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Rep. Emilia Sykes to step down as Minority Leader at end of year

Her resignation will be effective at the end of December.

AKRON, Ohio — *Editor's Note: the video in the player above is from a previous report. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) announced that she will be stepping down as the Ohio Minority Leader.

Her resignation will be effective at the end of December.

“On day one, we set out to restore Ohio’s promise of better lives and brighter futures, and for the past three years, House Democrats have delivered major wins for working people and families,” said Sykes. “We’ve made government more responsive to the people and grown opportunity for all of us, not just those at the top. But we know there’s more work to do, more challenges to meet, and more injustices to address.”

In 2019, Rep. Sykes was elected as the minority leader. For the past three years, Sykes was a part of a historical tenure that included bipartisan success for Ohio Democrats as well as an increase in transparency of the legislative process for citizens in Ohio.

“I am confident our next Leader will step up and continue to meet these challenges,” stated Sykes. “I look forward to working with them to fight not only for the 4.5 million Ohioans our caucus represents but for everyone in our state.”

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Throughout Syke’s tenure as the leader, she and Democrats made significant strides in the two-state budgets. Within the budgets, Syke’s implemented historic investments in public transit, wraparound social services at Ohio schools, and broadband internet connectivity for unserved households.

“I am humbled by the faith and trust my Democratic colleagues have put in me and am honored to have served these past three years as Minority Leader of the Ohio House,” noted Sykes. “Though I am stepping down as Minority Leader, I am not stepping away from service—far from it. I am considering any and all options to continue to serve my community, whether that’s in elected office or as a private citizen. I will share those decisions in the near future. Until then, I will continue to be the voice for the people of Ohio’s 34th district—the birthplace of champions.”

Additionally, Sykes and Ohio Democrats pushed for a historic fair school funding formula and critical investments to improve water quality in Ohio’s communities. House Dems also secured a targeted tax cut for working people and middle-class families and made necessary investments in Ohio’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Under Syke’s leadership, many other projects included pro-labor policies, enacting wage and hour protections, increasing the minimum wage for direct service employees, and raising the starting salary for Ohio teachers.

Leader Sykes also helped House Democrats work with President Joseph Biden to bring billions of dollars into Ohio, allowing for an expansion to childcare and support for Ohioans who lost their job that was not their fault.

During Leader Syke’s three-year job, she faced unprecedented challenges, including the Dayton shooting, COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and protests with systematic racism.

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*Editor's Note: the video in the player above is from a previous report.