Bernie 2020
March 14, 2020

NEWS: Bernie 2020 Rolls Out Ohio State Co-Chairs Ahead of Primary

CLEVELAND – Ahead of the March 17 primary, Bernie 2020 today announced its Ohio state campaign co-chairs. The slate includes State Representative (District 13) Mike Skindell, Cleveland City Councilwoman (Ward 14) Jasmin Santana, Akron City Councilwoman (Ward 5) Tara Samples, and Oxford City Councilor Chantel Raghu.

Sen. Sanders’ multiracial, multigenerational coalition is growing in Ohio, with state dedicated staffers and thousands of volunteers across the state. Bernie 2020 in Ohio has also raised more than $2.3 million from over 150,890 contributions since the start of the campaign. 

Sen. Sanders has also secured a diverse and broad base of support from other Ohio leaders and organizations, including Council President Michael Kilbane of Fairview Park; Council Member (At-Large) Tristan Rader of Lakewood; Councilor (Ward 5) Jamie Dixon of Lima; Councilwoman Gigi Traore of Newburgh Heights; Board of Education Vice President Dr. NJ Akbar of Akron; Former State Senator (District 21) C.J. Prentiss; Former Councilwoman (Ward 1) Shannon Wokojance of Barberton; Area Commissioner Atticus Garden of Columbus; Area Commissioner Rachel Wenning of Columbus; Pastor Kyle Earley of Cleveland; and activist Megan Anderson of Cincinnati.
Additional background and quotes from Bernie 2020 Ohio state co-chairs included below:

Mike Skindell, State Representative (District 13), Bernie 2020 Ohio State Co-Chair

Mike represents the 13th District in the Ohio State House, and has previously served as a State Senator for Ohio's 23rd District. Upon graduation from law school, Rep. Skindell served as Assistant Ohio Attorney General under Attorney General Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr. Between 1989 and 1999, Rep. Skindell served as a hearing officer for the Ohio Department of Health, presiding over nearly 300 cases of resident abuse and rights violations in nursing homes. He also started a private practice that continues today, representing consumers. At the Statehouse, Rep. Skindell has advocated for greater consumer protection, affordable prescription drugs and utility costs, preserving the environment, economic opportunities for working families and the poor, universal health care and the development of Ohio's renewable energy resources.

"I have known Senator Sanders for nearly 20 years and he has always been a strong advocate for core Democratic values.  He has been unwavering in his support of Democratic values such as the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively, Medicare for All, the right of women to make their own reproductive decisions, and that all people are treated fairly and with dignity.  There is no candidate who has fought harder during their lifetime for working families and to ensure that billionaires and large corporations are held responsible and pay their fair share."

Jasmin Santana, Cleveland City Councilwoman (Ward 14), Bernie 2020 Ohio State Co-Chair

Councilwoman Jasmin Santana was elected in November 2017, becoming the first Latina councilmember in the city’s history. Councilwoman Santana represents Clark-Fulton, Stockyards and portions of Brooklyn Centre, Tremont and West Boulevard neighborhoods. She also worked for MetroHealth Medical Center, where she helped develop the first grassroots Latina breast cancer education program in Northeast Ohio. She has received various public recognitions for her civic activism, including a feature in Crain’s Cleveland Business magazine in 2016. Councilwoman Santana has served as a Trustee for several non-profits, including the Northeast Ohio Association for Hispanic Health and the May Dugan Community Center. Councilwoman Santana is a graduate of Max Hayes Vocational School and is currently studying non-profit administration and public health through a dual program with Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University. She lives in the Jones Home Historic Neighborhood with her husband and two teenage children.

“I support Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee and hope you will join me in voting for him on March 17th. I have seen friends struggle to maintain their health care coverage and I understand the importance of Medicare for All. Health insurance companies have made record profits for too long off the backs of low-income and middle-income households. We need huge structural changes in America as working families struggle to balance the costs of everything from health insurance, to education, to childcare. We need a presidential candidate who is going to bat
for the middle class. If you are tired of watching the same candidates promise big things without delivering, as I am, then stand with me in supporting Bernie Sanders – the man has been saying the same loud and proud message for decades.”

Tara Samples, Akron City Councilwoman (Ward 5), Bernie 2020 Ohio State Co-Chair

Tara Samples was elected in November 2013. She is chair of the Public Services Committee and vice chair of the Parks & Recreation and Public Safety Committees and serves on the Public Utilities & Green, Housing & Neighborhood Assistance and Planning & Economic Development Committees. Samples attended the University of Akron majoring in Political Science/Public Policy Management before transferring to the Academy of Court Reporting to receive her degree in Paralegal Studies with a Minor in Business Administration. Her past professional employment includes United States Postal Service; Akron Municipal Court bailiff; White Hat Management paralegal and board liaison; and Parms Law Firm office manager. Her civic memberships and affiliations include National League of Cities Public Safety & Crime Prevention Steering Committee 2014, 2016 and 2018; elected to the Ohio Delegation 2012, 2016; Ohio Democratic Party member; and National Paralegal Association member.

“I have proudly served on the Akron City Council for over 5 years. It was my honor to support the Senator as a delegate in 2016 and I look forward to taking this journey with him again. Together, we can and will make a difference as we continue to fight for the people.”

Chantel Raghu, Oxford City Councilor, Bernie 2020 Ohio State Co-Chair

Councilor Raghu is a veterinarian who serves her community on the Oxford City Council. She ran for office because she was tired of asking politicians to do the right thing, and she wanted to be the change that she wanted to see.

“My community needs affordable and accessible health care now. A friend of mine was diagnosed with aggressive cervical cancer at age twenty-six and she quickly became too ill to work. That’s a major life or death problem when your health care is intertwined with your ability to work forty hours a week. We have a broken health care system, and I know that we’re all one diagnosis away from losing everything. I am supporting Bernie Sanders because health care is a human right.”

*Organizations listed for identification purposes, and do not imply institutional endorsement.*


Bernie 2020
February 28, 2020

ICYMI: AFGE Local 704 Endorses Bernie Sanders for President  

The federal employees union for the Midwest represents nearly 1,000 EPA workers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin
WASHINGTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders today welcomed the endorsement of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 704 — the federal employees union for the Midwest which represents nearly 1,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“I'm honored to receive the support of the members of AFGE Local 704 who are under attack from a climate change-denying president,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter today. “Together, we will lead the fight against the global emergency of climate change and protect the future of our planet for our children and grandchildren.”

The endorsement comes as AFGE national is at the contract bargaining table fighting for the future of their agency after the Trump administration tried to strip away fundamental worker protections for more than 8,000 employees last year.

In a press release earlier this week announcing the endorsement, AFGE Local 704 President Nicole Cantello issued the following statement:

“Since 2017, the Trump administration has shackled our union members’ ability to protect the health and safety of human health and the environment. Federal workers’ rights are under attack. Sanders unequivocally supports federal unions in our efforts to fight Trump’s union-busting regime. Sanders has signed onto the EPA workers’ Bill of Rights at and supports the right of government scientists to work without political interference, under collectively bargained agreements. We must act immediately to prevent catastrophic increases of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. Bernie Sanders supports the Green New Deal that will end our addiction to fossil fuels. In endorsing Sanders today, we hope to inspire other federal unions to speak out for the good of our nation, and our planet.”