Emilia Sykes is a first-time US Rep for the new Ohio 13 (redistricted in 2022).
Born in Akron, Ohio, Emilia Sykes grew up on the city’s west side and enjoyed a childhood that was full of competitive gymnastics and ballet, the constant support and encouragement of her family, and the community whom she credits for helping to raise her. As a child, Sykes saw first-hand that Northeast Ohio families work hard every day and care deeply about what they do, but too often aren’t given the opportunity or level playing field that many others enjoy. That’s why when she became House Minority Leader she worked with Republicans and Democrats to deliver real results for Ohio’s families, businesses, and seniors.
Sykes’ parents taught her the values of hard work, never giving up, and that public service means standing up for others because it’s the right thing to do, not because it serves your political career. And that means picking fights on behalf of the people against the powerful. They also taught her the importance of a good education. These lessons led Sykes to graduate with high honors from Kent State University with a B.A.in Psychology and later the University of Florida, where she earned a Juris Doctor with a Certificate in Family Law and a Master of Public Health.
Sykes currently serves as the US Representative for Ohio-13. Prior to her election in 2022, she was the State Representative in Ohio’s 34th legislative district, otherwise known as the “birthplace of champions,” where she served since 2014. She recently finished four years in Democratic leadership, holding the positions of Assistant Whip, Minority Whip and Minority Leader. Prior to serving in the state legislature, Sykes worked as administrative staff adviser at the Summit County Fiscal Office, where she helped to create a county land bank to repurpose vacant and abandoned properties, and as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Georgia.
ON THE ISSUES
Emilia Sykes believes that women should always have the right to make decisions about their healthcare and reproductive freedom. Whether it’s abortion, birth control, or breast cancer screenings, the government has no place telling a woman what to do with her body. In Congress, Sykes will fight against any attempts to criminalize abortion and contraception or punish women and will stand up for victims of rape, incest, and domestic abuse.
Sykes knows that access to clean water, clean air, and a clean environment is a basic human right—but that we can fight for those rights while also creating good-paying jobs. In Congress, Sykes will support environmentally friendly policies that support our economy, allow our national parks to thrive, and support native wildlife.
As Minority Leader, Sykes pushed for a package of key gun reforms that included universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, and child-proof storage requirements for firearms. She has been an outspoken critic of Ohio’s “no duty to retreat” law. In Congress, she will be committed to heeding the calls of those speaking loudly and clearly for common-sense measures to keep our kids and communities safe.