Emilia Sykes

Ohio, Congress (OH-13)


Emilia Sykes, D, OH-13, comes from a family with a history of public service. Her mother, Barbara Sykes, served in the Ohio House of Representatives, and her father, Vernon Sykes, serves in the Ohio State Senate.

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Sykes attended Kent State University where she earned a degree in psychology. She later earned a law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

After law school, Sykes returned to Akron, where she worked as a staff adviser for the Summit County Fiscal Office and as a law clerk for Judge Thomas Parker on the Ohio Court of Appeals. She was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014.

In the state legislature, Sykes served as the Assistant Minority Whip and later as the Minority Leader, becoming the first African American woman to hold that position in Ohio history. In the state legislature, Sykes played a key role in securing funding for infant mortality reduction programs, expanding the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, and reforming Ohio's criminal justice system.

On the Issues

In 2022, Sykes ran for an open seat in Ohio’s 13th district and became the first Black person elected to represent the district.

In Congress, Sykes has continued to prioritize healthcare and economic justice. A member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Financial Services, she has advocated for policies to lower prescription drug costs, expand access to affordable housing, and promote financial inclusion and consumer protection.

As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Sykes has also been a vocal advocate for racial justice and civil rights.

Events and Actions