A year ago, due to the hard work of people like you, Ohioans turned Ohio blue by electing Ted Strickland to lead our state, Jennifer Brunner to restore fair elections, Marc Dann as our top law enforcement officer, Rich Cordray to manage our state’s finances, and selecting me to serve in the U.S. Senate.

During the campaign, I promised I would put the middle class first as Ohio’s U.S. Senator. I have honored that commitment.

To date, I have held 71 roundtables from Toledo to Marietta, from Ashtabula to Cincinnati. I have held legislative conference calls with Ohioans on issues ranging from agriculture to education to job creation.

In August, my senior legislative aides held more than 150 meetings throughout Ohio on issues including agriculture, economic development, veterans, and improving our housing system. And every Thursday morning the Senate is in session, we hold our Ohio Coffee open to all Ohioans visiting our nation’s capital.

Listening to Ohioans and learnign from their experiences in all these ways helped me craft legislation and deliver results to help and expand the middle class in many ways.

· Jobs – Key to Ohio’s economic future is creating clean energy jobs. I have worked to support several initiatives including a solar-powered project at Bowling Green State University, a fuel cell technology project in Columbus, and support for solar and wind projects in Toledo and Cleveland.

· Education – Ohio will see nearly $800 million in increases in Pell Grants over the next five years with the passage of the bipartisan Higher Education Reauthorization Act. We will work with educators to improve the No Child Left Behind Act.

· Fair trade – Working with Ashland University Professor Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, we are educating Americans on the threat of toys painted with lead-based paint. I have worked with other Senators to enforce those trade laws that protect America’s middle class and have fought against other job killing trade pacts.

· Health – Working with community health care advocates, I was able to bring home additional funds to help with health care needs such as $218,300 for the health center in Lima, $450,000 for health services in Summit County, $200,000 for the Appalachian health care project and held health care roundtables at children’s hospitals in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

· Agriculture – As the first Senator from Ohio in 40 years to serve on the Agriculture Committee, I was able to include language in the Farm Bill to create an optional revenue counter-cyclical program to improve the safety net for farmers, boost USDA nutrition assistance by $1 billion, and increase availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to schools and the elderly.

· Veterans’ Support – Despite our repeated votes against the Iraq War, a stubborn president keeps it going – and will leave it for the next president to complete. We also learned that too often soldiers’ remains were being delivered to places far from family. When the military refused to change the policy, I placed a provision in the Senate Department of Defense Reauthorization Bill that would require the Department of Defense to deliver the remains of fallen military personnel to the military or civilian airport nearest to the family. I worked with others to provide support for rural hospitals caring for our injured veterans.

· Workers’ Rights – As I did as a Congressman, I have continued to stand up for working people. Despite opposition from President Bush, we raised the minimum wage. I spoke out constantly and forcefully for the Workers’ Choice bill to allow working people to secure collective bargaining rights. I also have been a voice for workers currently organized, including calling for justice in the recent UFCW grocery negotiations and against President Bush’s attack on Teamster jobs by bringing in unsafe trucks from Mexico .

In addition to the highlights in the above categories, I also assured funding for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, worked with other freshmen Senators to crack down on defense contracting abuses, and lead the fight to strengthen plant/office closing legislation first adopted thanks to the work of former Senator Metzenbaum.

With our current president, we certainly have our work cut out for us, as evidenced by President Bush’s veto of the Children’s Healthcare program (SCHIP) bipartisan legislation. Working with all of you, I know we can make even more progress with a progressive president.

I thank all of you for giving me the honor to serve our great state – and for working with me during my first year in the Senate to realize our accomplishments.

As we end the year, we have restored our website. Please take a look at it today at SherrodBrown.com. I will send you updates, usually monthly, on what we can do together to strengthen Ohio and put the middle class first.

Happy Holidays!
With appreciation,


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