State Rep. Erica Crawley was recently appointed Franklin County Commissioner, following the retirement of longtime county commissioner Marilyn Brown.
Crawley was endorsed by the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council when she successfully ran for re-election in the Ohio 26th District in 2020. During her time as a state representative, she proved to be a friend to organized labor and the union construction industry.
“It’s great to have another friendly face to labor on the commission,” said Dorsey Hager, Executive-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council during an America’s Work Force radio podcast interview. “Erica has always been a big advocate for organized labor.”
The daughter of a single mother, Crawley is herself a single mother to twin girls. She is also a first generation college graduate and decorated Navy Veteran. In 2018, she was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives with 82 percent of the vote, and ran unopposed in 2020. She was the first black woman to serve as the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Finance Committee, where she negotiated a biennium budget of $74 billion.
“If you have watched me in the Statehouse, I have been a coalition builder,” Crawley told the Columbus Dispatch. “I’ve been able to work across party lines to get meaningful legislation passed, whether it is protecting the disabled or maternal-infant health or reducing our plastic waste by having water bottle filling stations in every single school building.”
She resigned from her House seat in June to become Franklin County Commissioner, as she will finish out the remainder of Brown’s term.
A decorated veteran and accomplished lawyer rooted in the community
Crawley was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. Her mother worked in a factory making car parts at Delphi Packard Electrical. A graduate of Capital University law school, she was awarded the 2017 Graduate of the Year for the Black Law Students Association, Capital University Law School Dean’s Ambassador Award and Order of the Barristers.
Crawley is a member of the Columbus Bar Association, American Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Franklin County and the League of Women Voters.
Crawley is also a decorated war veteran, who was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for her dedication and professionalism while providing continuous fleet support of two carrier battle groups, four amphibious ready groups and numerous auxiliary steaming units during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
An advocate for working families and children
Crawley has long been an advocate for working families and children. She worked for the YMCA Head Start/Early Head Start, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), the Black Child Development Institute and Cuyahoga County Job & Family Services.
In addition to her Capital University law degree, she holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Walden University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology with a focus on juvenile delinquency from Cleveland State University.
Crawley decided to enter politics in order to give working people a voice.
“I talk about being a single mom,” Crawley told Columbus Monthly. “I talk about being someone who struggles with depression and anxiety. I talk about being in a situation where I have been laid off from my job, and housing was an issue, and food insecurity was an issue. I’m not from politics. I didn’t grow up in this space. All I know is that I care about people who come from that same experience and feel like they don’t have a voice.”
Her record shows she supports organized labor and the good-paying jobs and benefits they bring to the community.