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Progressives Are Ready for Hillary | Commentary

The progressive values and policies that Hillary Rodham Clinton represents have Democrats and Americans across the country more excited than ever. But lately, pundits and some in the media have attempted to drive a narrative that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is not unified behind Hillary. As a progressive myself, and one who proudly hails from the ultimate battleground state of Ohio, this could not be further from the truth. Clinton’s record speaks for itself.

Progressives support Clinton because of her experience and leadership on many of the issues that matter most. In Arkansas, she expanded childhood education throughout the state. As first lady, she worked to increase access to health care for every American. As a senator, she repeatedly fought to increase the minimum wage and extend unemployment benefits. While secretary of State, she worked to empower women and expand LGBT rights and more recently, through the Clinton Foundation, she has developed initiatives to help children and low-income families.

Simply put, Clinton understands the importance of investing in the fundamental building blocks that make America the envy of the world.

As an economic populist, protecting and growing our economy while putting Ohioans back to work is a consistent priority of mine. Being progressive is about assuring the safety of our citizens and our economy with a strong manufacturing base, both old-line manufacturing and the newer fields of advanced and additive manufacturing. I believe we can achieve this by re-establishing the United States of America as the world’s leading innovator in advanced manufacturing — with my district’s national additive manufacturing and 3-D printing facility and through the No. 1 ranked university incubator in the world — both right here in Youngstown, Ohio. These types of ideas and innovation are happening in places such as Youngstown largely thanks to a long-term vision for our nation and public-private partnerships, something Clinton has spent a lifetime forging as a first lady, senator and secretary of State.

I know that Hillary Rodham Clinton shares these same progressive and American values. Throughout her career, she has consistently worked to advance middle-class families, ensuring that Ohioans and all Americans can make more money and have the means to support their families.

Democrats have unified behind Clinton in an unprecedented way, in part, because of her advocacy on these core progressive policies that ensure everyone has a fair shot at success. From the people who know her best and for those like me who have fought alongside her to ensure that everyone has access to the American Dream, there is no question that Clinton has the message and vision — and will have the agenda — to be the Democratic Party’s standard bearer to lead America on the world stage.

I am ready for Hillary. Should she run for president, she would be the best person to lead our country forward. I believe her progressive and American values can lift up all Americans and I know the people of Ohio stand ready to assist her should she decide to run.

Rep. Tim Ryan is a Democrat from Ohio.

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