County Dems spruce up HQ
LISBON — The state senator who wants to be governor and the state representative who wants to replace him were among those who attended Saturday’s rededication of the refurbished Columbiana County Democratic Party headquarters.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, whose district encompasses Columbiana and Mahoning counties, was present along with state Rep. John Boccieri of Poland, whose district is in Mahoning County.
Prevented by term limits from running again for his senate seat, the 38-year-old Schiavoni announced earlier in the year he was going to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2018. Then Boccieri announced at the Canfield Fair earlier this month he intends to run for Schiavoni’s seat next year.
Schiavoni said since everyone is not created equal in ability or afforded the same opportunities, public policy should be about helping people.
“My grandfather taught me growing up you have to give people opportunities” to succeed, he told the crowd of about 25 who assembled for the rededication ceremony in Lisbon.
He said government’s role should be in helping create good-paying jobs, providing children with a quality education, and giving local governments the financial help they need to do their jobs. Schiavoni described his philosophy as “reasonable and meaningful investment.”
In contrast, Schiavoni said, Republicans believe “you can tax cut your way to prosperity” by granting tax cuts to the wealthy.
Boccieri, who introduced Schiavoni, said Republicans have dominated the legislature and governor’s office for most of the past 13 years and the only thing Ohio has to show for it is a slow-growth stagnant economy, charter schools that undermine public schools, and less state funding for local governments.
In his opening remarks, county Democratic Party Chairman Nick Barborak told the crowd many political pundits have written off the party based on last year’s presidential election, but he said the issues that resonated with so many voters are the traditional party issues.
“We’re resilient as Democrats because we stand up for working families and the little guys, and we stand up for communities” like Lisbon, he said.
The party headquarters at 124 E. Lincoln Way recently received a facelift inside and out from party members who donated their labor.