vernon sykes

Akron organizers turn to the ballot box for civilian oversight of police

BY: - September 7, 2022

The Akron NAACP and other local organizers are leading the push for a city charter amendment establishing civilian oversight for the police department. The ballot measure comes on the heels of the police killing of Jayland Walker, a Black man shot nearly 50 times by Akron officers after fleeing a traffic stop. Walker was unarmed […]


Redistricting commission insults Ohioans by waiting until last minute to meet

BY: - February 17, 2022

The contempt majority legislative leaders on the Ohio Redistricting Commission are showing to the public by waiting until the last possible day to draw a third round of Statehouse maps is nothing short of astounding. The maps they drew in September were ruled by the Ohio Supreme Court to be unconstitutional gerrymanders. Then the second […]

Ohio Supreme Court allows Dems’ redistricting objection

BY: - February 7, 2022

The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a request by the state’s Attorney General to reduce Democratic redistricting leaders’ court filing to a “friends of the court” brief. In a short ruling released Friday evening, the court denied a motion to convert the brief, filed by Ohio Redistricting Commission co-chair state Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and […]

GOP says ‘attempts’ on partisanship make Ohio Statehouse maps constitutional

BY: - January 28, 2022

The GOP members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission have said objections to their maps have no merit because they made their best attempt at politically balancing the maps. Democrats on the commission filed their own response in favor of invalidating the second version of the maps, just as those who objected to them want. The […]

Education funding overhaul reappears in final budget draft

BY: - June 29, 2021

The Ohio House’s version of a public school funding overhaul won the day after negotiations ended for the new two-year state budget. The conference committee on the budget bill, comprised of members of both chambers of the Ohio legislature, returned to the so-called “Fair School Funding Plan” after the Senate tried to make its own […]

There were many efforts to change Ohio election laws in 2020, but few succeeded

BY: - December 22, 2020

More Ohioans voted in the 2020 General Election than in any other election in state history. Elections officials, voter rights advocates and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are still looking into ways to improve voting access for the years to come.  There were numerous legislative efforts to change Ohio’s elections system in big […]

A voting location

Republicans on Ohio Controlling Board reject prepaid postage for voters

BY: - September 14, 2020

A majority of Ohio Controlling Board members are not convinced there is a need to make voting by mail more convenient by prepaying for postage this fall.  They made that determination Monday at a meeting held digitally because of COVID-19 safety protocols — a Zoom conference which began just 45 minutes after news broke that […]

Police say suspect threatened to kill father of ranking house Dem unless she resigned

BY: - May 29, 2020

Democratic House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes received a call from an unknown man on May 23 calling from her father’s phone number, threatening to kill him if she didn’t “step aside” politically, according to a police report released Friday. The suspect claimed he had her father, Democratic state Senator Vernon Sykes, captive. He told her not […]

LaRose: Voter registration change should come from Statehouse, not ballot amendment

BY: - February 28, 2020

It’s been a busy week for Frank LaRose. The Ohio Secretary of State is overseeing the early voting season ahead of next month’s primary election. He recently welcomed more than 200 new citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse. On Tuesday, he testified in favor of a Senate bill that would streamline Ohio’s […]

Push is on to improve Ohio voter registration, though methods still being debated

BY: - February 14, 2020

Officials from both political parties have expressed the need to improve Ohio’s voter registration system. How best to do that is still being decided. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who oversees the state’s elections process, has lent support to registration reform. He is among those calling for a way to register to vote or […]

Musician sings of struggles as lawmakers highlight bills that would help black families

BY: - February 5, 2020

The story sung by Paisha Thomas inside the Ohio Statehouse atrium tells of a hard-working mother. She has three kids, and is stuck picking up extra shifts on Fridays to make up for the time spent raising them.  She weighs the cost and makes the choice, is it the chicken or the rent? As the […]