(June 12, 2018) Phil Robinson, a longtime champion of education, small business and strong local government, has officially announced his candidacy for Ohio House District 6. The district covers a broad stretch of southeast Cuyahoga County including Bentleyville, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Gates Mills, Glenwillow, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Independence, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood, Seven Hills, Solon, Valley View and Walton Hills.
“As the son of an entrepreneur, I understand the needs of small business owners. As an engaged citizen, I see local governments getting squeezed tighter and tighter to make up for misguided priorities in Columbus. As an education professional and senior nonprofit executive, I know what is needed for students to succeed.” said Robinson. “I am part of the next generation of civic leaders, and I will apply my success in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to bring people together and ensure our government works for we the people.”
Robinson’s three-prong platform includes:
- Education – During the last budget cycle, Ohio’s public schools were hurt by multimillion dollar budget cuts, including more than $4.3 million in cuts in House District 6. That has led to communities shifting the tax burden to middle class families through levies. Additionally, despite multiple Ohio Supreme Court rulings that Ohio’s school funding system is unconstitutional, the state legislature has still not solved the problem. As the state representative for District 6, Phil will work to find common ground to fix the school funding model.
- Strengthening Local Government – Ohio’s balanced budget was created on the backs of its local cities and villages. Cuts are causing communities to raise taxes, impose new fees or cut services completely. Over the last six years, the Republican-controlled state legislature repeatedly voted to cut funding for municipal governments, including more than $32 million in House District 6. Robinson will lead the fight to restore funding to benefit the region and the state.
- Economic Growth – The key to growing our economy and providing more opportunity is creating the right environment for job creation. Robinson will work to eliminate
unreasonable burdens on small businesses while protecting fair consumer and worker safety standards, promoting innovation, and investing in the workforce. He will fight to ensure that those working are earning a wage that provides a pathway to the middle class and allows them to support their families.
“The backbone of our state economy is small businesses, but the state focuses its efforts and incentives on large corporations, often pitting communities against each other to keep local businesses within city lines,” says Robinson.
Robinson’s passion for service has guided him throughout his professional career, having previously worked for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and later, two Fortune 500 global communications firms. In 2010, he served as a Cleveland Executive Fellow before joining City Year as the executive director of the Cleveland chapter. City Year is an education-focused nonprofit that partners with public schools to keep students in school and on track to graduate.
Using his private sector experience, Robinson transformed City Year Cleveland into a profitable and sustainable chapter and has increased graduation rates across Cuyahoga County. Under his leadership, City Year Cleveland doubled its revenue, grew its operation by 20 percent and helped one school increase its graduation rate from 39 percent to 73 percent in five short years. In 2016, he was named the senior vice president for Regional and Site Operations for City Year, managing all aspects of the national organization’s operations including 28 sites across the country, 700 site staff, 3,000 volunteers and an annual revenue budget of $158 million.
“Our state government should work for everyone, not just the powerful and connected,” said Robinson. “I am running for state representative to bring new leadership to Columbus, end corruption in our state government and put families before politics. As a senior executive and father of two children, I know what it is like to balance work and family. As a native Northeast Ohioan, I will fight to increase investment in Ohio schools, protect local funding for vital services, and make it easier to start and grow a small business. Everyone should have the opportunity to succeed.”
A graduate of Gilmour Academy, Robinson earned a degree in finance from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Case Western University Weatherhead School of Management. He serves on the boards of Gilmour Academy, United Black Fund Foundation, and Teach for America – Greater Cleveland.
He was named to Crain’s Cleveland Business 2015 Forty Under 40, Pahara NextGen Leader (a program of the Aspen Institute), Crain’s Cleveland Business “Who to Watch in Education,” Top 25 Under 35 Movers and Shakers by Inside Business Magazine, and The George Washington University Hall of Fame. A 2013 graduate of Leadership Cleveland, Robinson lives in Solon with his wife, Elizabeth and their two young children.