Ohio State Senate District 16
2020 Race Update: Crystal lost 50.00% to 50.00%
Crystal Lett is a proud hometown native of Hilliard and graduate of Hilliard Davidson High School. Growing up in Hilliard, she came to love the inclusive and exciting environment of Central Ohio. After high school, she graduated from The Ohio State University in 2008 with a degree in Political Science.
Upon graduating college, she was inspired to work with children dealing with mental illness after becoming an advocate for her brother, David, who was managing a complex array of mental health issues and substance abuse. As such, she became a Case Manager at North Central Mental Health (NCMH) where she worked with children between the ages of 14 and 21 years old who suffered from severe and symptomatic mental illness. In this role, she connected children to vital community resources and often partnered with local schools, housing providers, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, local business partners, and healthcare providers to ensure kids were living successfully in the community.
In 2011 her first son, Noble Lett, was born. Unfortunately, she lost her brother, David, to suicide just one month before the birth of Noble. Complicating matters further, Noble was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a complex genetic disorder affecting appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function, and behavior.
It was during this time that Crystal left North Central Mental Health to care for her son. During this period, she also began working part-time managing a financial advisory firm that provided flexible, part time hours so that she could care for Noble. Over the next few years, she worked to connect Noble with different resources around the community.
While caring for Noble, she wanted to continue fighting for people dealing with the tribulations of mental illness. So, she began managing a psychological practice to keep connected to the mental health community and to continue to serve those affected by mental illness.
In 2016 she officially returned to activism and managed a staging location for the Hillary Clinton Campaign in Powell, Ohio.
After the 2016 election, she became an advocate for Save the Children Action Network. In this role, she frequently traveled to Washington, DC to promote the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act. This was a bill that would support new social impact partnerships for early childhood education. She also advocated for the REACH Every Mother and Child Act – a bill that would establish a five-year strategy to achieve the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths globally by 2030.
In 2017, when the Trump administration attacked CHIP funding, she partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as an advocate for both the hospital and Children’s Hospital Association to speak out about the importance of CHIP benefits for families.
After hearing her family’s story, Senator Sherrod Brown reached out to continue working with Crystal to get the word out about the upcoming deadline for renewing CHIP benefits. Over the next seven months, she and Senator Brown teamed up for a number of press conferences, Letters to the Editor, radio interviews, and more to encourage the renewal of CHIP benefits.
In an effort to support women in politics, she started The Salon Lab Columbus (TSLC) – a bipartisan organization that serves as a point of entry for women interested in politics. TSLC provides an opportunity for women to engage local, state, and federal topics of interest in a safe environment, conducive to learning and engagement. TSLC has partnered with The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and The John Glenn School at OSU as avenues for women to further their political engagement.
In 2018, she continued working with Save the Children Action Network to promote a re introduction of the REACH Act and to advocate (successfully) for the doubling of the budget for Child Care Development Block Grants (CCDBG). Working with Save the Children, she partnered with a local Early Childhood Learning Center to promote community activism in support of Early Childhood Education.
During the 2018 midterm elections, she hosted canvasses, ran phone banks, attended candidate forums, and volunteered for Beth Liston, Danny O’Connor, and all of the statewide Democratic candidates.
After the election, she helped start the Dublin Area Progressives as a way to continue the relationships and community momentum established during the elections and to support local candidates.
In 2018, she began working with Protect our Care to advocate for the continuation and betterment of the Affordable Care Act. In this role she received a resolution from Columbus City Council regarding the protection of CHIP benefits, and spoke at press conferences and with local news media.
Recently, she has worked as an advocate for the Women’s Public Policy Network and is currently working with WPPN to advocate for universal paid leave legislation here in Ohio.