Joe Schiavoni

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Joe Schiavoni
File:Ohio State Senator Joe Schiavoni.jpg
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 33rd district
Assumed office
January 6, 2009
Preceded by John Boccieri
Personal details
Born (1979-09-21) September 21, 1979 (age 39)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Boardman, Ohio,[1] U.S.
Alma mater Ohio University, Capital University
Profession Attorney
Religion Catholic

Joseph L. Schiavoni (born September 21, 1979) is a member of the Ohio Senate and the current Senate Minority Leader.[2] Schiavoni has been a member of the Senate since 2009. He represents the 33rd Senate District, which encompasses the Mahoning Valley, including Youngstown, Ohio. He is a Democrat.

Early life

Schiavoni was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up on the south side of Youngstown, Ohio, before moving to Boardman, Ohio where he attended Boardman High School.[3] While in high school, Schiavoni was a Golden Glove boxer, as were his three brothers and his father before them. As a young man, he held jobs at Catullo Prime Meats, Fab-Art Steel, and Keffler Construction in the Mahoning Valley.[3]

Following high school, Schiavoni attended Ohio University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. He then attended law school at Capital University, and received his Juris Doctor in 2004.[4]

After graduating from law school, Schiavoni returned to Youngstown where he became a member of his father's law firm. Since then, he has practiced worker's compensation law.[4] Schiavoni is licensed to practice law in both Ohio and West Virginia.

[5] Schiavoni at one time helped legally represent Kelly Pavlik, the Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World, who he boxed with as a child on the south side of Youngstown.


Ohio Senate

As a political novice, Schiavoni was selected in 2008 to replace Senator John Boccieri,[6] who had been elected to the United States House of Representatives. His selection surprised many, as Schiavoni was only 28 years old at the time and had never held elected office. Nonetheless, Schiavoni easily won the party nomination in 2010 to hold the seat, and was elected in the general election with over 60% of the vote.

In November 2011, Schiavoni was named Assistant Minority Whip in the Senate,[7] but quickly rose to Assistant Minority Leader under Eric Kearney in January 2012.[8] Schiavoni would serve in that capacity for two years until 2014, when he was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be Minority Leader.[9]

He was unopposed for re-election in 2014 to hold his seat in the Senate.

Issues and Legislation


While in the Senate, Schiavoni has been an outspoken advocate for education,[10] notably charter school reform,[11] and has penned legislation to create stronger oversight.[12]

In October 2014, Schiavoni proposed a grant program to help Ohio schools create bullying prevention programs.[13] In February 2015, he reintroduced the bullying prevention grant program, along with legislation that would provide additional funding for school safety initiatives.[14]

Schiavoni has been a vocal opponent of a controversial new Ohio law that gives an unelected CEO "complete operational, managerial and instructional control" of failing Ohio school districts.[15][16][17]

Schiavoni requested a special audit of the Ohio Department of Education after it was discovered that failing online charter school data had been omitted to make Ohio charter schools appear more successful overall.[18][19][20]

He and other top Democrat lawmakers also called for the removal of State Superintendent Dick Ross,[21] "citing the recent scandal involving the cover up of failing charter school grades in state evaluations, the plan to takeover the Youngstown public schools crafted behind closed doors, and general lack of accountability to the State Board of Education and the public."[21]

Protecting Children

In 2015, Senator Schiavoni sponsored legislation that would make improper child restraints in vehicles a primary offense, meaning officers would not need another reason to pull the vehicle over.[22] This legislation was at least partially motivated by a head-on crash in the Minerva, Ohio, area that killed three people, including an 11-year-old girl who had been riding in the vehicle's cargo area.[22]

In June 2015, Senator Schiavoni and Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) introduced legislation to strengthen penalties for people found guilty of purposefully harming children under age 13.[23]

Collective Bargaining

Schiavoni supports collective bargaining rights for workers, and has actively opposed attempts to weaken these rights.[24][25][26]

Fast Track Trade Agreements

Schiavoni is opposed to fast track trade agreements and has urged the US Congress "to oppose fast track legislation on trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership."[27]

“Communities throughout the Ohio Valley have been devastated by previous fast track trade agreements, and we can’t allow that to happen again. We need fair trade deals that grow our economy and stop good paying jobs from leaving our shores.”[27]

Additional Legislation

Schiavoni proposed legislation to require Ohio's governor to get approval from a state commission before closing or selling state-operated institutions such as prisons or centers for individuals with developmental disabilities.[28] The proposed state commission would include "lawmakers, officials of the agency in charge of the institution, others who have worked with the agency, a union member, and members of the public."[28]

Committee assignments

Family and Personal Life

Schiavoni is a member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Mahoning Valley, the Mahoning County Bar Association, Curbstone Coaches, the local Farm Bureau, Boardman Civic Association, Italian-American Education Foundation, and the Legends of Leather Boxing Organization.[3]

He is married to Margaret Schiavoni, a nurse-anesthetist, and they have two children together. They reside in Boardman, Ohio.[5]

Electoral history

Ohio Senate 33rd District: Results 2010 to 2014
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Libertarian Votes Pct
2010 Joe Schiavoni 63,771 60.05% Matt Lewis 37,756 36.49% John Fockler 3,677 3.46%
2014 Joe Schiavoni 63,972 100.00%


  1. Biography: Senator Joe Schiavoni, The Ohio Senate
  2. "Senator Joe Schiavoni (D) - District 33". The Ohio State Senate. Retrieved January 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Senator Joe Schiavoni (D) - Biography | The Ohio Senate". Retrieved 2015-08-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Election coverage: Joe Schiavoni". Youngstown Vindicator. May 3, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Joe Schiavoni appointed to replace Boccieri in state Senate". Buckeye State Blog. December 18, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Schiavoni appointed to replace Boccieri". The News Leader. Retrieved 2015-08-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Senate Democrats Pick Senator Schiavoni To Serve As Assistant Minority Whip (Press Release)". 22 November 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Wang, Robert (27 January 2012). "Boards and ballots: Schiavoni gets promotion". CantonRep. Retrieved 18 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Ohio Senate Democrats keep current leadership in place". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cleveland. 2014-11-19. Retrieved 2014-11-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Ohio Democrats eye raising minimum wage, expanding Medicaid". WKSU. Kent, Ohio. 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Siegel, Jim (2015-01-21). "Democrats in Ohio Senate lay out agenda". Columbus Dispatch. Columbus. Retrieved 2015-01-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Senate Democrats outline legislative priorities". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Senator Schiavoni Proposes Grant Program For Bullying Prevention". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Senator Schiavoni Introduces Legislation To Protect Students". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Youngstown Residents Speak Out Against CEO Takeover Of School District". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. " - Rally against schools plan draws hundreds". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Mittereder, Greta. "Lawmakers say bill to take over Youngstown schools was rushed". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "State broke the law by ignoring online school F's, state school board says". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Ohio ignores online school F's as it evaluates charter school overseers". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Minority Leader Schiavoni Requests Special Audit Of Ohio Department Of Education". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Senator Schiavoni Joins Call For State Board Of Education To Remove Superintendent Ross". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 Byer, Kelly. "Young crash victim's family fights for tough seat-belt laws". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Senators Schiavoni And Gentile Seek Tougher Penalties For Child Abuse Cases". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Ohio state Senate passes bill to curtail collective bargaining". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Overhaul of state's collective bargaining law proposed in Ohio Senate". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Senator Schiavoni Comments On Governor's Decision To Strip Worker's Collective Bargaining Rights". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Senators Schiavoni And Gentile Introduce Resolution Urging Congress To Oppose". The Ohio Senate. Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Governor couldn't close state prisons, institutions without input under Senate bill". Retrieved 2015-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links