Saturday, October 15, 2016
By GRAIG GRAZIOSI
Netflix stars Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew of “Orange is the New Black” joined Ohio Democratic Party leaders Friday evening to campaign for Hillary Clinton at The Federal in downtown Youngstown.
Schilling and Mulgrew star in the comedy-drama as inmates in a women’s prison.
The stars were joined by state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th; her husband, former state Rep. Bob Hagan; state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd; Dave Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman; Dave Pepper, state Democratic party chairman; Councilman Julius Oliver, D-1st; Councilwoman Anita Davis, D-6th; state Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-94th; and Tim Hagan, former Cuyahoga county commissioner.
Schilling and Mulgrew called on voters in the overwhelmingly under-30 crowd packed into The Federal to vote on Election Day and expressed their support for Clinton.
“You can go out and vote for a woman who is superbly qualified to take up the command seat of this nation,” Mulgrew said. “She has shown herself exemplary in every facet of being a public servant.”
Mulgrew is Lepore-Hagan’s former sister-in-law and Tim Hagan’s ex-wife. She used her familiarity with the region to appeal to women voters.
“I know something about working women in Ohio ... they will not be victimized by misogyny, by brutes, by violence and by ugliness,” Mulgrew said.
Schilling began by admitting she was new to political activism, explaining her exposure to the issues her show portrays – the loss of personal liberty and the unique struggles of those on either side of the bars at a women’s prison – made her realize she’d taken her own civil liberties for granted.
Pepper challenged the notion that Ohio, and specifically Mahoning County, is “Trump County,” arguing that Ohio was still a bellwether state despite some arguments – such as New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin’s – that Ohio is fading in election-year importance.
“We won it for President Obama in 2008 and 2012,” Pepper said. “Bill and Chelsea Clinton have both visited Youngstown, President Obama and Hillary Clinton were in Ohio today, and there have been constant visits around the state this election season, so I think Ohio is obviously still critically important, which is why events like these to mobilize voters matter for us and the nation.”
Schilling, Mulgrew and the Democratic politicians continue their campaign events today at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.