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Capri S. Cafaro has represented the 32nd Ohio Senate District since January 2007 when she was appointed to the 127th General Assembly. Cafaro’s district encompasses Ashtabula and Trumbull counties, located in Northeast Ohio. As of 2013, portions of Geauga County have been added to her district as well.
Cafaro, 34, graduated from Stanford University with a BA in American Studies and from Georgetown University with a MALS in International Studies. She has a long standing interest in public policy pertaining to health care and the needs of older adults. She was a State Advocate Representative for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and served as a councilor for the Medicare Rights Center. In addition, she previously served on the Trumbull County Senior Services Advisory Council and was a State Policy Liaison for Ohio with the National Patient Advocate Foundation. Senator Cafaro has also acted as an Economic Policy Associate for Global Action on Aging, an NGO with consultative status at the United Nations. Additionally, as a participant in the Clinton Global Initiative, she developed a project on Anti-Corruption efforts in emerging democracies.
One year after her appointment, Cafaro secured a leadership position as Assistant Minority Whip for the Senate Democrats. Her hard work and dedication was quickly acknowledged by her peers and in January 2009 she was sworn in as Senate Minority Leader. She served as the Minority Leader until January of 2012, making her the longest serving Senate Minority Leader since the late 1990’s. During her tenure as Leader, Senate Democrats passed more bills than under any other leadership in the last decade.
Senator Cafaro currently serves as the Ranking Member on the Senate Standing Committees on Health, Human Services, and Aging and Highways and Transportation. She serves on the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, as well as the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, and the Legislative Service Commission. She has been appointed to and currently serves on the Health Care Coverage and Quality Council, the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering, the Ohio Advisory Council for Aging, the Redistricting, Reapportionment and Demographic Research Task Force, and the Unified Long Term Care Services and Supports Group.
Senator Cafaro was presented with the 2007-08 Legislator of the Year Award by Ohio Advanced Practice Nurses for her outstanding contributions to the practice and advocacy of health care-related legislation. She was also honored as 2008 Woman of the Year by the Liberty Historical Society. In 2008 she was named a Friend of Agriculture by the Ohio Farm Bureau and awarded the honor of being one of the five MVP’s in her “40 under 40” Class, selected and hosted by the Mahoning Valley 20/30 Club.
In 2009, Senator Cafaro was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Speech and Hearing Coalition, the Ohio Farmer’s Union, AMVETS Department of Ohio, and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers’ Association and the Soybean Association for her leadership and support of Ohio’s bio products industry and Ohio agriculture. Senator Cafaro was further recognized for her service by Ohio Jewish Communities in 2009 and 2011. She was nominated a legislator of the year by Ohio’s Homecare and Hospice Association in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, Senator Cafaro received the Youth Leadership Award from the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C. Senator Cafaro, on behalf of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus, received the Ohio State Lodge Legislator of the Year Award in 2011 from the Fraternal Order of Police. She also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association in 2011.