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State Senate Minority Leadership – 131st General Assembly

The minority caucus is comprised of the party with the fewest members represented. Each session, members of the minority caucus select a slate of leaders, headed by the minority leader.  The minority leader is elected by all members of the Senate to lead the party in the minority. He or she is responsible for the development and implementation of the minority party.

Pictured:   Assistant Minority Whip Lou Gentile (middle left), Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (front),
Minority Whip Edna Brown (back middle), Assistant Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares (middle right)

Minority Leader – Joe Schiavoni - Senate District 33 – Senator Joe Schiavoni represents the 33rd Senate District, which encompasses all of Columbiana and Mahoning Counties.  In 2013, Senator Schiavoni’s colleagues unanimously elected him as the Democratic Leader of the Senate, after serving two years as Assistant Leader.

As a legislator, Senator Schiavoni has strived to make job creation and economic development a top priority for all of the communities across the 33rd District. He has been a strong advocate of increased funding for K-12 education, including additional dollars for school safety purposes.  Schiavoni has passed legislation that aims to strengthen Ohio neighborhoods by addressing and remediating abandoned, vacant properties.

Contact Senator Schiavoni Statehouse
1 Capitol Square, 3rd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-8285
Email Senator Schiavoni

Assistant Minority Leader – Charleta B. Tavares – Senate District 15 - pictured second row right.  The assistant minority leader is elected by all members of the Senate and assists the minority leader in development and implementation of the agenda for the minority party.

Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) was elected to serve Ohio’s 15th Senate District in November, 2010. She is a committed public servant who served as a member of Columbus City Council from 1999 to 2010. Tavares’ state and national reputation as a leader in the areas of health and human services was instrumental in her appointment to serve as the Chair of the Columbus City Council’s Health & Human Development Committee. In Council, she also chaired the Housing Committee.

Prior to joining Council, Tavares left a legacy for the citizens of Ohio during her 5 ½ year tenure in the Ohio General Assembly as the State Representative in the 22nd House District. Tavares was the first African-American female to serve in the state legislature from Franklin County and the first African-American woman ever to hold a leadership position in the Ohio General Assembly.

Contact Senator Tavares
Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-5131
Email Senator Tavares

Minority Whip – Edna Brown – Senate District 11 – pictured back row center.  The minority whip is elected by all members of the Senate and is responsible for monitoring legislation and securing votes for legislation on the floor for the minority party.

Edna Brown (D-Toledo) was elected to serve Ohio’s 11th Senate district in November, 2010. Prior to joining the Senate, her dedication to public service led to a 32-year career as an employee with the city of Toledo, followed by an eight-year tenure as a member of Toledo City Council. She moved to the Statehouse in January 2002 to fill the Ohio House of Representatives seat of then newly-elected Toledo mayor Jack Ford. Senator Brown currently serves as the Minority Whip in the Senate.

Senator Brown’s legislative interests include criminal justice reform, healthcare, the wellbeing of children and families, and voting access. She serves on the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee, the Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Board, the Ohio Commission on Minority Health and the Ohio Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Children, Families & the Courts. Senator Brown has been appointed to the Health & Human Services, Economic Development and Education Committees of the Midwest Council of State Governments. She is First Vice President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Senator Brown is state director for WILL/WAND and for Women in Government, non-partisan national organizations for women legislators. She was a founding member of the Greater Toledo Urban League and still sits on the Board of Directors. Senator Brown is a past chair of the Administration Board for Braden United Methodist Church and a charter member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.

Senator Brown’s idea to bring “no excuse” absentee voting to Ohio was incorporated into a bill that became state law in January 2006. For her efforts, the Ohio Association of Election Officials and the Ohio Secretary of State honoured her with the Jack Wolfe Memorial Award as one of two “Legislators of the Year.” In 2007, Senator Brown first introduced a bill addressing violence in teen dating relationships. The teen dating violence bill (HB 10) became law in June 2010.

Contact Senator Brown
Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-5204
Email Senator Brown

Assistant Minority Whip – Lou Gentile – Senate District 30 – pictured second row left.  The assistant minority whip is elected by all members of the Senate and is responsible for assisting the minority whip in monitoring legislation and securing votes for legislation on the floor for the minority party.

State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) is serving his first full term in the Ohio Senate, representing the 30th Senate District.  Senator Gentile currently represents Jefferson, Carroll, Harrison, Belmont, Noble, Monroe, Washington, Meigs and portions of Athens and Vinton Counties.

In January of 2014, Senator Gentile was elected to serve as the Assistant Minority Whip of the Senate. Senator Gentile has proven to be an effective and committed legislator and is known to be both pragmatic and willing to work in a bipartisan fashion.  As the Ranking Member on Senate Public Utilities, Energy and Natural Resources, and the Senate Agriculture Committees, he has been a critical voice and advocate for affordable energy and utility prices as well as the responsible development of Ohio’s natural resources.

In 2010, Senator Gentile was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives to represent the 95th House District, which included Jefferson, Belmont, and Harrison Counties.  In 2011, Gentile was appointed to fill the vacant 30th Senate District and was subsequently re-elected in 2012.

Prior to his current term in the Senate, Senator Gentile has committed his career to public service, particularly in the areas of economic development and job creation, education, and workforce training.  He has a particular interest in the issues, challenges, and opportunities in Appalachian Ohio.  As the former Assistant Director for the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Senator Gentile created and maintained job opportunities through various economic incentive programs in coordination with local businesses.  He also played a pivotal role in expanding broadband access to residents throughout eastern and southeastern Ohio and is currently the Co-Chair of the Broadband and Technology Caucus.

Prior in serving in the Office of Appalachia, Senator Gentile was a field liaison for the Office of former Congressman and Governor Ted Strickland.  He served in four Appalachian counties, allowing him to further build regional consensus and support on a wide range of economic and educational projects.

Contact Senator Gentile
Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-6508
Email Senator Gentile


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