Phil Robinson

Ohio State House District 6

2020 Race Update: Phil won 51.40% to 48.60%

Phil Robinson (D-Solon) currently serves as the State Representative for Ohio’s 6th House District, which includes the towns and villages of Bentleyville, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Chagrin Falls Township, Gates Mills, Glenwillow, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Independence, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood, Seven Hills, Solon, Valley View, and Walton Hills.

In 2018, Rep. Robinson successfully flipped District 6 Democratic for the first time in nearly 40 years. In the process, he became the first African-American to represent this suburban district, where the black voting population is less than 7%. Rep. Robinson is running for reelection in 2020 to continue fighting to increase investment in Ohio public schools, making it easier to start and grow a small business, and protecting our health care.

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Rep. Robinson saw firsthand how sacrifice, dedication, and perseverance makes it possible to live the American dream. Like many other African-Americans, his parents’ families migrated from the South to the North for opportunities; they stayed for the community. Rep. Robinson learned the values of family, hard work, and service from his parents who worked overtime and nights to move their family from the inner city of Cleveland to Bedford Heights. Rep. Robinson watched his parents sacrifice to give him and his sister a chance at a quality education and a better way of life.

After graduating from Gilmour Academy – and with the help of an academic scholarship, work-study programs, and summer jobs – Rep. Robinson earned his undergraduate degree in finance from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Like many of his classmates, he was deeply affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Rather than seeking a job on Wall Street after graduation, Rep. Robinson instead chose to serve as a congressional legislative aide for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif).

Eventually, Rep. Robinson and his wife decided to move back home to Northeast Ohio. In between demanding work as a marketing consultant to both small and Fortune 500 businesses, Rep. Robinson found time to tutor middle school students on his lunch hour. He was so inspired by their stories that he left a successful career in the private sector to pay it forward in the nonprofit community. At the same time, he went back to school full-time, earning his Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.

Rep. Robinson then joined City Year Cleveland, an education nonprofit that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate, as its executive director. He led the organization out of debt, doubled its budget, and expanded services to help more students graduate from high school. Under Rep. Robinson’s leadership, City Year has doubled its revenue, grown its operations by 20%, and one Cleveland school increased its graduation rate from 39% to 73% in five short years.

Today, Rep. Robinson is using his business expertise and MBA to serve as the Senior Vice President for Regional and Site Operations for City Year, Inc. He is responsible for all aspects of operations for 28 US sites, including five regional vice presidents, nearly 700 site staff, 3,000 AmeriCorps members, and a total revenue budget of $165 million.

For his continued work advocating for students and improving education opportunities, Crain’s Cleveland Business recognized Robinson as one of its 2015 Forty Under 40 and featured him in its 2014 “Who’s Who in Education.” He was also named in the Top 25 Under 35 Movers and Shakers by Inside Business Magazine. Rep. Robinson currently serves on the boards of the Gilmour Academy and the United Black Fund Foundation. In 2001, he was inducted into the George Washington University Wall of Fame.

Rep. Robinson currently lives in Solon with his wife and two children.