Meet A Member: Nick Weitzel

1. How are you and your family holding up with the stay-at-home order? We are holding up! While It has been challenging, especially with a very active 2 year old in the house, I think our bond as a family and with friends has grown stronger.  We are so thankful for ZOOM! We have made Zoom calls a regular practice to stay connected with friends and family spread across the country. We celebrated Chris’ milestone birthday with a Zoom surprise party as well as Jude’s 2nd birthday with multiple Zoom calls with his grandparents and cousins.

2. Nick, you’re a Founding Member of The Matriots. What motivated you to give at the Founding Member level? My husband, Chris, and I believe we need a political change in Ohio and in our country. Like a lot of people, we were in shock after the 2016 election.  We realized we needed to be active in creating the political change we wanted to see—we could no longer be passive participants.  We believe the Matriots’ mission of equal representation is the best way to realize that change, and here in our home state was the best place to start.  It was important to us to be Founding Members because we were inspired, and wanted to do our part to ensure this organization had the resources to achieve it’s Bold Goal of 50% representation of women in Ohio elected office by 2028, if not sooner!

3. In addition to being a Founding Member, you just joined the Marketing Committee. How do you think we can effectively grow The Hive to support our endorsed candidates? I think the best way we can grow the Hive is by sharing our personal passion and support for the Matriots’ cause with our friends and family. As individuals, we are the best representatives of our own interests, and often the best messengers for our own causes.  One of the ways we can share this passion as members are through hosting a house party, or a virtual house party as it may be at the moment.

4. Can you share why you think The Matriots’ vision for more women in elected office is the solution to today’s political rancor? Let’s be honest…what got us where we are today? This exact moment we are in demonstrates how important it is that we elect representatives who will consider the health and well being of our families above all else.  I believe with more women at the table, our government would make smarter choices for the long term, and avoid the kinds of short-term thinking and self-interested decision making we see today.

5. Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state! We are big fans of the Columbus Museum of Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts! We feel so fortunate to have these two amazing institutions here in Columbus.  Both CMA and the Wex have done an outstanding job of providing online content during the quarantine (make sure to check it out if you haven’t already), and we can’t wait until we are able to visit both in person again.

Virtual House Party Invitation

Thank you for registering for our upcoming Matriots virtual house party!

We want you to be excited to learn more – so we’ll just share a few introductory ideas here before we go on a deeper dive during the event.

Here’s a little bit about our start from our introductory video in 2018:

OK, that answers some questions, but…

Why the bee? Why a PAC? Learn more in our FAQ.

We want you to consider membership in The Matriots, so consider what Cleveland member Harriet Warm has to say about investing with us.

Now Is The Time To Grow The Hive

I’ve spent some time on the phone this past month with several dozen members; saying hello, checking in, answering concerns. I know each of you are experiencing the pandemic in very personal ways.

For some people, the change has meant little more than not being able to meet friends at a favorite restaurant. For others, they’ve lost jobs or had their hours curtailed, are fighting for their company, or they’re caring for a loved one suffering with this deadly virus.

Even as we shared stories and updates on “life in pandemic,” not one had lost faith in The Matriots mission, which has never been more critical. Voting matters. Leadership matters. And for those not fighting for their livelihood, a deep sense of desire to be RELEVANT in the world right now has permeated our membership.

You may not know me personally yet, but you certainly know from your inbox that it is my job to steward you, cultivate your relationship with our candidates, and to attract new members. Now is not the time for me to sit on the sidelines with our fundraising and new-member goals. Our work is too important.

I spent the winter traveling across the state meeting people, and there was such thirst and desire to put more women in office.

I don’t want to lose that momentum. And I don’t want to waste YOUR personal passion for the movement.

I need your help.

  • If you can, please renew your membership at a higher level than your last contribution.
  • If you can’t do that, just renew. Don’t forget – you can pay in monthly installments, which may make support easier at this time.
  • Share your passion for the mission with a friend!  That might be a call to ask them to get to know us and to join, or you might like to get 10 friends on a Zoom and together we can ask them to join. I’m now creating “virtual house parties” and I’d love to have you host.

And I want to TALK! There’s no better way for me to spend my day than chatting – via text, zoom, phone call or email – with you. Never hesitate to contact me.

Women’s political participation, specifically more women in elected office, results in women’s increased economic independence and security. Let’s keep fighting together to put more women at the table.

Be well,

-Shiloh Todorov, Matriots finance/fundraising director
614-787-7129 | shiloh.todorov@matriotsohio.com

Meet a Matriot: Tiffany Nobles

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Tiffany Nobles has lived in Columbus, Ohio for the past 12 years. She currently serves as the Advancement Officer for the Central Ohio region of OhioGuidestone, a multi-county behavioral health organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Washington & Jefferson College and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public & International Affairs.

Member Benefits & Special Mailings

Matriots Membership Benefits

Annual members of The Matriots understand that participation equals representation. They raise their hands to engage in the political process, seeing engagement and membership as investments in their family’s future. Annual members contribute at the level that best represents their commitment and capacity.

Welcome Package: Letter plus + Items outlined below for identified benefit level + Monthly Hive Newsletter and Periodic Candidate Q&As

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS RECEIVE:

  • Tech tattoos mailed to your home
  • Matriots-endorsed candidate profiles
  • Invitation to Annual Bee-lievers Celebration
  • Online Member listings and thank you
  • Digital post-general announcement

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP LEVELS INCLUDE:

STUDENT $25 Commitment | BASIC $25-$99 (non-Student) | SUPPORTER $100 Commitment | PARTNER $250 Commitment (or $21 per month) | ADVOCATE $500 Commitment (or $42 per month) | KITCHEN CABINET $1,000 Commitment

EQUITY BUILDERS $2,000 Minimum Commitment: $1,000 per year for 2-5 years

Our big, hairy audacious goal is to have 50% women serving in Ohio elected office by 2028 – that’s equity! And by giving at the Equity Builders level, you are making our bold goal closer to reality.

  • Annual membership benefits plus +
  • Equity Builder tote
  • Special correspondence

MATRIARCH $10,000 Commitment: over a maximum of four years

Member Carol Andreae presents a check to Columbus Councilmember Elizabeth Brown.

A Matriarch is not defined by her years, but rather by her leadership. The Matriarchs of The Matriots PAC commit at least $10,000 to encourage, endorse, and support the women of Ohio who, too, fearlessly take up the mantle of leadership, pursuing elected office. A Matriarch is a visionary. She knows that balancing gender representation requires deep, long-lasting dedication to female candidates – now and in the future. Emboldened and convicted, the Matriarch embraces The Matriots’ most deeply-held belief that when women’s voices are equally represented politically, families and society will prosper.

  • Annual and Equity Builder benefits plus +
  • Matriarch journal
  • Opportunities to present endorsement checks to candidates 

ALL IN $12,500/year/person

Elected women change the conversation, find the solution, and – in fact – bring home results to their districts. You recognize how equity for women in politics would change the game for Ohio. To be All In means you’ve gone to the max for equality. An All In gift is defined by law as $13,292.35 – the most an individual can give a PAC in Ohio in one year. You’ve maxed out on your belief in women when you’re All In for The Matriots.

  • All above benefits +
  • Correspondence from board chair
  • Advance access to Matriots Research before its release to the public

Meet a Matriot: Andie Ryley

1. Andie, you’ve been a Matriots member since very early on – who introduced you to The Matriots and why did you say yes?

According to a local paper, Toledo Blade, Ohio is one of the worst states to live in, if you are a woman, given the income gap between men and women, the percentage of people living in poverty who are women and the average life expectancy of women. I believe, and we are beginning to see that, when women lead, conversations change, families are supported and children prosper. So, when I attended a Get to Know the Matriots party at a Joan Uhl Browne’s house, the information and messaging immediately resonated with me.

I also belong to another group, Dining for Women, that supports women and children in third world countries.

2. How does your professional life as an educator color your desire to have more women in office?

As an educator, I have had the opportunity to work with many strong women. Women who make a difference in small and large ways every day. Women who are parents advocating for their children with disabilities; and,  colleagues who are women learning, researching, mentoring and practicing their professions in all types of settings. These women are problem solvers, collaborators and are passionate in their work. In my opinion, these are characteristics essential to effective leadership.

3. You shared at our Breakfast with an Elected featuring Senator Teresa Fedor that you are now “playing the long game.” What does that mean, and how do The Matriots fit in that equation?

I believe that enduring social and economic change must be evolutionary and will require embracing a “win – win” political process, transcending party, rather than the “zero sum” game being played now. Elevating the historical concerns and values of women, and promoting our inclusive way of doing things, seems the only means by which such a transformation can occur. The Matriots are nurturing a generation of candidates, as well as the activists supporting them, who will embody and continuously build the infrastructure necessary to this Revolution by Evolution and who are likely to mentor other women.

 4. Tell us about your CORN group.

The Women’s Democratic Caucus Of Rural Northwest Ohio was developed by Shelly Hayes, president of the Anthony Wayne Area Democratic Club, and we fondly refer to this as our “CORN” group. These are women from western Lucas, Wood, Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams Counties. We came together after working on a congressional campaign and, through Shelly’s foresight, we now are organized and work to support each other and democratic candidates. Often times women who live in more rural sections of our state believe they are the only woman in their area who believe in control over their bodies and equal pay and opportunities for women. Through canvassing, we promote candidates supporting these issues and we also do service projects in northwest Ohio. We are excited to see how many women are taking opportunities to run throughout the state.

5. When you’re not making the world safe for democracy, tell us how you like to spend your time!

I love to cook and garden.  I live close to the Toledo Metro parks and the Maumee River so walking, camping and kayaking are also high on my list of favorite activities. My two grown children and their families live close by so I try to spend as much time with them as possible.

A Word From The Matriots PAC Chair

Dear Matriots,

These are surreal times. But they do not have to be scary times. We will demonstrate the resiliency that is so often a characteristic of women’s work. We will carry on.

As Ohio deals with the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we need to acknowledge that the people who will be most quickly and negatively impacted by the school closings and the forced curtailing of the service sector, for example, are women. And, of that population, women of color and women living one flat tire away from financial catastrophe will suffer the most.

Women are on the front lines when it comes to child-rearing and keeping our communities healthy and safe; but we are not on the front lines when it comes to establishing family-friendly policies because we are underrepresented at the tables where those policies are being crafted and legislation is being enacted.

There are two issues at stake today: the short-term crisis and the long-term solution to this situation. At The Matriots PAC, we are stepping back from our vigorous fundraising efforts to allow the social-service agencies that provide a safety net for our state’s citizens to do the work that they do best while we all navigate the pandemic. We are putting our house parties and fundraising gatherings on hold until we feel comfortable once again stacking hands in this effort. (And, in a happy coincidence, we were just putting the finishing touches on a new plan around video outreach to Matriots throughout the state!)

But we will not take our eyes off the prize, which is the long-term goal of putting more Ohio women into elected office to implement the women- and family-friendly policies that this state needs. Rest assured that our work endorsing, supporting and encouraging our women candidates continues unabated. Fifteen of our candidates face primary challenges March 17 and we hope that, if you have not already voted, you will cast your ballots for these women. And then it’s on to the general election and dozens more Matriots-endorsed candidates who deserve our support.

So we will continue to “remember the ladies,” as Abigail Adams said. Because short-term crises require long-term solutions.

All the best. Stay safe and healthy,

Sally Crane Cox
Chair, The Matriots PAC Board of Directors

Meet a Matriot: Barbara Fillion

1. Barbara, you’re an early investor in The Matriots, a member of our endorsement committee, and you recently became a Queen Bee for Southwest Ohio. Can you share with our members why you think The Matriots’ vision for more women in elected office is the solution to today’s political rancor?

Like many of us, I was appalled by the results of the 2016 election, and the tone of the incoming administration. I went with a busload of 50 friends to the Women’s March in DC, in January 2017.  Like the six founders of The Matriots, our “bus group” wanted to be part of a movement, not just a march, so we have continued to work on a variety of issues after returning to Cincinnati.  When my long-time friend Myrita Craig invited me to her house party for The Matriots, the vision of the Matriots founders resonated with me.  We know there is data-based research confirming that companies with diverse boards and executive leadership have better business results.  Those of us who’ve worked on diverse teams have experienced their better results as well.  The adage that “When women prosper, we all prosper” is absolutely true … as women, we are unafraid to advocate for what our families, communities, and schools need most.  Having spent a 29-year career at Procter & Gamble, I know that “having a seat at the table” is absolutely crucial for women. While I’m excited by the 60% success rate of our first two years’ endorsed slates, I’m even more excited about the way these women are governing, and the number of women deciding to run every year!

2. The Matriots endorsed 15 women for the March 17 primary election. As a member of our endorsement committee, you played a significant role in these endorsements. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why?

I can truly say that I’ve been inspired by all the women we have endorsed … all of them are running for office on top of incredibly busy lives, and yet they are willing to add the stress of fundraising and running for office, because this is how they’ve decided to make a difference.  But I’ll highlight Jessica Miranda, who is the first SW OH candidate Myrita Craig and I interviewed, in early 2018 … and is now my State Representative for OH HD28.  Jessica is the daughter of a single mom (who she now supports), the mom of 3 daughters, a business owner, and a former School Board President.  She is in her mid-30s, and has been a business owner for 9 years … she and her husband own a tax and insurance franchise in Forest Park, OH, where they serve a bi-lingual population. She first ran for OH HD28 in the 2016 election, when she learned she was expecting their third daughter almost immediately after filing her petition to run.  Although she lost that election, she came back in 2018, and won by 56 votes, being the only Democrat to unseat an incumbent Republican in the State House that year.  She began working across the aisle with her Republican counterparts, even before being sworn in, by reaching out to former OH Senate President Dick Finan (a Republican, currently mayor of Evendale, and my next-door neighbor ).  Dick hosted her ceremonial swearing-in, in Evendale Council Chambers, and has been an on-going mentor during her first term.

She is a passionate advocate for education, particularly “urban suburban” districts like Winton Woods. Earlier this month, I attended a fundraiser for Jessica, hosted by a group of very involved Democrats in Wyoming, a Cincinnati suburb that’s not even in her district.  Rep. Sedrick Denson (OH HD33, also in his first term) spoke during the Q&A session, and could not have been more complimentary about how quickly Jessica has learned the ropes, how hard she works … and how he looks to her as an expert on all issues about public education. To quote Jessica, “(She) will not be out-worked” in her run for re-election, or her advocacy for the residents for her District. Jessica will need to raise a LOT of money this year (at least twice as much as last term), because she is running against a former Hamilton County Commissioner, with much broader name recognition, so please let me know if you need information on where to send campaign contributions.

3. You are an avid traveler. What are your observations about the differences between the places you’ve traveled to and the political environment in Ohio?

I’ve really enjoyed traveling with companies like Go Ahead Tours and Road Scholar, who include educational components in their itineraries.  In Croatia, our tour director had been part of the resistance fighters who were active in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, in the early 1990s.  Hearing his stories of the transition from Communist rule, and his dismay at the lack of good jobs (outside seasonal tourism) for young people, was eye-opening.  We’ve also traveled inside the US, and been in cities like Portland, OR, where environmental concerns are addressed more assertively and found that refreshing.  Last summer, we hosted guests from our church’s partner church (a UMC) in Samara, Russia (and we will travel to visit them later this year).  It was shocking to hear how their country limits the “reach” of churches other than Russian Orthodox churches, and how constrained their public comments must be.

4. As a Queen Bee working to grow the Hive in Southwest Ohio, how do you envision The Matriots growing and expanding in that region?

I hope we will establish a number of regular opportunities to get together, meet our SW OH candidates, learn how we can support their work, and expand the “reach” of our work, by continuing to invite new people to join us. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting the women who have decided to run, their staff members and volunteers, and other Matriots. I hope our SW OH “Hive” will be able to offer this opportunity to an expanding network of women and men who want to help make a difference for Ohio, by electing many more women to state & local office!

5. Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!

In 2013, my husband and I built a log home (our “cabin in the woods”) in eastern Adams County, in the foothills of Appalachia.  (It’s seriously my “happy place.”) Through our Amish builder, and in the process of shopping frequently at Miller’s Furniture, we met a number of Amish families, and learned more about their community in Adams County.  Twice a year, they hold a chicken dinner and auction, to fund their schools.  We absolutely love attending the chicken dinner, and staying at least through the quilt segment of the auction.  The food is fabulous, we’ve successfully bid on two beautiful hand-made quilts (which now adorn 2 of the 3 beds in our cabin), and we really enjoy this opportunity to catch up with the various Amish families we met in the process of building our home.  (If you’re interested in attending, these are held on the first Friday in May and the last Friday in September.  Dinner is served 4-7 p.m.; the auction begins at 5 p.m; the quilt auction begins around 8 p.m.)

My newest “hobby” seems to be making buttons for women’s campaigns … thanks to our Public Library’s Maker Spaces, where it’s incredibly affordable to make buttons. (I can make 100 buttons for less than $12.50 .. what a great in-kind gift for these amazing women The Matriots are supporting!)

Meet a Matriot: Mandy Jennings

1. You initially learned about The Matriots at a fall house party. Can you share why you think The Matriots’ vision for more women in elected office is something you support?  The “ME TOO” movement in recent years really opened my eyes to the entrenched cultural and professional restrictions women are still facing.  Thinking I was in the modern age and not under the same prejudices as our mothers, I didn’t realize how much further women had to go to obtain equality in social standing and in politics, particularly.  Hearing how less than half of our state is represented by women, I was moved to join the group to help get more of us in office.  Women are affected by so many of the decisions made in government, we need to have a voice to talk about issues unique to us and those issues that would benefit from our diverse perspectives.  It is important for us to get involved and support each other

2. You are a historian by training and profession. Are there stories you’ve researched that amplify for you the mission of The Matriots? I was always inspired by the history of Anne Hutchinson.  Before the women’s liberation movement of 1973 and the larger women’s suffrage movement of 1840-1920s – there were the early reformers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630s.  Anne Hutchinson was a Puritan who practiced church meetings in her home with other women.  She believed a personal connection with God could be attained by all and that anyone had the ability to go to heaven, regardless of your gender or position in society.  These ideas were against the ideals of the Puritans, so she was placed under arrest for heresy and sedition. She was excommunicated from the church and she fled to Providence, Rhode Island – a place of refuge for people of other religions and beliefs different from the Puritan worldview.

As a student learning about Hutchinson, I keyed in on one of the main problems the Puritans had with her – that she organized meetings with other women to share in worship and discourse over their own spirituality.  It frightened me to think that there was once a day when women could not meet and share their own thoughts.  Anne risked her life every time she called a meeting of women together.

Now – here we are – The Matriots – a group of women who can gather together and have the freedom to share ideas and express personal opinions and thoughts.  We are continuing a legacy that women like Anne Hutchinson set into motion for us. Let’s respect the past and continue moving forward to release the restrictions that still hold us bound to old stereotypes and years of social conditioning.

3. Tell us about your community-building activities in Zanesville. We understand you’ve recently been working to revitalize your historic community. I was elected the Vice-President of a newly founded community group called the Friends of Putnam.  Putnam refers to the oldest historic district in Zanesville, Ohio.  The area has been ravaged by poverty, homelessness and now the opioid crisis has hit the town extremely hard.  We understand that there are many solutions we have to take in combating the complicated issues of our neighborhood.  One solution we are trying is the economic revitalization of the area so we can bring in new local businesses and promote job growth.  At the same time, we are starting street and home beautification projects to show our citizens that we care about our community and want to make it better.  Appalachian towns are hit hard with high poverty levels, low high school graduation rates, and a lack of jobs for educated individuals. I realize it will take time and it will take work on all fronts.  I don’t want to find a quick fix – I want to combat the problem at its root.  The first step we are taking is to build pride in our community and create jobs for our people.  

4. Before you took up a volunteer role as community-builder, did you look to mentors or were any particular women in office an inspiration? When I decided to do something about helping my community, my first thought was to reach out to an historic preservationist I met when I was fresh from college – Nancy Recchie. I met Nancy when I was at my first job at Wayne National Forest as an archaeologist. She was working on historic revitalization projects in collaboration with the Forest Service.   She made an impression on me when I was young.  She had a positivity, energy and vision that was inspiring.  Now, years later, the memory of her came to me when I thought about how I was going to start rebuilding my little historic neighborhood. I met back up with her recently to ask for her mentorship.  Her devotion to helping other women move up and forward is much appreciated and admired.

5. Now for something fun: You live in Zanesville and work in Columbus. Tell us how you spend that time on the road each day. My commute time can be anywhere from 50 – 90 minutes.  During that time, I listen to 1980s pop music on satellite radio.  The music makes me happy because it reminds me of my relationship with my sister.  My sister was 10 years older than me, so when I was a little girl in the early 1980s, she was going through her teen years and exposed me to all the pop culture of the time.  I idolized my sister and followed her around everywhere. The music gives me fond memories of her and our time together.

Meet The Matriots All-In Members

In the July edition of The Hive, Sally Crane Cox introduced us to Kitty & Dick Rosenthal of Cincinnati.  Kitty & Dick were our first members to max out on The Matriots. Ohio law sets a defined maximum annual gift that a PAC can accept from a single donor at $13,292.35.

The Rosenthals didn’t just say yes to go all in for a single year, they said “we want to do this for the Matriots for three years in a row!”

And in this month’s Hive, we introduce you to the NEXT two Ohio families making the same commitment: Sally Crane Cox & Cary Cox and Carol Andreae & Jim Garland.

Sally and Carol were both founders of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio almost two decades ago. Sally is among the six women who returned from the Women’s March in 2017 ready to take action – action that eventually became The Matriots PAC!

Carol & Jim on a recent trip to Egypt
Cary & Sally with son Cameron and daughter-in-law Agathe

“After engaging for a time in the process of promoting women’s political leadership through The Matriots PAC, it became clear that achieving gender equity was not going to be a short-term goal,” Sally said. “It will take dollars and diligence to develop a deep bench of qualified candidates who share our values and can run viable campaigns.”

For Carol, this investment is the next iteration of work to put more women at all kinds of tables of power.

“With women in leadership roles, different issues get attention – childcare, infant and maternal mortality, early childhood education, for example, issues which affect the whole community, but are often relegated to being ‘women’s issues’ and less worthy of attention,” Carol said. “From my experiences with other women’s organizations, I’ve learned that women often have the solutions to community problems, but don’t have the resources, nor the influence to implement them. Historically, when there is investment in women, the community prospers.”

That’s exactly what The Matriots are working to do: elect more Ohio women to public office who will promote a healthy economy in which women can thrive and prosper.

“Early on, we were struck by the fact that the Matriots’ candidates appeared to be motivated to run for office not to seek power or stature, but to advance policies that positively impact women and their families,” Sally said.

“Obviously, the realization of the need to elect more women has been a powerful motivator for many people, men as well as women,” Carol said. “The success of the Matriots in its few years of existence has been incredible. With more support available for the candidates, more women have been willing to step up and run for office.”

And we’re proud our members are women AND men, Ohio residents AND those out of state, and importantly people of ALL political stripes. Speaking on behalf of Cary and herself, Sally said, “We think it is really inspiring the number of women and men who identify as cultural conservatives who have joined the Matriots PAC and who recognize that the Matriots’ mission of promoting women’s economic independence benefits society as a whole. In order to be successful in our goal of equal-gender representation, we will need support across the ideological spectrum. And at this time of extreme partisan divide, a focus on making our democracy truly representative, and of choosing shared values over partisan labels, is not only brave but smart.”

The Matriots doesn’t intend to let these three families stand alone on our list of All In contributors. The sustainability of this organization – our ability to invest in female candidates in the future; and ESPECIALLY in next year’s critical 2020 races – relies on gifts that guarantee our financial viability.

As Carol recently told a blogger for the Women’s Funding network: “I would say to any donor: by letting it be known that you are giving money to support an issue – whether it’s $100 or $1,000,000- you are taking a stand and saying this issue is important and you are making a difference.”

Take that thought into your holiday. Think about what female leadership means to you; and whether this is a cause for which you want to stretch. Join us. Tell a friend. Increase your gift. This is how we build the war chest for 2020 and beyond.