Since this is a two-year term in what could remain a Republican supermajority statehouse, I will prioritize five policy areas (some in which can attract the most bipartisan support) that are keys to a more sustainable future: the environment, education, health, and technology. I am always open, however, to more ideas to look into. With the pandemic and other issues, this is a perfect recipe for another “Lost Generation” as coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We can prevent this Lost Generation if we have non-neglectful lawmakers that have our best interests at heart. As I firmly believe that all politics is local, we start with our communities if we want to cause ripples of change. Any bills, I promise to champion, vote, and sponsor in good conscience of our constituents-you.
In District 56, despite a rapidly growing population of families, we still do not have the infrastructure to meet that. Ohio ranks 41st out of the whole nation in infrastructure spending. What we need for a better and more sustainable future is bike lanes and sidewalks, to foster health and encourage alternative green methods of travel. I have seen people walk on roads or trek through what seemingly appears to be jungles to get from point A to point B. That is no condition to foster a community in. We need to bring the rest of the district into the 21st century.
I am also a strong advocate for environmental protection and sustainable development. We Americans use 100 million plastic bags each year and most of them are single-use plastic bags. These bags have a devastating impact on oceans, wildlife, and our own health. In 2014, California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. More than 100 countries have adopted some forms of regulations on plastic bags. It is time for Ohio to regulate single-use plastic bags so that we can become greener and more eco-friendly.
An attack on one group within our communities is an attack on all of us. I vow to be the +1 vote on preserving the right to choose within the Ohio statehouse. I will fight to make sure that the option to choose is always available. You cannot ban abortions, only safe ones.
Mental health is now becoming a huge challenge in Ohio. Every day, we hear stories of our loved ones suffering from mental illnesses or even committing suicide. A report from Mental Health America finds that almost 25% of adults in Ohio struggle with mental health issues. Yet, we do not have resources to deal with such an epidemic. This is especially serious for K-12 public schools. The first step is to champion destigmatizing it. We must allocate more resources to deal with mental health issues. A related question is the opioid crisis in Ohio. I will work with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to formulate the best solution to serve the interest of all Ohioans.
I will also push to repeal the permitless concealed carry bill that Governor Dewine recently signed into law. I grew up in public schools where I’ve interacted with so many peers and friends, including families affected by gun violence, and I can speak for many when I say that we can do better. I’m for common sense gun reform.
In comparison with New York, California, and Georgia, Ohio is lagging in attracting high-tech companies. Oh, we can always be something more and make Ohio even better. Intel has recently announced to invest more $20 billion to build two new factories and establish a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in Columbus. This is just the beginning of the revival of the great state of Ohio. The Greater Cincinnati Area and our District 56 can do more to keep the brightest and most talented college graduates by attracting more high-tech companies to invest in our area. The growth of high-tech jobs will also lead to more population growth, which will benefit other industries such as the housing market, the food industry, and companies of fast-moving consumer goods. To realize such a goal, we must invest more in STEM education in public schools and higher education by redirecting existing spending & refocusing the budget.
Minorities such as Asian-Americans have been in the country for more than 200 years. Yet, they are often considered foreigners and their history is untold. Last year, Illinois became the first state in the country to require the inclusion of Asian-American history in public school curriculum. New Jersey has become the second state to do the same. I am very pleased to see that State Senator Tina Maharath is sponsoring a Bill that requires Ohio K-12 public school to develop curriculum on Asian American history. I strongly support the inclusion of Asian American history as well as the history of other minorities in K-12 public school curriculum. A lot of our divisions (as well as many minorities’ struggle with identity) can be alleviated through early education on different cultures, including also but not limited to, the LGBTQ+, Muslim, Latino, Jewish, and African community. It is fitting for the next generation that will be even more diverse than Millennials or even Gen-Z.