Sharon Sweda is Changing the Game

Q&A with Sharon Sweda

LORAIN COUNTY COMMISSIONER

We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

Lorain County is located in northeastern Ohio and includes the cities of Elyria, Vermillion and Avon Lake. 

 

1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018 for Ohio Senate District 13. Can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?

I immediately became re-engaged within the party and my community – as if the election had yet to take place.  I initially felt that it was therapeutic for me to stay busy as well as to help me determine my next step.  I had essentially passed the torch within my business in order to run for office.  I did not want to upset the new dynamic by returning.

Secondly, I needed time to evaluate my new direction with an emphasis in determining how to stay relevant. I felt that the campaign impacted and changed me in a way that would forever alter my purpose.

As fate would have it – staying relevant served me sooner, rather than later. A long-time County Commissioner announced his intention to seek the appointment for a vacated City Clerk of Courts position in November. In December he acquired the appointment, resigned as County Commissioner and on Feb 10, 2019, I was appointed to the vacated Commissioner seat in a run-off of 7 candidates. My term expires in 2020 when I will be campaigning again.

2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

We made the decision to fold into the coordinated campaign which resulted in ignoring the need to cut our own turf.

3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

Nationally, women made an impact in 2018 and will continue to make a difference provided we continue the momentum and focus.  Locally, gender never garnered the national momentum.

4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

I am excited to hear that you will support the local races, not simply because I am soon to be a county candidate, but because we know that good government begins on the local level. If we are going to change the landscape of Ohio elections, we need women at every level of government.

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

Black River Landing is located within Lorain, Ohio.  Lorain is a city like many in the Midwest, which have suffered over loss of its industrial base.  The city is working to revitalize and rebuild its downtown.

Black River Landing is 25 acres of Riverfront property used for festivals, picnics and my favorite, a summer concert series.The summer concerts are every Friday evening as well as some Saturdays. Cost is $5.00 for excellent cover band attractions. Black River Landing has been known to attract 4,000-6,000 attendees at every performance. There are food and beer trucks, and never any disturbances.

Louise Valentine is Changing the Game

Q&A with Louise Valentine

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF LEAD OHIO

We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

Louise ran for Ohio Senate District 19 which includes the cities of Delaware, Powell and parts of Columbus. 

1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018, can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?

After a tremendous effort in 2018 and coming up just short of a win for Senate District 19, I took some time with family over the Holidays and then joined LEAD Ohio as the Deputy Director.  I previously spent 12 years in corporate retail, but wanted to stay in a more political field since I now have such an appreciation for how important it is to have great leadership in government.

LEAD Ohio is a non-profit that, among other things, helps train candidates in how to run for office with extensive programming, mentoring and networking.  LEAD Ohio brings training classes to locations all across Ohio and has some new programs in development that focus on specific topics.  I went through the LEAD Academy from October 2017-March 2018 and it helped me through the campaign process in so many ways.  Now I’m excited to be a part of elevating it to the next level to continue grooming the next generation of diverse leaders!

2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

Ohio is ready for more women leaders!  I was prepared to get plenty of comments about how I could possibly run for office as a mom to young twins and get questioned as to why I thought I was qualified, but these things actually came up far less than I would have expected.  I had support from such a wide group of individuals and more often than not, especially among women voters, they were excited to see a mom with professional skills on the ballot and not just another older white male.

3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

I think in 2018 with so many capable women on the ballot, especially for legislative races, we as women proved that we are ready to make an impact at the Statehouse and have what it takes to compete in these races.  Women picked up several legislative seats in Franklin County (and elsewhere) and all were running against men.  Women in legislative races raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, knocked thousands of doors and built grassroots coalitions within their communities, all of which really opened the eyes of voters to see that when women decide to run, they are committed, capable, honest candidates.  I think with the results from 2018 in mind, 2019 and beyond will continue to offer prime opportunities for women to continue to win seats… but only if we continue to recruit and support women so that they know they CAN do this.  Let’s keep the dialogue going!

4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

If a woman has any thought that she may want to run for office, offering encouragement and support for her to run in a local race is so important.  The 2019 non-partisan local level races are the perfect opportunity for women to throw their name in the ring for something they care about, whether it’s school board, township trustee or city council because typically the time commitment is far less than higher level offices and she won’t have to fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars to compete.

These races are a good way to test the waters of elected office before committing to something higher and are actually one of the best ways to have a direct impact on your community.  Take your district school board, for example, school board members are making decisions throughout the year that affect the district budget, what infrastructure projects are prioritized and how to ensure state mandated curriculum is executed while still giving teachers flexibility in their lessons.  This work all impacts the success of the students in the district… which is critically important for both the future of those students and for the community!

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

As far as a destination activity in Ohio, I love to go to Cedar Point.  I’m a roller coaster lover and now that my kids are old enough to ride all the kiddie rides (and maybe this summer even some “big kid” rides) I enjoy creating these memories with them, too.

Susan Vaughn is Changing the Game

Q&A with Susan Vaughn

We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

Susan ran for Ohio House District 51 in 2018, which includes parts of the Cincinnati metro area. 

1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018, can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?

After a couple of months of R & R, enjoying my newly retired life (as of August 2018 32 years at Miami University), I’m now back in the race!  I am seeking a seat on Hamilton City Council.

2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

The people I met, the relationships that were created, the knowledge I gained about issues within my district, changed my life.  Though disillusioned at times and brief feelings of defeat, I realize I am a better person for having run for office (first attempt) and I am even more passionate about serving my community.

3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

Women changed the conversation because we bring unique perspectives to issues that impact everyone. There is strength in numbers and I believe The Matriots Class of 2018 caused people to listen and together, we were a stronger force. The women I met through Matriots events and within the endorsed Class of 2018, are unbelievably talented, dedicated to causes, educated, passionate and willing to wear many hats to accomplish our goals.

4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

I echo what I said above (#3). The Matriots endorsement, financial support and weekly communication/motivation all were extremely beneficial.

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

Ohio, in particular Hamilton, Ohio, has been my home my entire life.  I have visited every corner of our beautiful state, hiked and biked the countryside, stayed in small inns, enjoyed fabulous meals in unique restaurants and met so many people who also call Ohio home.  But, there is no place like home, Hamilton! I invite everyone to visit Hamilton and enjoy the famous “Donut Trail”, wonderful music and entertainment at the beautiful River’s Edge, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, ArtSpace, bike trails and unique boutiques throughout our city.

Kathleen Clyde is Changing the Game

Q&A with Commissioner Kathleen Clyde

We know the question on our members’ minds is: What are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORTAGE COUNTY COMMISSIONER

 

You ran a hard-fought campaign for Ohio Secretary of State. After the election, you were appointed as Portage County Commissioner. Can you tell our members more about your day-to-day responsibilities as commissioner?

For most Ohioans, county commissioners play a critical role in everyday life. We are charged with providing vital services on the state’s behalf, from elections, to justice and public safety, as well as infrastructure and human services. In my new role, I will continue to fight for quality economic development, workers and their families, and effective and efficient government.

In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

Although, we didn’t see the results that we worked so hard for on election day, I’m proud of the campaign we ran and honored to have been the only woman on the ballot for statewide executive office. With that said, there are always lessons to be learned.

It is undeniable that Ohio is growing older and less diverse, making the state less friendly toward progressive candidates. In no way does this mean we should give up the fight for Ohio, but we must do a better job connecting with independent voters, and even some republicans. Nonpartisan organizations like The Matriots can be essential to those efforts.

We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

Women changed the conversation in 2018 by showing up and taking action – whether it was attending marches, making a monetary contribution, talking to your neighbors or running for office themselves. Every action taken made a difference and I’m hopeful that the energy and engagement we saw in 2018, will only continue to grow as we head into 2019 and beyond.

The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

Supporting women candidates for local office is so important. It’s important because although we’ve seen increasing numbers of women running for office, we still have a long way to go. Investing in women early and at the local level will not only give women a voice locally but also help create a bench of women officeholders that can take on important issues at the state and federal levels.

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

It’s been great to live in Portage County full time and be able to enjoy our beautiful running trails. Whether it’s running the Portage Hike and Bike trail along the Cuyahoga River through downtown Kent or backroads in our beautiful rural townships, I love to get out and put some miles on my running shoes! I also recently discovered Icy Blast, a rolled ice cream shop in downtown Ravenna. It’s delicious and a great way to treat myself after a long run.

We are looking to expand our team!

Want to join a team committed to electing more women to public office in Ohio?

We are looking to add to our dynamic team. If you’re interested in helping us expand our statewide footprint and endorse women running for office, we’d like to meet you!

We are seeks a reliable and detail oriented Administrative Coordinator to help assist with endorsement, membership and event programs.

Job Description:

The ideal candidate will be highly organized, with a strong attention to detail, and be comfortable adapting to changing needs and priorities. She or he will be dependable, with the ability to remain calm under pressure and tight deadlines.  The principal areas of responsibility include: providing administrative, endorsement and event support  and serving as the project manager on all mass communication, digital and print.

Administrative    

  • Serve as committee liaison by providing meeting support, scheduling, minute taking, agenda, and documentation.
  • Maintain an open and service-oriented relationship with committee chairs.
  • Provide meeting management support by coordinating meeting logistics for internal and external meetings, ensure all resources are prepared for meetings (room, AV, presenters, agenda, materials, etc.)
  • Manage volunteer involvement and communication.
  • Complete other administrative tasks as needed.

Marketing & Communications

  • Assist with email marketing, including content creation, contact list management, and distribution scheduling.
  • Support marketing team with writing, graphics, and implementation of external communication.
  • Maintain wordpress website content.
  • Project manage and collect content for the monthly e-newsletter, the Hive.
  • Develop and maintain all social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. Schedule posts in coordination with the Marketing Committee and executive director.

Event Coordination

  • Develop and maintain event information, including print and digital assets such as event invitations, website event calendar, social media events.
  • Communicate with marketing team to create effective advertisements for each event. Organize all marketing activations for grassroots event promotion and coordinate invites and RSVPs as needed.
  • Manage and overseeing events on the day of, including problem-solving, welcoming guests, collecting contact information, directing event set-up, communicating with staff, and organizing vendors, and managing take-down.

Candidate Support

  • Provide additional candidate and political research to compliment endorsement and research committees.
  • Answer procedural questions from candidates and campaigns.
  • Ensure strict and complete compliance with election law and guidelines.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree is preferred.
  • 1-year experience required.
  • Political campaign experience, either working on a campaign and/or working in a political organization, is helpful.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to produce written reports, talking points, and briefings on deadline.
  • Demonstrated ability to use spreadsheet and constituent relationship software.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in politically sensitive and high-pressure environments.
  • Ability to work independently within the context of a plan.
  • Effective time management skills, including prioritizing and managing multiple tasks.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing personal work plans and goals.
  • Ability to work irregular hours and travel as required.

Competitive full-time hourly pay rate, based on experience.

Working for The Matriots offers the unique opportunity to work in a fast-paced start-up organization with big aspirations. We offer a vibrant workplace with opportunities for growth. If you, too, passionately believe in the importance of women’s leadership for our state, this is your chance to join our team!

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and a resume via email to info@matriotsohio.com by Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Introducing Shiloh Todorov!

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Shiloh Todorov who is joining The Matriots as our Development/Finance Director.

Shiloh Todorov joins The Matriots with over a decade of nonprofit experience. Shiloh previously served as the Executive Director of the German Village Society and as the Marketing/PR Director for The Wellington School. Prior to her career in nonprofit and development, Shiloh was a journalist, most recently serving as the Managing Editor for KETV.COM. Shiloh was born and raised in Omaha Nebraska and holds a Masters in Broadcast and Public Policy from American University.

We are excited to bring Shiloh’s energy, enthusiasm and experience to our team! She is a dedicated and passionate community leader and we know she will help The Matriots reach our long term organizational goals.

Want to check out the rest of our fabulous team? Click here!

Meet a Matriot: Cathe Kobacker

Cathe Kobacker is a woman of many titles. She is one of the original founding marchers who returned from the 2017 Women’s March with an idea that more women in elected office could be the solution to our country’s political stalemate. She is one of The Matriots most loyal supporters, a Matriarch, and a member our our Research Committee. She is a community activist who helped found The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, served on the board of the YWCA,  and has dedicated over 30 years of her life to advocating for end of life care. In 2004 in Cathe was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement for her many years of community service.  Cathe is an amazing woman, Matriot and member of the Columbus community – we are proud to count her among our hive!

Cathe, you are one of The Matriots PAC original founding marchers. You traveled to Washington D.C. for the Women’s March in 2017 and returned with the inspiration to create The Matriots PAC. 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?

When we returned from the Washington March the founding marchers sat down and consensus was that marching was not enough. The amazing thing is that I was struck by the wide range of ideas that were given a hearing. The path was made clear after by much research and interviews with Trail Blazers.

The idea that we could sit with a group of strong-willed women with diverse points of view and come up with the PAC idea is a perfect example of why we need more women  in political office. Thanks to the PAC and Sally Crane Cox’s coming up with the name The Matriots I know we are doing something important. Keep in mind we are 51% of the population and have 21% of the political representation in Ohio.

In 2004 you were recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement for your many years of community service and activism. What is your advice to women hoping to make difference in their communities?

Believe in what you are doing and gather interested people around you. There is a lot of talk about passion these days and I think of it more like what my Mother used to call “stick to it ness”. Recognize what you are good at and find people who have skills you do not. I got important training from my fellow board members of the YWCA. Hospice volunteering and the Harmony Project Tapestry  choir at the Ohio Reformatory  for Women have taught me that there are important and satisfying lessons in all volunteer work.

You’ve invested more than three decades in community hospice efforts, a passion that took you around the world to study best practices and culminated in a TED Talk in 2016. Can you tell our members what you learned on your journey and how you found this passion for hospice and palliative care?

Forty years ago a close family friend was dying of a brain tumor. There was no hospice care in her community so a “we group “ formed to support her family.

When I returned to Columbus I found we had a hospice program in Columbus and I signed up as a volunteer. Supporting Good, wholistic end of life care has become a driving force in my life. I also have worked to change vocabulary so that people living with a life limiting illness are not required to use battle metaphors unless they themselves choose those terms.

The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 women in the May primary election. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why?

How to pick? What impressed me about the candidates was the diversity of training and experience they brought to their races. The experience of doing research on these women made it clear to me that we are on the right path to have more women in all levels of Ohio politics.

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!

One of my favorite hobbies is watching equine competitions. Two young women I have known most of their lives compete at national and international levels in different disciplines. They are cousins and both are from Columbus, Ohio (Ellie O’Neal and Ali Wolff) they make me proud every time I watch them.

My other is walking half-marathons. I have walked eight 1/2 Columbus Marathons. Nothing like thirteen miles on a cold October day..come join me.

Meet The Matriots: Emily & Kate Law

Emily and Kate Law are a captivating pair of Matriots members. Hailing from Cincinnati, Emily (left) and Kate (right), are a mother daughter duo working hard to help The Matriots elect more women to public office in Ohio. Beyond their financial investment in The Matriots PAC, the duo recently hosted a House Party to connect us with their friends and family to raise money to help female candidates.  

Emily & Kate, you are both members of The Matriots PAC. How did you learn about The Matriots and what drew you to our work?

Emily: Last year I happened to sit down next to Helen Fite, Communications and Political Relationship Manager for The Matriots, at a Columbus Young Professional’s Coffee with a Cause on women empowerment. We each asked the inevitable question “What do you do?” She told me all about The Matriots and I was absolutely blown away by the story and mission of the organization.

I was drawn to The Matriots because women are severely underrepresented in elected office in Ohio. I appreciate that The Matriots is a nonpartisan organization focused exclusively on getting Ohio women into office. The specificity of The Matriots’ mission allows them to make a significant impact changing the landscape of politics.

Kate:  I learned about The Matriots from Emily! Since her high school days, she has had her ear to the ground on politics. Her Ohio State undergraduate political science degree was a perfect fit for her instincts. I knew to trust her judgement on finding The Matriots as a group to support

Emily, you are young professional pursuing you master’s in public administration. Why do you think that it is important for younger people to invest in the political process?

Elections matter and the excuses that “you are not political” or “one vote doesn’t matter” can no longer fly. We’ve seen the power elections have in shaping policy on the local, state and federal levels. While voting is critical step, I would like to see more of the Millennial Generation and Gen Z engage in the political process by canvassing for an issue or candidate, donating or even running for office one day. By investing in the political process, young people can ensure that their voice is heard.

Kate, you and Emily graciously hosted a House Party in April. You helped connect us to your network of family and friends and in the Cincinnati area. Can you share with our members about your experiences hosting a Matriots event?

Hosting a party was an easy yes when Emily approached me with the idea. I was in full support of helping The Matriots expand their reach into the Cincinnati area. Since the 2016 election results, I have personally felt an increased urge to get involved with elections and have many friends who feel the same way. We hosted a small group ranging in age from 22 to 86. It was a great way to learn more in a comfortable setting.

Emily, The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 running in May primary elections in 2019. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why?

Ra’Cole Taltoan is current Class of 2019 Endorsed Candidate running for Youngstown City Council. What impressed me about Ra’Cole was her life-long commitment to public service. Ra’Cole not only attended board of elections meetings and resident’s councils in her community, but also served as an AmeriCorps Vista member. She is a fantastic example of the many opportunities women have to engage in the political process.

Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do together 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!

Kate:  Emily and I have spent many hours combing through all that Columbus has to offer including the Columbus Metro Park hiking trails with her black lab Luna, The Columbus Museum of Art, the Short North shops and restaurants, The Franklin Park Conservatory and more!

The Matriots is looking to expand our team!

Want to join a team committed to electing more women to public office in Ohio?

We are looking to add to our dynamic team. If you’re interested in helping us grow our membership, and enjoy electing more women to public office in Ohio,  we’d like to meet you!

We are looking for a reliable and detail oriented Development/Finance Director. Our membership is growing quickly, with more than 800 members statewide. The Development/Finance Director will play a key role in our efforts to continue our growth.

KeyTraits:

  • Appropriately persistent
  • Results oriented
  • Reliable
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Able to connect the dots

Job Description

The development director has four principal areas of responsibility, all of which result in income for The Matriots PAC, including but not limited to:

Planning: Develop a well-informed plan for meeting budget goals, with careful quantitative and qualitative benchmarks.

Prospecting and fundraising: Identify prospective members through your own networks and those of others, including prospecting strategies and tactics learned through campaign experience; manage and support solicitations of new members, by calling on existing assets and relationships with the board, staff, and volunteers.

Relationship building: Establish and implement programs for cultivation and stellar stewardship resulting in loyal and growing support of the PAC.

CRM maintenance: Manage all membership data and internal reporting; analyze data for opportunities and planning purposes. Build and leverage CRM for communications and relationship management.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage membership and fundraising efforts, including processing contributions, tracking pledges, communicating with contributors, mailing acknowledgments, managing member benefits, and providing timely financial reporting to the accountant and the executive director.
  • Ensure strict and complete compliance with election law and guidelines.
  • Coordinate CRM input and output, insuring accuracy for all existing and future databases.
  • Create and execute member-moves management plans in coordination with fundraising solicitors.
  • Build relationships and solicit contributions in person and via telephone and email.
  • Manage key projects, events, and materials related to membership and fundraising.
  • Manage meeting scheduling, document organization, and maintenance of records for the Membership Committee.
  • Maintain an open and service-oriented relationship with board members and committee chairs.

Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree. Experience in client or member services, including identifying, stewarding and renewing contributors at the major-gifts level, either in nonprofit and/or political environments. Exceptional written and verbal communication skills (particularly fundraising copy); 7+ years of professional fundraising experience; high analytical and critical-thinking skills; self-starter; ability to exercise independent judgment and work efficiently with minimal supervision; highly organized; detail-oriented; proficient in MS Office and CRM programs. Comfortable in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.

Competitive salary based on experience.

Working for The Matriots offers the unique opportunity to work in fast-paced start up organization with big aspirations. We offer a vibrant work place with opportunities for growth. If you, too, passionately believe in the importance of women’s leadership for our state, this is your chance to join our team!

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and a resume via email to info@matriotsohio.com by Wednesday May 1, 2019.

Meet The Matriots PAC 2019 May Primary Endorsed Candidates

Class of 2019 Slate Card

Meet Some Amazing Women Running for Office in Ohio.

We are thrilled to share our Class of 2019 Matriots-endorsed candidates for the upcoming primary election on May 7th, 2019.

Our endorsement and research committees were hard at work the last few months. We interviewed and researched women running for office in primary elections across the state. Below you will find a qualified and captivating group of 9 candidates running for city council seats in May. These women are well poised to promote an Ohio that is both equitable and economically healthy.

The Matriots prioritized our endorsement on candidates who had competitive primaries, knowing that early support is key to advancing women to November. Across the state many races in 2019 will move directly to the general election. Many candidates will not have a primary opponent and therefore will not appear on the ballot on May 7, 2019. We focused our endorsement on races in Ohio’s most populous cities (communities with a population of 30,000 or more).


Read more about the women and their campaigns below. Please join us in supporting, encouraging, and, most importantly, voting for these women in May.


Ginger Baylor for Akron City Council, Member At-Large

Ginger has been twice elected to Akron board of education and spent 30 years in the Akron community as a teacher, adjunct faculty member, and liaison for US Rep. Marcia Fudge. Ginger is running to encourage job growth and development, support diverse neighborhoods and concentrate on matters of safety and infrastructure.

Marilyn L. Keith for Akron City Council, Member At-Large

Marilyn currently serves as a ward 8 council member in the city of Akron. As a retired educator, Marilyn brings leadership skills learned as a teacher to the city council. Keys issues Marilyn will address if elected are supporting organizations mitigating homelessness and addiction; and bolstering social services and recreational programs that help families, women and children.

Linda Omobien for Akron City Council, Member At-Large

Linda has served as a member of Akron city council since 2004. Prior to her service on city council she served on the Akron board of education for 16 years. Linda remains committed to policies that are a catalyst for economic development and create laws to reduce the burden on families around quality childcare, healthcare and safety.

Veronica Sims for Akron City Council, Member At-Large

Veronica was elected to Akron city council in 2015. Her professional career includes service to the Akron board or education and the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. Veronica plans to continue to fight for sensible gun laws, to create livable spaces that support Akron’s growing aging population, and to fight for the most marginalized and underrepresented among us.

Janice O. Davis for Akron City Council, Ward 4

Janice is a retired healthcare information manager committed to the welfare and health of her community, and policies that improve early childhood education outcomes. She began her education and career at 45 and now holds an MBA and is a doctoral candidate. Janice approaches legislation through a systematic perspective and is keenly aware of how legislation impacts citizens and their everyday lives.


Tara Dyer for Marion City Council, Ward 5

Tara is a retired teacher who remains active in the Marion community. A board member for Marion Public Health, Tara understands her community’s needs and is committed to helping small businesses thrive, and to creating safe spaces for residents to get a hot meal, access to basic needs and help finding a job.


Jen Kanagy for Newark City Council, Member At-Large

Jen, a director of nursing, brings her healthcare background and fierce commitment to lifting families out of poverty to this election. A co-founder of the Newark Homeless Outreach project, she will advocate for needle exchange programs, and public transportation to help families access better paying jobs.


Ra’Cole Taltoan for Youngstown City Council, Ward 2

Ra’Cole is committed to her ward and her community of Youngstown Ohio. From attending board of education meetings to resident’s councils, Ra’Cole is deeply involved and participative in the legislative process. A former AmeriCorps Vista member, if elected Ra’Cole will work to provide economic security for women and to facilitate effective change in her community.

Samantha Turner for Youngstown City Council, Ward 3

Samantha, an operations director for a local nonprofit, is a rising star running for office for the first time. Deeply committed to Youngstown, she is raising her young family in the community and wants to build and support initiatives with neighborhood groups. If elected Samantha will focus on community infrastructure, encouraging home ownership and business development.