The Madison County Democratic Party held a meet and greet for Anne Gorman, Democratic candidate for Ohio State House of Representatives for District 74, at 7 p.m. Monday evening at the Madison County Engineer’s Office.
A proud resident of Plain City, Gorman has been married to her husband, Mike, for 41 years. They have three sons and two grandchildren. She is a retired public school educator and community volunteer.
Originally from the Westside of Columbus, Gorman graduated from West High School before earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The Ohio State University.
She has been a music educator in several Ohio school systems, including Newark, Hilliard and Jonathan Alder, retiring from the latter in 2017 after 18 years of service.
Gorman is well-known for the musical theater productions she directed while teaching at Jonathan Alder, as well for directing the school’s various choral groups.
She has often used her talents for giving back to her community, not the least of which were the six productions she directed for the Pleasure Guild of Children’s Hospital at the Palace Theatre that raised millions of dollars for the charity.
District 74 encompasses all of Madison County, as well as a large portion of Greene County, and the northeast corner of Clark County.
Gorman believes the district needs real representation, someone who will listen and make it a priority to be available for discussion and feedback with constituents. She intends to work for better employment opportunities, job training, and living wages.
As a retired educator, Gorman knows first hand the many hardships that public education currently faces, and is determined to work hard for public school funding, thereby enabling a strong foundation and brighter future for children in the district.
She will be on the front lines of the opioid battle to find solutions for communities and citizens.
“I believe we should invest in people — together we win!” Gorman told the crowd.
The major points in Gorman’s platform are: education, jobs and unemployment, healthcare, and the opioid crisis.
“We keep hearing that our public schools are failing us. That is utter nonsense — our legislators are failing our public schools!” said Gorman.
Current legislators are not interested in actual education, but their own self interests, Gorman maintains. Rather than invest in the public school system, they are interested in courting private charter schools that solely exist to make a profit and which have not produced the educational results that they have promised — the debacle of ECOT being a prime example.
Since 2010, $20 million has been stripped from public school funding in District 74, according to Gorman. And while teachers and administrators are receiving less and less resources, they are expected to take on an ever increasing amount of responsibility: more testing, data collection, and general “measuring” of teachers and students, all of which have taken valuable time away from actual teaching and learning. And while public schools are having to do more with less, privatized charter schools have had little or no oversight or accountability, but have been given millions of dollars by state legislators.
In 2010, Ohio ranked fifth in education excellence. Today it ranks 22nd.
“It is time to reinvest in our schools and our kids!” Gorman said.
Jobs and Unemployment
In Ohio, 70 percent of new jobs are low wage jobs. Costs are going up, but wages are not. It is time to act.
State legislators have adopted a strategy of investing in corporations instead of people — providing financial incentives to businesses to attract them to Ohio rather than investing in Ohio workers and infrastructure to create an attractive place for businesses to operate. This business centric strategy clearly has not worked for the citizens of the state. Currently, Ohio is 33rd in job growth, and has trailed the national average for five years in a row.
As representative, Gorman stated that she will encourage the rebalancing of investments to improve the district’s workforce, and to improve the infrastructure (roads, bridges and internet) to make District 74 a more efficient and attractive place to do business. She will work diligently to institute pro-worker policies allowing them to earn wages that give them dignity, pride, and the ability to support their families. Tax abatements for businesses may be of interest to some employers, but what is really needed is a good place to do business, and an effective workforce to get the job done, she said.
“It’s time we reinvested in our people for the overall improvement of District 74 and the state of Ohio.” Gorman said.
Gorman believes that state legislators have continued to promote healthcare solutions that emphasize big business at the expense of the citizens. Far too many are not covered or are inadequately covered by healthcare insurance, and the burden of cost falls too heavily on those who are in low income brackets. For many people, a decision must be made between feeding themselves and their families, and having adequate healthcare coverage. Too many of the district’s citizens are one serious illness or accident away from financial ruin. Healthcare is a complex and challenging issue but we need to address it with an emphasis on people, not big business, Gorman added.
“I will push for healthcare to be available for all citizens in District 74,” she said.
“The opioid epidemic is running rampant in District 74, as well as in the state of Ohio. Ohio ranks No. 1 in opioid overdose deaths,” Gorman told the crowd. “We must treat this epidemic like the crisis that it is, with a comprehensive set of solutions and with serious intent.”
To that aim, Gorman believes in more funding for better healthcare services overall, and for better mental health services in particular. More oversight and effective regulations regarding the prescribing of opiate pain killers is paramount. Education in schools and workplaces for children and adults in how to recognize the symptoms of opioid abuse, and in understanding the negative health consequences of that abuse is also necessary. Ultimately, the economic woes of the state need to be addressed. It is this that fosters an environment of despair that can give way to addiction.
“In short, we must invest in our people again,” Gorman said.
Readers interested in learning more about Anne Gorman’s campaign or about volunteer opportunities may do so by logging on to: https://www.annecan74.com/ or find her on Facebook at: Anne Gorman Can — OH 74.
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.