Dayton City Commissioner
Southwest Ohio, Local
Shenise Turner-Sloss, a Dayton native and mother of three, is a grassroots community activist and development professional. In her years of experience, Shenise has managed logistics at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, preserved a local park, managed grassroots campaigns, and served as a community service advisor. She believes the Dayton City Commission is ready for new leadership that represents the true needs and desires of her community. If elected, Shenise will continue to commit to organizing communities in Dayton and to improving the quality of life for every resident.
The Dayton City Commission member is elected at-large on a non-partisan basis for four-year, over-lapping terms.
The responsibilities of city commissioner include:
- All policy items are decided by the City Commission, which is empowered by the City Charter to pass ordinances and resolutions
- Adopting regulations
- Appointing the City Manager
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I am running for office because I am confident in my ability to represent the will and best interests of all residents and include them in the decision-making processes. Many times, we allow political parties to choose our leadership, who in turn, tout the party lines while lacking experience and compassion. Blinded party allegiance and identity politics have discouraged qualified and experienced potential candidates from seeking elected office. Oftentimes, minority women are excluded from these processes and conversations as a whole. I was inspired to run during President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address in 2016. He challenged individuals who were tired of the status quo to grab a clipboard and circulate a petition to run for office. I ran for office in 2017, as a first-time candidate on the fundamental value of “treating people how you want to be treated.” I hold true to this very same mantra within my personal life as well as governing. People want representation from those in office to look like them who understand the daily struggles of working more than one job to make ends meet.
Furthermore, I was inspired by the number of women who decided to run for office in 2018. Women who decided to lead and to lean in regardless of their background and experience in politics. This inspiration leads me to no longer request permission or beg for a seat at the table.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
Many of my friends and family members have inspired me through this journey; however, I attribute much of my inspiration to my husband and children, mother, and mentor Ms. Idotha Bootsie Neal (Commissioner). Their continuous support and love encourage me to press forward and move past self-doubt and fear, to stand strong as a servant leader.
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 was raised in a single-parent home where we struggled to have our basic needs met; however, the importance of education was always instilled by my mother. Despite, being raised in a single-parent household, I was unaware of my disproportionate circumstance until I became a young adult in college. My less than ideal situation enabled me to develop the leadership qualities that I practice today. These leadership qualities include the ability to think independently while balancing the care and consideration for others. I learned the significance of treating people with dignity and respect at an early age. As a result of not having much, I knew how it felt to be judge on the basis of being different.
I am a wife, mother, and public servant. In these roles, I understand the capacity of serving others. I have sought to live my life with purpose. My purpose has been enhanced by studying political science and working in local government. In my capacity, I learned the processes of government and witnessed failed programming and policy that was not responsive to ordinary individuals. I resigned from my position with local government that I was passionate about in order to fill a greater need in my community.
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 the vision and values of the Matriots and envision my community having representation reflective of its diverse population where responsive policy and programming are created and implemented. I want to help reduce the poverty rate, create affordable and descent housing, and aggressively redevelop the 31 neighborhoods lacking opportunity.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
One top state issue that I believe we face today, is the right to choose. The current administration has created a vile attack on women and the threats against “Roe vs. Wade” which has preempted states to develop restrictive policy against women and their ability to choose. A local issue that has scared my community is the issue of transparency. City agreements and projects have been created and executed while circumventing city processes excluding citizen input and participation.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I am married with three children and I enjoy participating in community service projects with my family, reading, cooking, and gardening. I enjoy engaging in activities specific to each of my children likes and development, yet collaboratively coming together for family adventures.
I also enjoy being a mentor to young ladies that show an interest in political science, local and federal government and career/self-exploration.