing demands of running a campaign evaporate in the face of the daily needs and struggles of daily life right now in combating the spread of this viral threat, and in trying to keep our families and communities healthy and whole in the face of this public health emergency. However, the socio-economic crisis which this pandemic has triggered only serves to reiterate why I’m running in the first place.
So many of the underlying problems that are being exposed by this crisis – the disastrous levels of income inequality that is breaking our society apart under the strain of the economic hardships being experienced by millions of workers; the lack of adequate healthcare for all of our citizens, a problem that is only inflaming the pandemic’s spread and the damage it is inflicting; the way we’ve spent decades investing in an economy that only really works for the 1% at the expense of the needs and well-being of rest of us – these are problems I’ve been addressing my entire political life.
And now I’m even more determined than ever to see these issues effectively addressed through the kind of policies and principles that have been so sorely lacking in our governance for too long now.
With your support, and your vote, I will continue to do that as your representative in our Statehouse. And serving in office, I’ll be able to help make our vision for a better community, a better state, a better nation, a reality.
Of course, some of the more traditional methods of connecting with you will probably not be available for awhile, whether it be meeting you at public events and parades, community forums, or by personally knocking on your door, something I and my campaign personally did at over 15,000 of your homes during the 2018 election.
Instead, we’ll be relying more heavily on the internet and social media, live video events and videoconferencing, emails, and other forms of correspondence and communication. Whatever means of outreach we are using, it will all be dedicated to continuing to offer voters proven solutions that address the real problems our communities are facing today. We’ve had enough of the rehashed platitudes and discredited trickle down voodoo economics that my opposition continues to promote, and which are a major cause of the problems we’re facing right now today.
For now, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed my priorities when it comes to my campaign – I want to help address the current and immediate problems my district is experiencing, instead of looking ahead towards November. Because of that, I have decided to turn away from traditional campaign activities and instead focus my campaign resources on helping two distinct demographics – local restaurant owners, and laid-off employees. Local restaurants are under extreme duress right now, and recognizing the role they play in creating the culture of our communities, I feel it is very important to help them weather this storm.
To this end, we have created an initiative focused on helping our local restaurants survive while simultaneously helping to provide meals to those in our community struggling in the face of the economic hardships so many among us are facing.
We call it “Pay It Forward, Miami Valley – Pandemic Edition,” and we encourage people to visit the Facebook page to learn how you can help both our local economy and people who are currently suffering from food insecurity. We have also begun to spread this initiative statewide. I will be sharing more information on this as we go forward. For now, if you or someone you know owns a restaurant and wishes to participate, please let me know!
We also encourage citizens to visit and bookmark the Ohio Department of Health website for ongoing updates regarding the status of the pandemic here in Ohio, and for providing you relevant information and resources for addressing your needs to help combat it.
Also, the ODH Call Center is being staffed from 9AM to 8PM every day as well well to help answer your questions.
You can reach them at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
For business owners and their employees, you can visit the ODH website for Employers and Employees, to learn more ways to help weather this current storm.
Another very important resource right now for so many are the services of the Ohio Office of Unemployment Insurance. You can visit their website here for more information. This is a vital service the people of our state, one that is unfortunately being swamped right due to the flood of necessary claims and the need for help people are experiencing.
Working together, we can not only get through this, but can and will come out on the other side of this crisis a stronger, more humane, more connected society, with governance dedicated to serving the needs of all of our people, and not just the few.
Take care of yourselves and each other.