Name: State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan
City of Residence: Youngstown
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Office Desired: State Representative 58th District
Facebook: Michele Lepore Hagan
Why should you be elected
I believe I am exceptionally well-qualified to serve the people of the 58th District in the Ohio House: Served one term in the Ohio Legislature.
I joined with members of the disabled community and their families in the fight to preserve the state’s Developmental Disability Centers. These Centers, including a facility located in the Valley, provide essential services to our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
In order to protect the interests of the disabled, I and Republican Representative Michael Henne from Montgomery County drafted and introduced language that would create the State Facilities Closure Review Commission that will exercise oversight authority over the proposed closures.
I led the effort to force Governor Kasich to keep his promise to provide Austintown and the other communities hosting racinos with hundreds of thousands of dollars that will help them defray costs associated with providing police and fire protection and other government services.
I passed an amendment to secure tax-exempt status for The Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority.
I played a key role in securing more than $16 million in capital appropriations funding for my district for area Arts, Education, and Small Businesses.
I also Introduced HB 379 to strengthen the Youngstown City Schools by using a community-based approach to make improvements to the “Youngstown Plan.” This legislation builds upon the successful use of “community learning centers” (CLC) in Cincinnati and Akron. I believe this approach that will hold the CEO more accountable while providing our community with a way to become more involved in the education of our children.
These bills were drafted after Sen. Schiavoni and I held more than 20 meetings with parents, teachers, community leaders and residents. Among other things, the legislation would include enhance community involvement in the reformation of the YPS by increasing the size of the Academic Distress Commission, require the CEO to implement the CLC model in at least one building and increase transparency by ensuring that meetings are open to the public and mandating that all improvement or closure plans be presented and discussed during public hearings.
The legislation would also replace “Community Stakeholder Groups” with “School Action Teams,” delay unilateral action taken by the CEO by one year to allow schools and teachers time to prepare for changes, revise criteria for grading schools transitioning out of Academic Distress and remove the CEO’s ability to modify or alter collective bargaining agreements.
Youngstown has the highest concentration of childhood poverty in Ohio. The CLC model, which was the original intent of HB 70, improves communities by offering wrap-around services, including healthcare, dental care, mental health services and tutoring programs to those in our community facing tremendous economic and social barriers. Senator Schiavoni also introduced a companion version of the bill in the Senate.
In addition, I have been intensely involved in politics and public policy for more than a quarter century. I have developed a thorough understanding of both the political and legislative process and have played an active role in advocating for and against a wide range of issues including health care, education, and civil, workers’ and women’s rights.
Perhaps most importantly, I am a working wife and mother who, like thousands of women in our community, deals daily with the challenges families face in today’s world. That real world experience and perspective has armed me with valuable insight on what we must do to substantially improve the quality of life in community, our state, and our nation and ensure that our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to share in the American Dream.
My education, my service as a member on local boards, my political and public policy experience, and my achievements as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives make me uniquely qualified to serve as a member of the General Assembly representing the 58th District.
I’m particularly proud of all that I’ve accomplished since taking office. I have dealt with and in many cases assumed a leadership role in debates surrounding a wide range of critical issues including education, public safety, women’s health, veterans’ services, care of the disabled and workers’ rights.
In addition, No other candidate for this office brings this wealth of attributes to the race for the 58th District.
Top three priorities
1) Strengthen public education at all levels, work within the Ohio law to assist the CEO of the Youngstown City Schools to protect public education to ensure that all children have a fair and equitable education.
2) Repair, rebuild, and enhance our community’s infrastructure so that we are able to attract and retain good-paying jobs.
3) Ensure that local governments have the resources needed to provide essential services.
• 2015—today: Ohio State Representative 58th District Served one term in the Ohio Legislature. Ranking member of Commerce ond Labor Committee.
• Serve on the Health and Aging Committee, Transportation Committee, and the Community and Family Advancement Committee. Former employers:
• 2001—2015: Director of the Performing Arts Series in the College of Creative Arts and Communication;YSU
• 1987—2001: Theater Manager, in the Department of Communication and Theater in the College of Fine and Performing Arts, YSU
Name of spouse and children:
Spouse: Robert F. Hagan
Children: Jimmy Lepore Hagan and Natalia Lepore Hagan Step-children: Jennifer Hagan Kadel, Kristen Hagan-Iezzi-and Tommy Hagan
• 1973: Youngstown State University. Undergraduate coursework
• 1976-1980: Ohio University, Athens, OH. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Graduated Cum Laude.
• 1985-1987: Youngstown State University. Post BFA studies in Graphic Art and Education
• Served as a board member: Urban League, Gateways to Better Living, Ballet Western Reserve, and The Youngstown Arts Council