Ohio needs a comeback. The once-great home of America's innovation—of steel and cars and presidents and astronauts—is on the decline after more than a decade of one-party rule in Columbus. As a result of their mismanagement, Ohio’s middle class is shrinking, working families are struggling to make ends meet, and we just lost another congressional seat from losing population relative to the country. The average Ohioan used to make more than the national average. Today, we make 89 cents on the dollar to the average American. The bottom line: Ohio is getting older, poorer, and falling further behind. We need a comeback.
The Cincinnati Comeback
In Cincinnati, John Cranley took over a major city in decline and turned it around. Under John’s forward-looking leadership, Cincinnati has added thousands of jobs and the region’s median income is above the national average—and it’s still rising. Cincinnati’s poverty rate went down 1.5x faster than the state's poverty rate during the past 10 years, and its police-community relations are a model for the nation.
In Cincinnati, we did things differently than Republicans in Columbus. Instead of bilking hardworking taxpayers at the expense of rich donors, we have invested in people by expanding pre-school and public transit, creating jobs in clean energy, making poverty reduction a community-wide priority, and prioritizing diversity and inclusion. The city worked with communities and businesses to bring back jobs and revitalization.
The results are undeniable. For the first time since 1950, Cincinnati is growing again and attracting more people each year. This year, Cincinnati was ranked as the best economy in Ohio by the Milken Institute and the best city in America for college graduates.
Leading the Ohio Comeback
Ohio needs a comeback and deserves a governor that has led one.
Just as John worked tirelessly to lead Cincinnati’s comeback, John’s policies have the power to rebuild Ohio's middle class and grow our state’s population, jobs, and innovation.
As governor, John will create 120,000 jobs that pay at least $60,000 per year in his first four years. His plan will reduce unemployment, increase the standard of living, keep our children in Ohio with opportunities, and cut poverty in our state. He will pay for his jobs plan by legalizing and taxing marijuana.
John will rebuild Ohio’s middle class by creating 30,000 jobs per year that pay a minimum of $60,000 per year to build vital infrastructure that Ohio needs to offer middle-class opportunities to all. By reprioritizing JobsOhio, legalizing and taxing marijuana, and taking advantage of existing bonds, he will create jobs in:
Building high-speed broadband
Investing in cleaner energy, cleaner water, and safer roads and bridges
Private sector growth requires public infrastructure like good roads, high-speed internet and WiFi, clean water, access to affordable clean energy, and an educated population with quality workforce training. John’s comeback plan will lead to job growth and opportunities for better wages for all.
John will stop the bleeding of manufacturing jobs out of Ohio. He has a plan to create 120,000 good-paying jobs in his first term. John will rebuild Ohio’s middle class by creating 30,000 jobs per year that pay a minimum of $60,000 per year to build vital infrastructure that Ohio needs to offer middle-class opportunities to all. These jobs will include advanced manufacturing, building high-speed broadband, and investing in cleaner energy, cleaner water, and safer roads and bridges. Private sector growth requires public infrastructure like good roads, high-speed internet and WiFi, clean water, access to affordable clean energy, and quality education and workforce training. John’s comeback plan will lead to job growth and opportunities for better wages for all. John will pay for these jobs by reprioritizing JobsOhio money, legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana, and utilizing existing capital improvement funds and annual line items as debt service for the additional bonds needed for rapidly achieving universal broadband, clean water, and safer roads.
The current HB6 $1.3 billion corporate welfare scandal — the largest scandal in state history—involved taking money from Ohioans’ pockets by raising monthly energy bills, and then using those funds to pay for the bribes taken by Republican leaders. John plans to do the opposite—to provide Ohioans a dividend from our energy-rich state. It is time that the state government is on the side of the people rather than the special interests.
John will start an annual energy dividend of $500 to Ohio families earning less than $75,000 per year. He’ll pay for it by increasing the severance tax on energy companies, like they have in Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, and Montana. Like other energy-producing states, Ohioans deserve to benefit from the wealth that Ohio’s natural resources create. John’s plan will cut Ohio’s poverty and lift up middle-class families, just like the Earned Income Tax Credit does. The Republicans have nickeled-and-dimed Ohioans for too long.
John knows that Ohio needs criminal justice reform so that the system is truly fair and offers equal protection under the law. As governor, John plans to shift funding from growing prisons to addressing poverty and mental illness. John will establish a special office to investigate wrongful convictions and make sure innocent people are not in prison, reform prosecution practices that lead to wrongful convictions, help police departments obtain body cameras and increase police accountability, and invest in jobs, housing, and services for returning citizens. He will also decriminalize marijuana use that has been unfairly applied to communities of color across Ohio.
Now is the time in Ohio to unite to advance racial justice, and protect freedom and rights for all Ohioans. Cincinnati’s comeback stems from values and policies that are the opposite of the failed one-party Republican state leadership. Under John’s leadership, Cincinnati has prioritized diversity and inclusion, dramatically invested in people by expanding pre-school and public transit, created jobs in clean energy and made poverty reduction a community-wide priority.
As governor, John will sign an executive order on his first day in office preventing discrimination in state employment. He will fight for equal protection by passing nondiscrimination laws and protecting reproductive rights, he will ensure the state of Ohio is serving each and every one of its people with dignity, and he will veto any attempts to take away women’s reproductive freedom.
Ohio’s roads, bridges, and infrastructure are in disrepair. People are tired of politicians making promises they don’t keep. We need leaders in Ohio who will be accountable to the people they serve and keep their word. In Cincinnati, John led a county-wide effort to fix roads and bridges that is now pumping an additional $35 million annually into improving the roads and bridges of his hometown. As governor, John will prioritize transportation improvements across Ohio.
Projects will be required to only dig once, so all of our infrastructure systems finally get upgraded efficiently. Road, rail, transit, intermodal, and other transportation systems will be improved through an expanded Ohio infrastructure bank that brings together federal, state, local, and private funding.
The greatest missed opportunity of Ohio’s current leadership is building an energy-independent Ohio to generate good-paying jobs for thousands of people, export energy to other states, and attract manufacturing companies that need access to cheap, reliable energy. There is a growing trend of global manufacturing companies moving back to the USA for access to reliable natural gas energy. These trends are bringing good-paying jobs to Texas, Alaska, and the Dakotas—but not to Ohio because our corrupt leadership is bailing out coal plants in Indiana rather than attracting the jobs of the future.
Ohio will become a national leader in small business growth by making each of our state universities the best in the world in at least one field, and liberalizing commercialization of research and development to attract entrepreneurs and venture capital. We also will build on our assets to compete in the knowledge economy. The strategy of creating businesses and jobs from university-based research and development is working for Cincinnati and Columbus with UC and Ohio State, but it needs to be supercharged and extended to all state universities to have the doors opened to all Ohio entrepreneurs.
As governor, John will provide incentives to make it easier for people to create new small businesses and train new employees in all parts of Ohio, including rural areas. John’s plan to support Ohio small businesses will create over 2,600 jobs with $60,000 and above annual earnings, along with many other economic benefits. Long-term, this also will be the key to reversing the loss of young people in our state and growing Ohio’s economy for the next generation.
John has a plan to get every city, neighborhood, and corner of the state connected to truly high-speed internet and WiFi. We need everyone to be part of Ohio’s comeback, and this can’t wait. We learned during COVID that being a student, running a business, or just going to work requires quality internet access—it is a vital service, like running water or electricity. Too many inner-city and rural Ohioans are lacking this basic infrastructure that is needed to meaningfully participate in the 21st-century economy.
As governor, John will clean up our rivers and Lake Erie, protect family farms, and preserve Ohio’s parks and public lands. His plan will invest in clean water by fixing pipes and sewers that are old and need repair. The new investments will take the burden off of residents, and reduce water and sewer bills. His plan also will dramatically expand H2Ohio to help farmers upgrade tractor and manure practices to stop the fertilizer overflows that contribute to algae blooms in Lake Erie and elsewhere.
As governor, John will increase access to community college and job training. For Ohio’s workers to lead our comeback, we need everyone to have the skills that are in demand in today’s economy. John’s plan is to fill jobs with higher wages, and help people get their first job by offering workers $1,000 as an incentive to earn in-demand skills and associates degrees from the state’s highest-performing job training programs and excellent community colleges. Based on Project Lift in Cincinnati, the plan will move many families out of poverty, train a workforce on par with the best in the nation, and make Ohio’s economy more just and inclusive.
As the son of a teacher, John is committed to improving education and schools for all Ohioans. As Mayor, he helped lead the effort to secure 2 years of preschool education for all young children in Cincinnati. As governor, he will expand options for early learning opportunities so every child is ready for school. He will ensure every school is a safe environment where every student is treated with dignity and respect. He will make every school building a technology hub, and will connect high schools to career training and college courses so every student has portable skills and a pathway to a good job.
The climate crisis is not a future threat—it’s happening right now. As Mayor, John has led the way in making climate change a priority in Cincinnati. His solar project is the largest solar installation led by a city in the country; the size of 750 football fields. The installation employs 130 workers with salaries that pay $62,000 annually. He reduced the City of Cincinnati's carbon footprint by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy with the city’s fleet and buildings. As governor, John can do similar projects in at least 10 new counties per year, and will generate 1,300 new jobs per year while doing good for the planet.
Instead of leading Ohio to the clean and natural gas jobs of the future, Governor DeWine and the corrupt legislature gave us HB6—which gutted the fast-growing clean and natural gas energy sectors, raised energy bills on all Ohioans, and kept Ohio dependent on energy imports rather than building a successful energy export economy.
Without access to affordable health care, too many Ohioans have to drive anywhere from 50 to 100 miles for basic health care, and when people change jobs they wonder what benefits will be lost. This is wrong.
As governor, John will open new rural health centers with a focus on primary health care so that all Ohioans will be able to find quality and affordable care. He will also make health care benefits portable so that workers can take their insurance with them from job to job. Using Obamacare and making improvements that are right for Ohio, John will bring health care providers and good-paying jobs to each of the 88 counties and workers will have confidence they can keep their benefits. John’s plan also increases treatment for the opioid crisis and mental health, because we should treat addiction and mental health as a top public health priority.
DeWine and the Republicans’ corruption is costing Ohioans money every day. Republicans are beholden to groups that create problems, and when the problems arise they turn around and expect middle-class and working people to bail out their polluters and crooks. As governor, John will make it easier to prosecute corrupt politicians.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) needs a strong consumer voice to balance the needs of customers and utilities, and John will be that voice and overhaul Ohio’s corrupt system of utility regulation. He will also reform the state’s campaign finance laws by requiring public disclosure of all campaign contributions online and prohibiting secret corporate campaign contributions.