State Senate, District 31
Central, State Legislature
The Matriots PAC is thrilled to endorse Melinda Miller for Ohio Senate District 31. Inspired by a Matriots meeting to run for office, we couldn’t be prouder to support her.
“I deeply appreciate The Matriots’ mission and all of the support The Matriots are giving to women running for office in Ohio. Their work is inspiring and I am grateful to have their endorsement and financial support. I am proud to stand with them as we work together to create an Ohio where women and girls thrive, and where we achieve (at least) proportional representation in government.“
– Melinda Miller
Senate District 31 includes Newark, Eastern Columbus, and New Philadelphia. Click here to find the elected officials in your district.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
My short journey to filing as a candidate began on the afternoon of January 21, 2018 (filing deadline was February 7!), in a coffee shop after the Newark Women’s March. As I was warming up with a cup of tea after the march, my friend came in and confirmed my suspicions that the state senate seat for District 31 was going to go unopposed. I couldn’t let it go, and the question of whether, maybe, I could do it kept rising up in me. Fast-forward a week or so to a local Matriots event. As we went around the room talking about why we were there, I found myself saying that I was considering a run for state senate. It was the first time I said those words out loud to more than a couple close confidantes. My words were met with a clear, strong, exuberant cheer from the women in that room, and immediate offers of help with the campaign. It was in that moment that I knew I was going to do it, that I could do it, that we, women together, lifting one another up, can do just about anything.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I am endlessly inspired by the group of smart, engaged, local women I am so fortunate to be connected to through Strong Voices Rising. Many of the women in this group have been active in our community for decades, and many, like myself, were compelled to become more directly involved in our democracy as a result of the 2016 elections. Strong Voices Rising was started by Ceciel Shaw, just after the election, and together we have educated ourselves, found opportunities to contribute to our community, and supported each other as we run for office and raise our families. We come from many backgrounds, generations, and disciplines, and any number of these wonderful women inspire me every day.
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 spent 20 years working in the service industry, mostly in restaurants waiting tables, cooking, managing kitchens, and teaching. It is there that I learned to listen and to use my voice, to create, and to collaborate. It is where I found community and where I learned what it is to work hard for every single dollar. Those years instilled in me a deep sense of value for the efforts of labor, regardless of one’s position within an organization. I appreciate the contributions of all members of a team and aim to foster a culture of collaboration, transparency, respect, and goodwill. I look forward to bringing those values to the state senate.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
I share your vision and I’d like to see that group of women be highly diverse: women of color, LGBTQ women, women from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds. Our diversity is our strength.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Access to effective public transportation is a big issue in many communities in my district. The lack of reliable, efficient transportation is a barrier for many people trying to build a life for themselves and their families. I would like to see central Ohio improve upon and expand its public transportation system to better serve more members of our, especially outlying, communities. Of course, the drug crisis is another urgent issue in many of our communities. We need to recognize this for the public health epidemic that it is, and begin funding and implementing harm-reduction, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs at the levels required to provide meaningful recovery solutions.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
Before I became a mom I was a Zen Buddhist monk. I met my husband in the monastery when we both showed up for our dish-washing shift in the kitchen. I walked up to him and said, “Hi, you must be my partner.” I meant dish partner, but in that moment I knew he was my life partner, too.