The Buzz From Sally – July 2019

Dear Matriots,

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!

Onward,

Sally Crane Cox
chair, board of directors

Meet A Matriot: Darci Congrove

By day, she’s managing director of GBQ Partners and co-owner of the German Village Guest House, by night (or at least many nights!) she’s serving area non-profits on boards, volunteer committees and by hosting fundraisers – for which she was honored as a 2019 Woman of Achievement. 

1) You are a Matriarch and Founding Member of The Matriots PAC. Can you share with our members why you think The Matriots’ vision for more women in elected office is the solution to today’s political rancor?
The U.S. was founded as a representative democracy. Simply stated, a representative democracy is a system of government in which all eligible citizens vote on representatives to pass laws for them. It only makes sense to me that we should elect representatives who actually reflect the amazing diversity of our voting citizens – on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, wealth, education, etc. The U.S. is not a country of white men, so there is no reason that those chosen to represent “us” politically should be primarily white men. Additionally, research conducted by Goldman Sachs and the World Bank, amongst others has shown that when women are fully engaged in a society through education, participation in the economy, or representing others in a government, the measures of a healthy society are noticeably improved.
2. In 2010 you became the first female managing director of GBQ Partners, a Columbus -based accounting firm. Why do you think it is important to have more women in positions leadership? And what advice do you have for our members hoping to climb their own respective career ladders?
More than 50% of the American population are women. 47% of the American labor force are women. In my own profession, 50% of the accounting degrees earned in the U.S. for the last 20 years have been awarded to women. It’s honestly hard to understand why we still have to ask this question. We ought to instead ask, “Why aren’t half of our leaders in business (and government and nonprofits and everywhere) women?” Young people need to “see it to be it.” Women striving to succeed in their careers need to build a team of sponsors – both men and women – who can give them advice and advocate for them. Nobody succeeds alone.
3. You are actively involved in the Columbus community, serving on the board of the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Board member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of Committee4Children. You’ve been recognized as a leader in the Columbus community, most recently recognized as a 2019 YWCA Woman of Achievement. And on top of that – we hear you are a fantastic cook! How do balance all of your involvements? And what initiatives are you excited about in the Columbus community?
I let the idea of balance go a long time ago and stopped keeping track of how much time I should spend on any one thing. I simply focused on doing the things that need to be done and that made me feel good. I have found that it generally works out fine to mix work and community involvement and friends and hobbies and fun into one big pot and enjoy all of it. I’ve currently found an intersection in my community service that aligns around education, workforce and addressing poverty. My volunteerism with the E3 program at United Way and on the workforce committee at the Columbus Chamber inform one another, and I know from my time on the board of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio that poverty has a disproportionate and devastating impact on women and their children. This broad topic feels like a good place to focus for now.
4. The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 running in May primary elections in 2019. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why?
In the 2018 endorsement cycle, The Matriots endorsed Stephanie Summerow Dumas for Hamilton County Commissioner. I heard Stephanie give a very brief speech, all of which was about commitment and hard work and her own belief that if she just did what was right and worked hard, she could help others. Her words have been stuck in my head ever since.
5. Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!
My very favorite thing to do is host parties. I love planning, decorating, cooking and making people happy through enjoyment of food, drinks and friendship. We generally have at least four big parties a year and a lot of little ones along the way as well.