Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Cheryl Brooks Sullivan
Cheryl Brooks Sullivan, the current Franklin County Treasurer, is running to continue investing in women to create a ripple effect that benefits women, families, and communities. One of the first things Cheryl did as Franklin County Treasurer was to raise the minimum wage in her office to $15.00 an hour. If re-elected Cheryl will continue to listen to her constituents and build upon her record of achievement.
In 2021, Cheryl Brooks Sullivan will continue her work as the Franklin County Treasurer.
Meet The Candidate
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?
I have had a passion to run for public office. My first requirement was that of obtaining the necessary petition signatures, 50 for my particular race. Having circulated petitions for other candidates over the years I knew that I should obtain at least three times the required signatures. I did not have to venture outside of my immediate circle of friends and family to obtain three full petitions. The Board of Elections provided a great deal of information and resource to complete the process in a timely and accurate manner.
2) Many of you cited a specific person whose strength was an inspiration to you. Can you tell me about a woman who has had a big influence on your life and inspired you to become a leader? What lessons did she teach you?
My mother was and is my main source of female influence. She was born in Jamaica and was one of 12 children born to my grandparents. At the age of 19, my mother left Jamaica to pursue her nursing credentials in the UK. From a very young age, mom was brave, adventurous, focused, and determined. As a result of my dad service in the military, my mother was left to raise me alone as he completed occasional isolated tours of duty. Mom was always the “Kool-Aid house” mom, PTA President, class mom, Wives Club President, Sunday School Superintendent, and any and every opportunity to provide leadership was fulfilled. Mom went on to create a very successful real estate practice after my sister and I were finished with school. From her first year in the business, she broke many local records. I have never had to look far or outside of my home to see the power and potential of a strong woman leader.
3) 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 a leader?
Many of the challenges that I have overcome did not manifest in my life until mid-adulthood. The coping skills I embraced throughout my youth and younger adulthood withered away as life continued on and internal pressures and turmoil threatened to release in more volatile ways. One great benefit and blessing was being a parent to two beautiful young ladies. My family has always been a source of restoration for me and especially as I grew closer and closer to areas of life that pulled on the brokenness that still awaited healing. Having watched and experienced my mother’s complete immersion in every area and aspect of my life I mirrored the same behavior in that of my daughter’s lives. I had to be the PTA President, class mom, civic association president, etc. and having those innocent little lives and the social expectations and commitments anchored me in ways that allowed me time and space to heal and grow simultaneously without losing anything but baggage. I embody those same traits to this day of focus and determination against any and all odds. I take quite literally and seriously the needs of anyone that I have the opportunity to have in my care.
4) The Matriots PAC has a bold goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
My vision for Ohio in 2028 is that our community will be at the forefront of having established higher levels of inclusion, justice, and opportunity for all marginalized people residing here. Women will have surpassed 50% capacity in elected positions, and we will have had at least one woman win the office of POTUS by then.
5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community faces today?
Economic Uncertainty. Franklin County’s unemployment rate rose drastically over the course of this Pandemic. Our residents not only continue to experience the immediate impact of the employment and job crisis but also the anxiety over the inability to project future conditions including when, if, and at to what extent recovery will take shape. – Lack of leadership at the State and National Level: As a result of countless scandals, including those with the President and the former state house speaker, the political process appears cloaked and cumbersome to many of our most vulnerable residents. There are countless questions surrounding timeliness and consolidated movement on legislation, Executive Orders, policies etc., that to residents appear to fall short on delivering impactful results yet maintain a continuous dialog of ideas and promises. Residents are losing hope and patience as the bureaucratic processes’ labor on.
6) Now for fun: Tell us something personal about yourself. It can be a hobby, your favorite food, a funny pet story, something we might not know about you that you would like to share with our members.
I spent most of my childhood on air force bases that were located within rural communities, and especially one-stoplight towns. Much of my childhood was spent enjoying the ambiance and comforts of these small towns. In 2018 I purchased my current home which sits on 5 acres and is bordered by Alum Creek. I spend most of my downtime at home feeding and talking to the wildlife that shares my 5 acres with me. Folks easily see the “city girl” in me but often times miss just how country I really am.