Why Vote?

From left to right: Mia Barnes, Senator Antonio, Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus Chair Cindy Demsey at the Lakewood Community Festival

Access to reproductive healthcare. The right to choose. Our children’s education. Freedom to learn and think. Safe, healthy communities.

These are not just buzzwords. These issues are all on the ballot this November.

After the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, we have seen attacks on reproductive rights and abortion access like never before. Ohio Republicans have made it clear that they intend to insert themselves into the private healthcare decisions of women, pregnant people and their families by banning abortion in our state. In Kansas, we saw voters answer these attacks with a resounding no. It’s our turn to do the same here in Ohio.

But the attacks don’t end there. Both around the country and in Ohio, some GOP politicians have introduced bills to prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts,” which they define as anything from slavery and racism to LGBTQ+ issues. These bills would silence and censor our teachers and our children. As our kids grow, I believe it is important to nurture their curiosity and assist them in becoming intelligent, critical-thinking adults - not stifle their education and ban books in their schools. Access to a comprehensive public education for our children is on the ballot.

More than that: our children’s future is on the ballot in the state of Ohio. 

This year alone, Republicans in the Statehouse passed dangerous legislation to allow individuals to carry concealed firearms without a permit and to arm teachers in the classroom with no minimum training requirement, which will only worsen the gun violence epidemic in our state. We Democrats support commonsense gun safety reforms like increased background checks, red flag laws and raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm, measures that we believe would make Ohio safer for families and children.

Our democracy and our personal freedoms are on the ballot this November 8th. Freedom to think and to learn. Freedom to make decisions about if and when to have a family. Freedom to live and raise our children in a society without gun violence. I hope those of you, part of our beloved community, will decide to be proactive. Make a plan for how and when you are going to vote. Find your polling location ahead of time at https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/polling-location, and bring five of your friends or family members with you.

We are charting the course of our democracy this November. It’s up to all of us to decide which path we take.

Nickie Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she championed Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). Last General Assembly, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (S.B. 18/H.B. 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (S.B. 59/H.B. 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. She continues to work to remedy and end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as on an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly.

Nickie Antonio

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, and in leadership as the Assistant Minority Leader. Antonio, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, previously spent eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served District 13 and was also a member of leadership. Antonio has served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women, Adjunct Professor and as a teacher for children with special needs.

Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member on the Senate Health and Transportation Committees. She also serves on the Finance; Ways and Means; Workforce and Higher Education; Joint Medicaid Oversight; Rules and Reference; and Joint Legislative Ethics Committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus, previously as chair, and is the State Director for the National Women Legislators’ Lobby.

She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, health care for all and fighting the opioid crisis.

Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she championed Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). Last General Assembly, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (S.B. 18/H.B. 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (S.B. 59/H.B. 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. She continues to work to remedy and end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as on an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly.

The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both an MPA and a B.S. Ed. from Cleveland State University, and she was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett Fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011) and has been the recipient of numerous awards as legislator of the year from various organizations during her tenure.

Her daughters, Ariel and Stacey, have made Antonio and her wife, Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.

Read More on Other
Volume 18, Issue 20, Posted 11:56 AM, 10.19.2022