Reynoldsburg City Council, Ward 4
Meredith is running to serve her neighbors in Ward 4 so the entire Ward has a voice and is represented in our community. She brings a wealth of experience to the position, ranging from volunteering in schools, community organizing a sports donation drive for children in foster care, leadership roles in her church and relationship building with the community. As a first-time candidate, Meredith brings an outside perspective from the current politics of the past.
In 2020 Meredith will begin her work as a Reynoldsburg City Council Member, Ward 4.Facebook
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
My life’s journey has always been to serve and give back. I volunteered in local elections and took a significant leadership role behind the scenes in a local campaign. I thought that would be the extent of my political involvement, then Councilwoman Kristin Bryant cornered my husband and I at a local political event and asked me to run for office. She even gave me a list of reasons why I should. My response, “No way! I’m the behind the scenes girl! I’ll help whoever will run.” The next several weeks I shared my seeds of doubt of not having the political experience and not having time for anything extra. Slowly, I began to listen to everyone’s encouragement, and turned my back on what I thought my inefficiencies were and thought, what if? My family and community members were right. I love my community; I love the people in my community, and I want to make it a better community for our kids! I had no idea what I was agreeing to as I began attending broader events, networking and enrolling in candidate trainings. My outlook now is I have jumped into this with both feet; I’m out of my comfort zone and I’m going for it 100%. This entire experience so far has been a huge personal development class. As a recreational athlete and health and wellness entrepreneur, I’m used to pushing my body. Now I’m pushing my mind and my heart to serve my neighbors. It has been invigorating knocking doors meeting neighbors and other folks in the larger community who are excited about our futures.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
There are so many women who have inspired me throughout my years that I have watched. I had a front row seat watching my Grandmother, affectionately called Grandmommy, and my Mom. They are truly the first women leaders I knew. They are matriarchs of our family. Leaders in the church and community. Grandmommy was an entrepreneur and Real Estate agent in Colorado when women, much less women of color, were in business leadership roles. My mom is a real firecracker! I watched her navigate our family, work outside the home, lead the church choir, become the chief probation officer, work for the state, be a campaign manager, be a community activist (list goes on) and this was just in my first 17 years of life! She has continued to serve various roles of capacity on local, state, national and international levels. Serving and leading were integral in our world during our early years so it is a way of life. Serving is something I don’t think of, I just do. Mom made it look effortless and instilled the importance of being involved and having your voice heard. Now I know it takes balance, grace, poise and shear love.
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 been in the business of serving and caring for people while connecting teams on an administrative level for over 20 years. Being administrative support has enabled me to use my strengths or as I like to refer to them as my super powers: empathy, positivity, adaptability, developing and connectedness. Being an assistant to senior level executives places me in my comfort zone of working hard to make my leaders and teams look good. Managing, organizing, listening, collaborating and planning are just a few key competencies that I carry when I meet with my neighbors and network in the community. These skills are needed no matter the job title inside or outside the home.
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?
In addition to that goal, my vision is to enhance that goal and make sure we elect women of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Ohio will exceed all expectations when every group is represented and has a seat at the table.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
The top issue my community faces is we must attract meaningful businesses who want to build and take up long term roots in our city. These businesses must pay their share to help rebuild the city’s income tax to keep our roads and community safe. We lost 2 million a year in income tax when a large business moved its jobs to another community. Retention of our current business base as well as expansion of the number and variety of businesses is crucial to the future of Reynoldsburg.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I like to portray myself as my kids’ mom, Symone and Carter’s GiGi and my husband’s lovely bride of almost 27 years. I love the arts and sports and have become intimately involved with the two because of my kids. I am a self-described #ArtsMom and #SportsMom.
I am also a proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Initiated in 1987, I continue my service with Columbus, Ohio Alumnae Chapter. I have chaired the Physical and Mental Health committee for the past 2 years building awareness of health and wellness initiatives affecting the African-American community
I run various races around the country benefitting a magnitude of charities. I am training for my 18th half marathon. My most memorable race was the International Detroit half marathon running over the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Canada and running through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel back into the U.S.
I created and am the co-captain for a run/walk group for men and women encouraging health by moving their bodies called Team Sole Sisters and the Pips.