Nan Whaley (and Cheryl L. Stephens)
BA, University of Dayton. MPA, Wright State University
Training and Experience (Whaley):
Former Mayor of Dayton, Former President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
What are the most pressing policy issues facing Ohio? What solutions will you promote?
The top issue of this election is abortion access. Mike DeWine has already signed a six week abortion ban, which is before most women know they’re pregnant. We’ve already seen the results: terrible stories of 10 year old sexual assault survivors and cancers patients having to leave Ohio for necessary care. If DeWine is re-elected, abortion will be banned in Ohio. Doctors could be prosecuted and women’s health records could be searched. As governor, I will block these awful attacks on women’s rights, lead a ballot initiative to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade in the Ohio Constitution, and make Ohio a state that is actually welcoming to women and families. We also must do more to help working families. That’s why I will fight to raise wages by investing in apprenticeship readiness programs and lower costs by cracking down on price gouging by drug companies and capping insulin costs at $30 a month.
How will you address challenges in the healthcare system?
My opponent made huge cuts to Medicaid even as Ohio was facing the COVID-19 pandemic. I will always stand up for health care access and protect Medicaid expansion in Ohio. We also must do more to get health care costs down – especially when it comes to prescription drugs – because no one should have to choose between keeping food on the table and paying for their medicine. I’ll fight for legislation that will impose fines on pharmaceutical companies that unfairly raise the cost of prescription drugs and I’ll work to cap the out-of-pocket monthly cost of insulin at $30. Many states, including Kentucky, have taken this step, and there is no reason Ohio cannot join them.
How would you assure free, fair and secure elections, and that every eligible voter has full access to the ballot?
Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed reforms to end partisan gerrymandering to make sure that voters are picking their politicians, not the other way around. Unfortunately Gov. Mike DeWine has put politics ahead of people and bluntly ignored the will of Ohio voters, breaking his promise to support a bipartisan redistricting process. He and his extremist allies have repeatedly passed unconstitutional, unfair maps that have been struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court. He should be ashamed of himself. Ohio deserves better. As Governor, I will work with Democrats and Republicans to draw fair, constitutional Congressional and Legislative districts. I’ll always stand up for safe and secure elections and protect the bedrock principle of the right to vote.
State the role of the governor in protecting the rights of women.
The fact is, Gov. DeWine and his extremist allies have stripped away a woman’s rights to control her own body and imposed a government mandate that bans abortion. Within hours of Roe v. Wade being overturned, DeWine helped implement a six week abortion ban, which would outlaw nearly all abortions in Ohio. Unfortunately,it is only going to get worse if he is reelected: DeWine has promised to go as far as possible to ban abortion in Ohio. This is an economic issue as well: are young women going to want to stay in Ohio when pregnancy complications could lead to their death? Will businesses want to move here if they can’t attract top talent? It is time that we take back our freedom in Ohio. As governor, I will lead a statewide ballot initiative to put the basic protections of Roe v. Wade into the Ohio constitution so that women and doctors are not criminalized for making their own private health care decisions
State the role of the governor in protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals.
As the mayor of Dayton, I made our city a welcoming city. In fact, I officiated the very first legal same sex marriage in Ohio after the Obgerfell decision. As governor, I will strive to make our entire state welcoming and will support our LGBTQ friends and neighbors – just as I did in Dayton. As governor, I will also advocate for passage of the Fairness Act, which will outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. Unfortunately, Gov. DeWine has spent years fighting against basic LGBTQ rights. He’s shown that he can’t be trusted on this issue. Four more years under DeWine will make Ohio a less welcoming place.
State your position on efforts to protect our water, air, land, and climate.
After FirstEnergy, a huge utility company, bankrolled his campaign, Gov. DeWine gave them everything they wanted, including a billion dollar bailout for their failing energy plants paid for by new fees on every Ohioan’s electricity bill each month. The law also gutted Ohio’s renewable energy industry. Not only has the law been called the worst environmental policy of the 21st Century, but it is at the heart of the largest corruption scheme in Ohio history. As governor I’ll clean up this corruption and fully repeal this awful bill. It’s time our state finally prioritizes protecting our environment and supporting clean energy. Ohio has always been a leader in new technology and my energy and environmental plan will ensure that Ohio once again leads the nation in building the future by investing in the renewable energy industry.
State your position on government oversight of gun ownership and safety.
This issue is personal for me. As mayor of Dayton, I had to lead our city through an awful mass shooting that left 9 people dead. After the shooting, Gov. DeWine committed to me that he wanted to tackle gun violence in our state. Unfortunately, he broke his word. Time and time again, he has folded to the gun lobby and signed extreme bills opposed by law enforcement like stand your ground and permitless concealed carry. Most recently he signed a law to put more guns in schools with next to no training. Educators need 180 hours of training to renew their teaching license, but only 24 hours of training to carry a gun around your kids. As governor, I will fight to repeal these dangerous laws that will lead to more gun violence. I’ll work to pass common sense laws like universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders that will actually make all of our communities safer.
What is the role of the federal government in assuring access to high-quality, equitable education (include PK – higher ed)?
One of my proudest accomplishments as mayor of Dayton was passing universal, high-quality preschool for all 4-years-olds in our city. After a few short years, we are already seeing positive results: kids are coming to kindergarten more prepared and parents aren’t paying an arm and a leg for childcare. The program was so successful that we expanded it to include 3 year olds and several neighboring communities. As governor, I’ll build on this success to expand preschool programs across Ohio. I will also prioritize fully funding the Fair School Funding Plan. This plan finally fixes Ohio’s unconstitutional school funding system, but was only temporarily funded. Finally, I’ll increase support for Ohio’s college and community colleges that have seen essentially stagnant funding from prior administrations.
What is the state’s obligation to local governments?
As a former mayor, I believe strongly in local government. There’s no Republican or Democratic way to fix a pothole – you just have to get things done. Unfortunately, the state of Ohio has gutted funding for local governments over the last decade in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy. This has resulted in cuts to essential services like police and firefighters, or has forced local communities to raise their own taxes. We can’t expect Ohio to thrive if our state is forcing local tax increases or cuts to public safety – it’s just that simple. As governor, I’ll work to restore funding to local communities so that middle class Ohioans can see a tax break and important local services can be fully funded.
How will you use your role to impact the criminal justice system?
As mayor of Dayton, I was proud to lead our innovative public safety reform process that brought together community members, clergy, civil rights leaders, and police to make policy changes that make everyone in our community safer. As governor, I’ll take the same approach. I’ll bring people together to make sure our criminal justice system is actually doing its job: keeping us safe.
I’ll create a Cabinet Coordinating Council on Justice to better coordinate these efforts across agencies. We’ll provide better support to local communities to create innovative public safety and crime prevention programs, investigate potential problems, and recruit and train the best police officers, including setting up a new college loan forgiveness program for police.