Representative Terrence Upchurch – House District 20
Terrence Upchurch recently served as a special assistant to Cleveland City Council and previously worked alongside Cuyahoga County Councilman Anthony Hairston. From his time working in city council, Terrence has learned and developed a keen understanding of the nuances of government which he brings to the Statehouse.
Terrence understands the importance of forming relationships in Columbus, bipartisanship, and will create a platform to fight for working class families and help municipalities meet the basic needs of its people, including essential services like police and fire rescue. In District 20 and all across Ohio, Terrence wants to reverse the impact constituents have felt of a state legislature that continues to cut community resources.
He vows to be a true and trusted ally in the Statehouse for his community. From rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, to ensuring students receive a quality education, to increasing Ohio’s local government fund, Terrence believes we can once again lead the nation in innovation and sustainability.
Born and raised in the greater Collinwood and Glenville communities, Terrence is a proud graduate of St. Peter Chanel High School. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University and is pursuing a Master’s of Public Administration Degree from Villanova University.
Senator Catherine Ingram – Senate District 9
1st Vice President
Senator Catherine Ingram, was elected to her first term in the Ohio General Assembly in 2016. As a public servant, university instructor, realtor, neighborhood leader, mom and grandmother, Catherine Ingram knows how much the decisions made in Columbus personally impact all of us.
Catherine Ingram has been a member of the Cincinnati Board of Education for over 20 years, serving as president and vice president in the mid-’90s. Ms. Ingram has served on numerous board committees and, for many years, in a leadership role as Finance Committee chair. In 2000, she earned the prestigious honor of being just one of five board members in the state to be named to OSBA’s All-Ohio School Board. At the state and national levels, she served on OSBA’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee and the Federal Relations Network.
Ingram serves on boards of the United Way/Community Chest; Leadership Cincinnati XX; Great Rivers Girl Scout Council; Greater Cincinnati Black Achiever Award program; Mayerson Human Resource Academy; and Cincinnati Recreation Commission. Recognized as a leader in the community, Ms. Ingram has multiple accolades including being honored with the Delta Sigma Theta Achieving Women Award and recognized in the 2003-04 edition of Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati.
Representative Sedrick Denson – House District 26
2nd Vice President
State Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) is a third generation Cincinnatian who has dedicated his entire career to empowering, leading and serving the citizens of Cincinnati. He currently represents Ohio’s 26th House District.
Rep. Denson attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts to study drama, dance, music theatre and percussion. While studying there, he met a City Council-member, making him realize the impact a public servant could have on the community. He went on to study Organizational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati. Upon graduating, Rep. Denson began his career with the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency as an educator in Consumer Energy. He then served as Chief of Staff to Council-member Wendell Young – working to bring fresh foods to, and reduce the infant mortality rate in underserved neighborhoods.
After serving in City Hall, Rep. Denson went on to serve as Southwest Ohio Outreach Director for For Ohio’s Future Action Fund, a labor-backed organization that charged him with building a coalition of progressive and inclusive organizations and community leaders to move key issues forward in the region. He is currently the Southwest Ohio Director for the Ohio Environmental Council where he works daily to help protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and public spaces we enjoy. In addition to his work at the OEC, Sedrick is Political Action Chair for Greater Cincinnati National Action Network, Government Affairs Chair for African American Chamber of Commerce. He resides in the community of Bond Hill and has one son, Harper, with partner Melanie.
Representative Dontavius Jarrells – House District 1
State Rep. Dontavius Jarrells is currently serving in his first term representing Ohio’s 1st House District, which includes portions of Columbus, Clinton Township and Mifflin Township.
Growing up in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland, Jarrells saw firsthand the impact a lack of real investment and opportunity has on a community, and after nearly a decade fighting for disadvantaged and marginalized communities in Central Ohio, Rep. Jarrells is committed to reframing the debate in the Statehouse to focus on growing opportunity for all Ohioans not just those at the top.
Jarrells is prioritizing legislation to raise wages, invest in job training and make it easier for Ohioans, especially those in minority and immigrant communities, to start, grow and sustain a business.
Rep. Jarrells’ previously held positions at the Ohio House during the 129th General Assembly, where he assisted in the fight of the anti-union Senate Bill 5. He has also fought to expand health care access in his roles at the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. In addition, he has served as Political Director for a statewide executive office race and most recently served as Chief of Communications at the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office.
Rep. Jarrells graduated from East Technical High School in Cleveland and earned a degree from Hiram College in Northeast Ohio.
Representative Latyna Humphrey – House District 2
Representative Latyna M. Humphrey was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised on the near east side. She is a proud graduate of the Columbus East High School. A single mom who worked her way through college at Columbus State and Franklin University. Latyna’s highest priority is the same as so many others, to give her son a better start in life than she had. Guided by her faith, Rep. Humphrey’s life experience instilled her with a deep sense of compassion, forgiveness, hard work and an unshakable trust in God. Rep. Humphrey has always held a deep concern for those in our community who have been marginalized and left behind.
She has dedicated her career to uplifting people in poverty and making our community more equitable for everyone. Community service is not new to Rep. Humphrey as she helped with aid during the Flint Water Crisis. There, she volunteered to help with data entry for the American Red Cross and served at local food kitchens. This experience led her to get involved here in Columbus with local organizations such as the YWCA, YMCA, Central Ohio Young Black Democrats, NAACP-Columbus and the Franklin County Democratic Party where she serves as Secretary of the Central Committee.
In 2019, Rep. Humphrey became the Community Outreach Coordinator for Franklin County Auditor, Michael Stinziano. Later, she joined the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas as Bailiff to the Honorable Judge Carl A. Aveni, II. In addition, Rep. Humphrey is a two-time author and has been featured in multiple national publications and was guest speaker at Columbia University, The Ohio State University, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Brooklyn College, Hampton University and many others.
Senator Hearcel Craig – Senate District – 15
Sergeant at Arms & Chaplain
Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) brings a strong background of public service to the Statehouse as he serves in his first term as state Senator following two two-year terms as state Representative.
Craig’s commitment to the residents of Columbus began decades ago when he worked as legislative liaison for the Ohio Department of Youth Services. During his tenure at ODYS, Craig drafted legislation and secured legislative sponsorship for bills introduced in the Ohio General Assembly, including legislation which secured $83 million for much needed capital improvements to ODYS facilities.
Craig continued his work with young people when he served as director of recruitment & admissions for City Year, a program that recruits young adults to work full-time for one year on various social service projects around Columbus.
As former executive director of the Hilltop Civic Council, Craig managed a comprehensive social service agency that served 10,000 people annually in one of Columbus’ historic neighborhoods. Directing the Hilltop Civic Council’s 35-person staff and administering its $1.2 million annual budget, Craig supervised programs for a comprehensive community health care center, youth and senior services, a resettlement center for new Americans and a food and clothing pantry.
Later elected as a Columbus City Councilmember, Craig led the city’s Veterans Affairs Committee to help meet the needs of veterans, service personnel and their families. He has worked to connect veterans with existing services and resources in the community and created new initiatives like the Better Municipal Care for Veterans Home Fund, which helps veterans and their families make needed repairs to their homes. Craig also served as the chair of the Recreation, Public Utilities, Health & Human Services and Judiciary committees.
During the past three decades, Craig has volunteered his time as a trustee on numerous community service boards, many focused on education. He has served as a member of the Columbus Public Schools Equity Task Force, the Columbus State Community College Department of Business and Industry Technology Curriculum Committee, the Southside Learning and Development Center’s Board of Trustees, the Ohio Hunger Task Force Board of Trustees and the Columbus Cultural Arts Center Board of Trustees. He recently served on the board of the Military Veterans Resource Center. Craig also served as board chair for the Alliance for Cooperative Justice, board chair for the Franklin County Prevention Institute and chair of the State Education Committee for the Columbus Chapter of the NAACP. Craig was named the 2011 Public Servant of the Year by Community Shares of Mid-Ohio.
Senator Craig earned a Master of Science in Administration degree from Central Michigan University and was a Join Together National Leadership Fellow at Boston University School of Public Health. Craig pursued a Graduate Studies degree in Theology from Ashland Theological Seminary and is a graduate of Leadership Columbus and Leadership Ohio. He proudly served our nation in the United States Army from 1970-1972.
Senator Vernon Sykes – Senate District – 28
Senator Vernon Sykes is currently serving his first term in the Ohio State Senate, representing the 28th district. The 28th district includes: Akron, Barberton, Coventry, Green, Lakemore, Mogadore, Springfield, Tallmadge, and portions of Bath and Cuyahoga Falls.
Senator Sykes has dedicated much of his life to public service. He previously served in Akron City Council and the Ohio House of Representatives. Since 2001, Dr. Sykes has passed along his experience in public service to students as a professor of Political Science and Director of the Columbus Program in State Issues at Kent State University.
During his time in office, Senator Sykes has worked to improve life for ordinary Ohioans. He’s fought passionately to expand access to early childhood education and make higher education more affordable. He’s also passed bipartisan legislation to fight child abuse and prevent housing discrimination against people with disabilities.
Senator Sykes is a longtime advocate for redistricting reform. As a Representative, his bipartisan efforts led to successful ballot initiatives to redraw Ohio’s state legislative and congressional districts. Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot initiatives. Senator Sykes believes districts drawn in a fairer way give Ohioans more choices, which better reflect their needs at the Statehouse and in Congress.
His dedication to his constituents earned him several leadership positions while a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. He served as Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Chair of the House Finance & Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, Co-Chair of the Ohio Constitution Modernization Committee, and Co-Chair of the Budget Planning & Management Commission. He was also honored to be chosen as President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.
He has been the recipient of several distinguished awards throughout his career. This includes the 2012 “Public Elected Official of the Year award” from the National Association of Social Workers, the 2015 “Champion for Working Families & Civil Rights Award” from the Ohio AFL-CIO, the 2018 “Legislative Champion of the Year” by the Ohio Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, the 2018 “Outstanding Contributions to Health Education Award” from the Ohio Society of Public Health Education, the 2018 “Legislator of the Year Award” by the Ohio Association of Elections Officials, and the 2018 “Small Business Advocate of the Year Award” from the Greater Cleveland Partnership and its Council of Smaller Enterprises.
Dr. Sykes earned his B.B.A. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Ohio University. He also holds a Masters of Social and Applied Economics from Wright State University and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University. He later earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Akron.
Senator Sykes is married to Barbara Sykes, president and CEO of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. They have two daughters, Stancy and Emilia, and two grandchildren, Hugh and Hope.