Meet Justin Adkins
Who he is and why he's running
Our healthcare, education, and political systems are failing us. It's getting harder and harder to survive in the middle class while the stock market and corporate profits climb higher and higher. Benefits and wages haven't increased equally while food, housing, and living expenses have skyrocketed. If we don't act soon and address this enormous inequality, mine and future generations will be worse off than those before us.
I was born right here in Central OH in 1994 while my parents were still at Whetstone High School. Like too many Ohioans, drug abuse, and the opioid epidemic hit my family hard when my single mother struggled with addiction for the majority of my childhood.
By the time my family stepped in, I'd already been missing school to take care of my younger siblings Brendan and Hayleigh. We soon moved in with our respective grandparents, and I was able to repeat the first grade in Columbus City Schools.
My grandparents, who raised me, divorced before the start of my freshman year, and it hit me pretty hard. I stayed and took care of my blind grandpa, but after a while, it was too hard balancing school and life at home. I dropped out of the charter school I was attending and finished the remainder of my freshman year at the now-defunct ECOT.
At the end of that year, I moved to Perry County with my aunt and uncle. I graduated from Sheridan High School, which is literally in the middle of a cornfield. Sheridan is also home to the landmark DeRolph court case that ruled Ohio's school funding unconstitutional.
While most would probably see this as a difficult childhood, I like to think of it as life granting me a unique opportunity to experience all aspects of Ohio's unfair education system.
After graduating, I moved back up to Columbus and briefly attended DeVry University while working two jobs. Eventually, I was fortunate enough to get an internship with the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and within a few months, a full-time position opened up. I applied and thankfully got the job. Soon after, I decided to drop out of DeVry so that I didn't increase my loan debt any further.
This first-hand experience proves that a college degree isn't the only path to a successful career and that we can't lose sight of our skill and trade jobs.
During my nearly five years with Public Safety, my team and I had the opportunity to work on several vital projects, including the OPLATES website. Together, we helped further the departments mission of creating a Safer Ohio while also saving taxpayers over a $1 million/yr. However, I also saw the downside of our current hiring practices and the strain it places on our public servants.
In 2016, when my younger sister Hayleigh was having trouble at home, I stepped up, attained guardianship, and let her move in with me. I wasn't ready to raise a child, but I wanted to ensure that she graduated from Whetstone High School on time.
In 2017, I started a technology company with my best friend so that we could offer technical services to other small businesses at affordable prices.
Currently, I work for CoverMyMeds and live just south of Worthington in Sharon Township with my two cats, Caesar and Cleopatra. When I'm not building websites, I'm a member of the Sharon Township Tech Committee, the Worthington Noon Lions Club, and the Franklin County Young Dems.
As I've gotten older, my eyes have opened to the harsh reality that is life in America.
I've watched friends and family barely able to afford their life-saving Insulin despite having insurance. I've even seen family divorce so that they can qualify for Medicaid. We've all read the horror stories of people turning to GoFundMe to help pay for large medical bills. In a nation as prosperous as ours, this is immoral; which is why I support capping the costs of life-saving drugs and allowing a public insurance option to compete with insurance companies.
I know from experience that it's not possible to live off a wage of $8.55 an hour and have a middle-class life. That's why I've proposed a Living Wage Formula that restores the Dignity of Work by finally paying people what they're worth. My formula ensures all your monthly income doesn't go towards necessities like food, rent, utilities, and mandated auto insurance.
In 2020, we have an opportunity to take back our state and set it on the right path. We need bold new leadership capable of tackling the challenges that lie ahead rather than playing politics as usual.
We can't look to the past for the solutions to our problems. Our policies need to focus on the future to create a society that works for all of us and not just those at the top.