Senator Vernon Sykes

  • Hometown:  Akron, Ohio
  •  Occupation: Ohio Senate, District 28 Senator
  •  Year started with Ohio Commission on Fatherhood: 2021


Senator Sykes is currently serving his second term in the Ohio Senate, where he represents the city of Akron and the rest of the 28th district. In addition to his work as a Senator, Sykes is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Columbus Program in State Issues at Kent State University and serves as the President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. Sykes has held previous positions in the Akron City Council and the Ohio House of Representatives.
Called to public service at a young age, Senator Sykes has worked to improve life for Ohioans. As a longtime advocate for redistricting reform, Sykes championed for the redistricting of Ohio’s state legislative and congressional districts to give Ohioans more choices, better reflecting their needs at the Statehouse and in Congress. He has also passionately (and with success) fought to create meaningful legislation that expands access to early childhood education, makes higher education more affordable, combats child abuse, and prevents housing discrimination against people with disabilities.

Senator Sykes’ unwavering commitment to his constituents opened many doors for him during his time spent in the Ohio House of Representatives. Sen. Sykes has 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.
That same commitment and innovation has earned Senator Sykes’ several distinguished awards, including but not limited to:

  • 2012 “Public Elected Official of the Year award” from the National Association of Social Workers,
  • 2015 “Champion for Working Families & Civil Rights Award” from the Ohio AFL-CIO,
  • 2018 "Legislative Champion of the Year" by the Ohio Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs,
  • 2018 "Outstanding Contributions to Health Education Award" from the Ohio Society of Public Health Education
  • 2018 "Legislator of the Year Award" by the Ohio Association of Elections Officials
  • 2018 "Small Business Advocate of the Year Award" from the Greater Cleveland Partnership and its Council of Smaller Enterprises

Senator Sykes completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio University where received his B.B.A. in Management and Organizational Behavior. From there, Sykes attended Wright State University and Harvard University where he earned a Masters of Social and Applied Economics and a Masters of Public Administration, respectively. All of which lead to the achievement of Dr. Sykes earning a Ph.D. in Public Administration.

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Upcoming Events

The Commission Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 10:00 am. – 12:00 p.m. It will be a Virtual Microsoft Teams Meeting.

Please click here to join the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 13, 2021 Commissioners’ Meeting.

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2021 Commission Meeting Dates:    Feb. 11, May 13, July 8, Sept. 9 and Nov. 18.  

If you would like to attend a commission meeting, please contact Terri Simons at 614-752-0182.  Click the highlighted text to learn more about the commission meetings
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