Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Catherine Ingram
Before Catherine Ingram was the Ohio State Representative for District 32, she served on the Cincinnati Board of Education for 20 years. While serving on the Cincinnati Board of Education, Catherine was named one of the five individuals in the state to serve on the OSBA’s All-Ohio School Board. As a Representative, Catherine will continue to use her vote to ensure that women have rights that are protected. Catherine is the advocate her district needs, who understands their daily struggles and once re-elected, she will continue to be that advocate.
Meet the Candidate: Catherine Ingram
1) In your interview with the Endorsement Committee, you shared a personal life experience that led you to the decision to run for office. Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
My many years of working closely with educators, legislators and in Corporate America allowed me the gain insight into our legislature and how it impacts our daily lives. Raised by hard-working parents, I understood the depth of the need to create and maintain personal relationships and care for others beyond myself.
2) Many of you cited a family member whose strength was an inspiration to you. Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My oldest brother was an excellent athlete as well as a scholar who earned, through his hard work in both areas, a full scholarship to Kent State University. He excelled at his work and his position. In his senior year, he collapsed at a summer camp with kidney failure. They didn’t expect him to survive, much less to ever play sports again. My Mom, Dad, and all of us prayed so hard. Not only did he come back to play another year, upon graduation he was drafted in the first round to the NFL. He was then and continues to be my inspiration. He worked hard. He recently retired as VP Emeritus from Penn State University and has a school scholarship named after him. I am blessed.
3) Some of you are teachers, some businesspeople, some professionals, some homemakers. How has your career and life experiences shaped who you are as a person and a leader?
The interesting thing about my path is that it has definitely not been a straight line! From working my junior year in retail to early years of college at a Tennessee HBCU, to more than 20 years in corporate America in customer service and public affairs, to an executive director of non-profit working with minority and majority businesses, to a full-time post-secondary instructor for over 10 years, all along as a community advocate in the public education policy arena, to the legislature, I have continued to grow and gain insight to many things and people. I’d like to teach my effort at being a life long learner.
4) 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 too would like to see more of the right women to be elected to hold offices that are responsible for specific positive outcomes in our communities. This also takes us beyond elected positions to those who lead our administrative and corporate decision making. My hope is that while gaining positions we don’t allow the real power to shift to some other mechanism that does not allow those to women to truly be trusted and respected to move our communities forward.
5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Our communities are evaluating the benefits of economic development to ensure they fairly impact all constituents. In many communities, development decisions are not engaging the people in necessary conversations. Gentrification and other means of changing demographics are adversely impacting many constituents. Affordable, equitable housing is still an issue for low and extremely low-income folks. Public education is under attack which also has a place in the conversation when we discuss the need for wealth accumulation and how many of our families still live in poverty.
6) Now for fun: Tell us something personal about yourself. It can be a hobby, your favorite food or something we might not know about you that you would like to share with our members.
Please don’t make me talk about food!! Unfortunately, I love all the food I see! I watch cooking shows to drool. I love to travel to share life with my friends and family who are in many places. I was considered a scholar-athlete when I was in high school and I still love to watch all kinds of sports today. I am told I have a strange sense of humor but I do love laughter. Since my oldest son passed away I have made sure that I continue to remind myself, that life is too short to worry about the little things.