There is No One-Size-Fits-All Solution


Date: Oct. 25, 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Guns Drugs Education

No matter the issue at hand, be it the opioid epidemic, school safety, or economic development, one thing is very clear: what works in one community may not work in another. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. As your Representative in Congress, I want to help empower communities to tackle the problems they face every day, on their own terms. That's why I work to bring federal dollars back to the 15th District in the form of grants to organizations that have a first-hand understanding of the problem and have creative and unique solutions to fix it.

Take, for example, Fairfield County. Committed to helping their neighbors overcome addiction, they saw an opportunity to create an action team that would aid those who have suffered an overdose. Rather than leaving them alone in their hour of need, they formed the Fairfield County Overdose Response Team (Project F.O.R.T.) to visit those victims in their homes to let them know that there are resources available. Under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which I supported in 2016, grants are available for entities that foster collaboration between law enforcement and first responders, recovery services, pharmacists, etc. I was thrilled to help Project F.O.R.T. secure $500,000 -- 50 times the amount they were originally seeking -- to support this crucial work. It is a unique solution created by Fairfield County, for Fairfield County, and it will save lives.

Recently, I hosted my second School Safety Summit, which brought together school administrators, educators, and law enforcement representatives from across the 15th District, and there again, the need for unique solutions was clear. The needs of rural schools are vastly different from the needs of suburban or urban schools, and those communities need the flexibility to do what they know will work. Thanks to the STOP School Violence Act, which I also cosponsored, schools will have those resources. Together with Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and the rest of the Ohio Delegation, we sent a letter in support of Ohio's application for a grant created under the law, which resulted in nearly $700,000 to secure our classrooms. Be it resource officers or early detection programs, schools will be able to decide what works best for them.

This autonomy in decision making is perhaps best displayed in the business world, but there is no reason that it could not also be applied to social issues. That is the theory behind the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE Appalachia) program at the Ohio University's Voinovich School: applying for-profit business strategies to conquer social problems in Southeastern Ohio communities. With a $750,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, which I also helped to secure, SEE will enter its second year, with projections to aid 32 local communities and generate $3.8 million in economic growth. Whether a community is in need of entrepreneurial and business development, workforce preparedness, or broadband access, SEE is ready to serve as a resource to help fill the void with innovative strategies that have been proven successful in the market.

And that is what I hope to do as well: serve as a partner for organizations across the 15th District, help unlock their potential, and ensure they have the resources to keep moving forward. For more information on available federal grants, visit my website at or call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.