Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Alison Theiss
Alison Theiss is a first-time candidate who understands the hardships of her constituency. Alison’s experience as a single mother, school bus driver, and entrepreneur will serve her well at the Statehouse. She states, “I understand the needs of struggling Ohioans as I’ve lived it. I’ve been food poor, lost my house, and put off medical care because I could not afford it.” If elected, Alison plans to put accessible healthcare, housing, and education at the forefront of her campaign.
Meet The Candidate
1) In your interview with the Endorsement Committee, you shared a personal life experience that led you to the decision to run for office. Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I have an Echo Dot that I turn on every morning to listen to the news while I’m feeding my pets. I found myself yelling at the poor Dot daily as it filled me in on what was going on in the state and national news. I thought – instead of yelling, maybe I should do something about it. However, I had no clue what to do. Then I was sitting on my school bus waiting for the kids on my field trip to come back out. I happened on Facebook, in a group that focusses in on Wayne County. In that group was a post of all the House districts that had incumbents running unopposed. It just so happened that one of those districts was mine. With 2 days till the filing deadline, I collected enough signatures to be on the ballot!
2) Many of you cited a specific person whose strength was an inspiration to you. Can you tell me about a woman who has had a big influence on your life and inspired you to become a leader? What lessons did she teach you?
My grandmother. To be kind, but firm. To remember that being a leader doesn’t mean you’re at the top with people beneath you. Be open to innovative ideas as your way is not the only way. Surround yourself with smarter people than yourself. To stand shoulder to shoulder with those who she is fortunate enough to represent & lead.
3) Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and a leader?
Being a single mother taught me more about how to take charge and be a leader than anything else I have done. When you are a single mother, it’s all on your shoulders: shelter, food, healthcare, helping with homework, tending the sick, being available when needed, being firm but kind. I did all of this while attending college fulltime and running a business. You learn how to prioritize. How to make decisions that may not be popular but is best for everyone as a whole. You learn what it takes to only survive but thrive. You understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it does not fit your vision of what should be. Most of all, you learn not to give up when all hell breaks loose because there are people depending on you.
4) The Matriots PAC has a bold goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
I can see 50% of all elected offices being held by women, including Ohio’s governor.
5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community faces today?
1) How to keep the economy going during COVID19.
2) How to stay healthy and slow down the spread of COVID19.
6) Now for fun: Tell us something personal about yourself. It can be a hobby, your favorite food, a funny pet story, something we might not know about you that you would like to share with our members.
I love to write screenplays for features and TV. Nothing any of you have ever seen. I did have Nickelodeon and Disney once interested in a TV series about a psychic girl named Kyra and her crazy magical brother Kyle. The “Cheddar Box Express” is my favorite TV comedy pilot about the insanity of driving a school bus. But my favorite script so far is “The Black Triangle,” a feature which is a love triangle set during the holocaust. I may never have anything made, but I will keep writing.