Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Veronica Sims
Veronica Sims was appointed to Summit County Council in January 2020. Veronica has a Masters in Public Administration from The University of Akron and is a former member of both, Akron City Council & Akron Board of Education. Veronica has a long record of fighting for the community that she knows so well – from her work on the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board to Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. – her experience in working within a limited budget to effect change for those who need it most makes her an invaluable addition to Summit County Council. When re-elected, she will continue working hard for the residents of District 5 and give voice to their needs, hopes, and desires – no matter what zip code they live in.
Meet the Candidate: Veronica Sims
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?
At a very young age, it seems I became very conscious of the importance of grassroots movements and the power of policy to change for the better (or worse) people, places and circumstances. I also felt a keen awareness of what seemed to be an unjust way in which our society treated people based upon very superficial variables such as race, religion, gender, age, zip codes, and economics, just to name a few. These revelations lead to an ever-present burden upon my heart. This burden compels me to use my voice to give voice to the voiceless, to fight against injustice, and to work continually to address inequities through strong advocacy and system changes.
After earning both a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Political Science and Masters of Public Administration, as well as, serving as Executive Director of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, and spending nearly 25 years in various administrative capacities in the public/non-profit arena, I sought my first public office and was elected. I served on the Akron School Board for three years. In 2015, I sought my second elected office after an At-Large seat became vacant on Akron City Council.
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.
I can’t say that there was any one person that seeded my desire to become “a leader”, but rather there exists a multitude of people that helped to nurture and guide me into the leader that I am continuously becoming. You see, I believe we are all born leaders and the people that we meet along our pathway help to pull out what’s already in us. It’s almost similar to being a tree. Even as a seed, a tree is still a tree, as it already contains every necessary component to become a tree. The tree grows to its full potential, however, is contingent upon a number of factors, i.e., being planted in the right soil, receiving the right amount of sunlight and water, climate, etc. People, like trees, can often be stunted in their growth if the essential elements for optimal growth are missing. I am blessed that I have had the necessary growth agents deposited in me on my journey by some really phenomenal women – beginning with my very own mother and extraordinarily gifted sisters.
3) Some of you are military veterans, some businesspeople, some professionals, some homemakers. How did one of these jobs shape who you are as a person and a leader?
My life and career experiences and exposures have been extremely important in shaping me as a leader. They have taught tremendous lessons relative to being sensitive to the needs of the hurting and down and even the weight that comes with being on the opposite end of the spectrum. My experiences and exposures have also taught me, never to be afraid to stand for what is right and to never give up no matter how challenging the road may appear. I must always value my life and the lives of others to operate in the value that every person is a precious gift with much to contribute to the important work of humanity.
4) The Matriots PAC has a Big Hairy Audacious 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 is to support the efforts of Matriots PAC to the aforementioned end. Additionally, I would like to help women to see their value as leaders beyond the elected arena, understanding that women have a powerful transformational role to play in every sector of society.
5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Foremost, the top issue is the ever-deteriorating power of local control a.k.a Home Rule. Control that assures us the authority to legislate, create and implement policies and actions that are in the best interest of the people we’ve been elected to serve. The full restoration of the aforementioned would provide us with the means to more effectively address the myriad of concerns and issues that municipalities confront daily to include, but certainly not limited to, gun violence, economic development, education, housing, elder care, etc.
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 enjoy a thought-provoking conversation. I love to meet new people and delving into who they really are – their hopes, dreams, desires, fears, failures, and triumphs. I desire to be an encourager of women and young girls to follow their passions and purpose. I unapologetically love the word of God and actively look to be used to present it in action daily.