Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) was re-elected and sworn in on January 5, 2015 as the State Senator for the 15th District and Assistant Democratic Leader in the Ohio Senate. A committed public servant, she has served since 2011 as the State Senator, which includes, Bexley and parts of Grandview Heights as well as the historic neighborhoods of the city of Columbus. She currently serves as the Senate ranking member on both the Ways and Means and the Health and Human Services Committees. In addition, she also serves as a member of the Finance, Finance Subcommittee on Corrections, Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, Joint Committee on Agency Rules and Review, and serves as Co-Chair of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission.
Tavares previously served as member of Columbus City Council from 1999-2010. Prior to joining Council, Tavares left a legacy for the citizens of Ohio during her 5 ½-year tenure in the Ohio General Assembly as the State Representative in the 22nd House District. Tavares is the first African-American and Democrat female to serve in the state legislature from Franklin County, Ohio (House and Senate) and the first African-American woman ever to hold a leadership position in the history of the Ohio General Assembly.
Tavares was recently selected to serve as the President/CEO of Primary One Health. A federally qualified primary healthcare system to provide access to services that improve the health status of families including people experiencing financial, social, or cultural barriers to health care.
Tavares recently served as Executive Director of the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC), a statewide non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of care in Ohio's health care system and to incorporate culturally competent models of practice into the systems and organizations that provide services to Ohio's diverse populations.
Tavares’ legislative priorities include: the elimination of health, education and criminal justice disparities; investment in Ohio’s infrastructure; consumer protection; and addressing family stability.
She is a native of Columbus. She attended Eastmoor High School, Spellman College in Atlanta, GA, and The Ohio State University.