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.

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