Blog Posts For The Week Of September 30, 2015 Through October 6, 2015

Release: State Rep. Dan Ramos now longest serving Latino state officeholder in Ohio history
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: October, 6 2015 6:12 PM

Hits new record with over 4 years of elected service

COLUMBUS— State Rep. and Ohio Latino Affairs Commission board member Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) this year began serving his third term as a state representative in Ohio, making him the longest serving Latino state officeholder in Ohio history, records indicate. Ramos is also the first person of Puerto Rican descent to serve in the Ohio House.

“My heritage is something that is not only important to me and my family, but to so many communities throughout our state,” said Rep. Ramos. “I was somewhat surprised to find that the bar was so low, but I feel honored and encouraged by the opportunity to better reflect the increasing diversity of our state.”

Ramos now surpasses the record held by the late Honorable John Garcia, a Republican state representative who served citizens of the greater Toledo area for two terms. Garcia was the first person of Latino heritage to serve in the Ohio House.

“Rep. Ramos knows the issues affecting our community, and is actively involved at all levels to improve the standing of Latinos in Ohio,” said Latino Affairs Commission Executive Director Lilleana Cavanaugh. “He is an excellent role model for Latino youth and we wish him continued success.”

The Honorable Keila Cosme briefly served as the first state judge of Latino ancestry for about one year after being appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland to fill the remainder of the late Honorable William Skow’s term with the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals. Judge Stephen A. Yarbrough defeated Cosme in the 2010 election.

Concerning the record for longest serving local elected official with Latino ancestry, Ramos said those records are much more difficult to discern. Oddly enough, Ramos suspects that record may be held by his father, Raul Ramos, who served 16 years on the Lorain City School Board.

According to the 2013 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, Ohio’s Hispanic population has grown by 76 percent since 2000. The Hispanic population in Ohio ranks 23rd in the nation, and currently there are 166,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Ohio – the 19th largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally.

Release: O’Brien, Ryan headed to Cuba for trade mission
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: October, 6 2015 1:44 PM

Delegation to research Cuban economy, bolster Ohio-Cuban trade relationship

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Sean O’Brien (D–Bazetta) and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D- OH 13) will travel to Cuba this month to meet with Cuban officials and study ways to strengthen Ohio’s economic ties with the island nation. Joining O’Brien and Ryan on the research mission will be Atty. Luis M. Alcalde of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter and Vista Trade Group, and several northeastern Ohio business leaders.

“This research mission allows us to develop mutually beneficial relationships that will grow our economy,” said O’Brien. “Ohio can provide the infrastructure, agriculture and technology development that Cuba needs, while our state can benefit from Cuba’s proficiency in healthcare. This trip will build a strong foundation for Ohio enterprise within Cuba and open doors of opportunity for trade both under current regulations and once the trade embargo is fully lifted.”

In addition to economic and legal research, the Ohio delegation will explore the Mariel Special Development Zone to explore Cuba’s state-run economy and foreign investment law. The mission group will also research Cuba’s private sector economy and meet with U.S. Embassy officials in Havana.

“This mission trip is nothing short of historic,” O’Brien noted. “In entering into economic and legal discussions, we are positioning Ohio far ahead of the national curve. As talks continue and relations begin to normalize, Ohio will be in a tremendous position to build upon an important economic relationship with an emerging actor in the global economy.”

This mission marks the first time in at least 55 years that a group of Ohioans will discuss trade with Cuban officials, and is one of the first trips of its kind in the country to be undertaken since the recent “thaw” in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Release: Tavares, Howse Attend DC Women’s Conference
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: October, 6 2015 1:17 PM

Tavares Attends "Women at the Tables of Power" Conference

Advocates with state and national legislators on issues facing the United States

Columbus—State Sen. Charleta B. Tavares attended a national conference, "Women at the Tables of Power," sponsored by the Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL) of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), this week in Washington, DC. There, she joined women legislative leaders to learn more about how to change national priorities, build a better future for all, and move closer to gender equality. The conference brought together women state legislators and activists for policy briefings, networking, and strategizing on national budget priorities that can create good jobs, enhance education opportunities, and revitalize the U.S. economy.

"A gathering of women leaders from across the nation like this was timely at a crucial moment of national change,” stated Senator Tavares. “We all strive to move beyond political posturing to work for the people of this country by investing in the economy, creating good jobs, and protecting vital programs on which our communities rely."

Senator Tavares was joined by State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) and other activists from Ohio to hear from national and international policy experts and the U.S. State Department about national security and the importance of women having seats at the tables of power. Senator Tavares and other state leaders also gave voice to the priorities that can improve our nation.

"It's our mission to empower women to act politically,” said WAND Executive Director Susan Shaer. “At this convening, women legislators and community leaders hone their skills, learn from high level briefings, and increase their talents for their crucial roles from town hall meetings to international negotiating tables."

"Women at the Tables of Power" took place October 4-6 on Capitol Hill.

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