Lakewood Board of Education
Northeast Ohio, Local
Emma Petrie-Barcelona is running for a third term as the only school board member with children currently attending the schools. Her service to date documents her commitment to equality for all children, including safety initiatives and access to athletics. Her robust career as a leader in community development has earned her a valuable and valued voice for high-quality public education – all of which supports the stability of women and families in Lakewood.
In 2020 Emma will continue her work as a Lakewood Board of Education Member.Facebook
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I am running for my third term in this election. I ran the first time eight years ago after hearing from a female local elected official that they believed in me and thought that I could do it. I believe in the importance of public education and appreciate the education I received. I want to help make a positive difference in the lives of kids in my community today.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I have always been interested in politics and maybe running for office, but like others, I always had a reason I couldn’t do it. Especially understanding the time and commitments to family and other civic pursuits that many women have. Connie Shultz was a speaker at a women in public policy meeting I attended once years ago and when another audience member noted that now was not a good time to try to pursue running for office, Ms. Shultz mentioned that there was never going to be the right time. Paraphrasing her response, she noted life is like that. If we want to see more women in office we have to be those women and just try. We could live our whole lives waiting for the right moment, but it may never come, so we have to try whenever we can. So, with my husband and I working full-time with a 5-year-old and a three-year-old (and a dog), I ran for office the first time and have been serving my community ever since.
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 leader?
I have worked primarily in the non-profit and civic sectors throughout my career, mostly in economics, research, and program management work. This has really helped me understand the larger financial and policy contexts under which decisions are made, as well as observing differing motivations. Also, while working in mission-driven work, I am always reminded about the people in our community who have the least amount of resources and power, and that we are doing this work for ALL members of the community, especially for those who need the most support and kindness from society.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
There are so many issues, but supporting equal rights for all people, including women, LGBTQ persons, and people of color who may not have equal protections and access under the law. Additionally, supporting programs and resources for people with low-incomes ensuring access to affordable housing, food, public education, and safety.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I love to dance. I currently take contemporary dance and tap classes once a week and have taken classes for years as an adult.