While it may seem like a relatively quiet time politically, The Matriots PAC has been hard at work screening applicants for endorsement and, as important, attending to the organization’s long-term sustainability. We are so pleased to announce here two major developments on that front.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a couple who have become two of our newest members—and who have set a new standard of commitment to our goal of electing more Ohio women to public office. Kitty and Dick Rosenthal, who are well known in the Cincinnati area for their generosity, but are new to us, have each committed to be “all in” to The Matriots, by making a three-year combined pledge of $75,000, just shy of the maximum allowed by election law.
The Rosenthals came to our attention through our board member, Myrita Craig, who has worked tirelessly–and very successfully–to promote The Matriots in southwest Ohio. From hosting numerous gatherings for Matriots-endorsed candidates, to introducing the PAC to her network, Myrita has put her all in to our collective success. No celebration of Matriots work in Cincinnati would be complete without recognizing Myrita’s dedication.
The Rosenthals were early, strong supporters of The Matriots’ very first endorsed candidate, Kathleen Clyde, who ran unsuccessfully in 2018 for Ohio Secretary of State and was subsequently appointed Portage County Commissioner. The Rosenthals are deeply committed to women-friendly policies and are excited to join the work of The Matriots PAC to safeguard Ohio women’s human and civil rights through political representation.
Beyond the Rosenthals’ allegiance to our values, we are eager to celebrate their monetary contribution to the PAC because it demonstrates outstanding leadership. It can be challenging for any of us to compare our philanthropic giving, which carries tax benefits, to political contributions, which feel more transactional. But like philanthropy, political giving can be a strategic means of supporting positive societal change, only through policy. Matriots believe that female political leadership will lead to policies that benefit the majority of our population–our chief caregivers and consumers—and therefore families and society as a whole.
Also cause for celebration is another contribution to the PAC (also coming in from the Cincinnati area). Nikki Foster, who was one of our 2018 endorsed candidates, ran valiantly but unsuccessfully in an uphill race for Ohio House against a male incumbent. Because she put in an outstanding performance, winning 39% of the vote, Nikki is now a 2020 candidate for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District.
Election law required Nikki to close her local candidate committee account and she contributed the balance in her account–$419.98 – to The Matriots PAC, telling us she did so in honor and appreciation of our support and for those who will follow.
There really are no words for the loyalty and generosity of our endorsed candidates. Knowing that research shows they will have to work three times as hard as their male opponents, these women pour everything they have in to their campaigns. In Nikki’s case, her 2018 campaign coincided with her giving birth in September to her second child, a son who was born with a hole in his heart. This didn’t cause her to give up, it caused her to dig in. An Air Force Academy graduate with over 200 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nikki is now more committed than ever to ensuring that women and their families get the healthcare, education and other family-friendly policies they deserve.
Seeing the experiences of other families whose children were going through medical challenges prompted Foster to seek this second run for office. “We need to step up,” Foster told cincinnati.com. “There are other families, single mothers, who don’t have time to advocate for themselves. They’re too busy working. I feel like this is a calling.”
May this letter serve as a celebration of all of us who feel that female political leadership is a calling, whether that manifests as a run for office or a generous contribution to a candidate. Thank you to all of you who support The Matriots in all that you do!
Sally Crane Cox
chair, board of directors