Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Erin Rosiello
Erin’s life’s work in sales, marketing, civil service and as an entrepreneur have prepared her to be a bi-partisan problem-solver, negotiator and community leader. She has been involved in her community as a Clermont 20/20 Leadership Graduate, an OSU Certified Public Manager Graduate, a founding member of Cincinnati East Side Rotary, and a graduate of Miami Township’s Citizens Police Academy. Erin’s determination and commitment to women will serve her well in the Ohio House. As State Representative Erin has a plan of action to hit the ground running, prioritizing the well-being of women and their families.
Meet the Candidate: Erin Rosiello
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?
The first part of my answer brings me great shame and I now know that I made a horrible mistake. As a new entrepreneur, I was tired of life-time politicians running our country and felt that it was time to vote for a someone that might represent a successful businessperson… and I’m pretty sure you know where I am going with that from here… I voted for Trump. And I must tell you, soon after the election, I realized that I had made a grave mistake and I have regretted this decision each – and – every day since then.
The second life-changing event in 2016 happened pretty much simultaneously as the first event. Several months after leaving my stable job with the state of Ohio, I opened my first small business and shortly after opening the business I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Upon diagnosis, everything went sideways. I had many significant decisions to make, about my business, my marriage, my home and my treatment plan.
The great news is that while battling for my life and taking a time-out to concentrate on health, I was afforded the opportunity to reflect on life and re-evaluate priorities. There is nothing like mortality to provide clarity. I spent months pondering my political decision to vote for Trump, researched and reflected the state of Ohio and how politically many of us have been asleep at the wheel and decided to apply my ability to problem solve, and strength that I had applied to my circumstance to make positive change in Ohio by running for State Representative. It was a combination of these two life-changing events that brought me to the decision to run for State Representative in Ohio.
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 mother, Winonah Myers was an American political activist, who, in 1961 at the age of 19, became a Freedom Rider. She was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi and spent almost six months in Mississippi State Penitentiary, better known as Parchman Farm, the oldest prison and the only maximum-security prison for men in the state of Mississippi. She was jailed on June 11, 1961 and was in prison until Christmas Day of that year. While in prison she refused bail and refused to file an appeal. Of all the Freedom Riders, white or black, my mother served the longest sentence and was the only Freedom Rider who served her full term.
While my mother did not like to speak about her experience to us children, she did explain its purpose and the importance of activism. My mother was a huge influence and inspiration in my life. She taught me many things, including the importance of a functional democracy, the importance of our right to vote and most importantly to fight for your beliefs. Most of the lessons that my mother taught, were by her example. Up until she died in 2018, she was still taking shoes and clothing to the homeless and speaking about the Freedom rides at universities with my father. My mother was a fantastic inspiration!
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?
My experience as a professional in Sales and Marketing provided skills and experiences that have shaped who I am as a person and leader. Being involved in sales, I learned that listening is much more important than speaking, that asking questions and engaging others will help you find what you seek, that supporting others helps you succeed and sales cultivated my ability to listen, assess and to create plans of action, where everybody wins.
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?
In 2028 I would love to see a balanced General Assembly in Ohio, as well as, an even distribution of men and women in county and local governments. I would like to see either a female speaker in The House or a female Majority leader in the Senate…or both. It would be fantastic if by that time we would have elected a female governor, as well.
5) 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 two issues in District 62 are
1. Schools including -School Finance/property taxation/School District Levy’s and return to school – this is really keeping people up at night.
2. Portions of our District are struggling with Economic Development. To give a specific example, Hamilton Township has limited access into the area, with three bridges that bottleneck traffic and affect potential developers as they consider the transportation necessary to conduct business from Hamilton Township. Because of the limited business income, homeowners end up carrying the brunt of the property taxes. Hamilton Township continues to add residential developments; however, it is not keeping up with the sorely needed economic development.
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.
When I was about four years old, I lived on a farm and used to go into the empty silos and find what I called baby-skin birds and would try to save them. My mother would explain that we could not feed them the way that their mothers could feed them and that I should leave them there, with the hopes the mother bird might save them. When I was older, I continued to try to save and bring home baby opossums, baby birds, dogs, cats, anything that needed help. My mother later pointed out to me that some of my friends and boyfriends were extension of my need to “save” those who need saving. To this day, I am still trying to fix and save those who need it and I have three cats.