Throughout her career, State Senator Nina Turner has fought to improve Northeast Ohio and the lives of those who call it home. Continually devoted to the issues of education, employment, and building strong and safe communities, she has embraced a no-nonsense attitude toward confronting the problems that face our cities and state on a daily basis. An outspoken advocate of the disenfranchised and under-represented, Senator Turner believes that if individuals are provided with the means they will craft for themselves their own American dream.
Turner began her professional career as a legislative aide to then State Senator Rhine McLin. Senator Turner returned to her hometown to serve in the administration of Mayor Michael White where she was quickly promoted to Executive Assistant of Legislative Affairs. She later lobbied on behalf of Cleveland¿s school children at the state and federal level as the Director of Government Affairs for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
After the completion of a successful 2005 campaign season, Turner then became the first woman ever elected to represent Cleveland¿s Ward 1. On City Council she became a leader in the campaign to make our neighborhoods safer and more family-friendly places to live. Loudly proclaiming ¿excuses are out the door,¿ Turner led the charge to push back against a rising tide of decline by championing changes in curfew laws and other initiatives to combat increasing violence and played a central role in shedding light on Cleveland¿s foreclosure crisis.
Senator Turner is also deeply involved in her community. During her time on City Council, she established the Derek W. Owens Memorial Scholarship fund in honor of slain Cleveland Police Officer Derek Owens. Designed to benefit high school graduates who reside in the City¿s Ward 1 or 4, scholarships are awarded based on financial need, academic merit, and commitment to community service. Turner has also been instrumental in the development of the Ohio Closing the Achievement Gap Campaign. The program serves as a critical tool in cultivating and mentoring at-risk students and urges them to stay in school so that they may succeed in society. Through her work as a mentor at her alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School, Turner¿s efforts have touched the lives of countless young men and women.
As a State Senator representing the 25th District, Turner continues to fight for issues that matter to the people of Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio. A lifelong advocate of the power of education, Turner believes that a well educated citizenry is critical to restoring and maintaining Ohio¿s economic prominence. In the Senate, she has campaigned for extended COBRA benefits for Ohio¿s working men and women, as well as development initiatives to bring high speed rail transportation to the state.
In addition to being a member of the Ohio Senate, Senator Turner takes great pride in her role as a college professor. Teaching African-American History, U.S. History, Urban Studies, and Political Science at Cuyahoga Community College, she sees her work as an educator as an opportunity to help people surmount obstacles through hard work and perseverance. In 2001, Turner was inducted into Kaleidoscope Magazine¿s 40/40 Club, which recognizes dynamic leaders less than 40 years of age. She was presented with the NAACP Civil Rights Award in 2006, as well as participated in the invitation only Oxford Round Table.