The Matriots, New Nonpartisan PAC, Aims to Elect More Ohio Women to Public Office

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We firmly believe that political participation by women is a key to good government and a growing body of evidence supports this. Unfortunately, women are significantly underrepresented in Ohio.That must change and The Matriots intend to lead the charge.

Inspired by their experience at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, a small group of Ohio women have founded The Matriots, a nonpartisan Ohio political action committee focused on electing more Ohio women to public office. The PAC registered with the state of Ohio in May 2017, and launched a successful “quiet” fundraising campaign in July. In less than six months, The Matriots have raised $550,000 in contributions and pledges, in order to support women candidates in the 2018 elections and beyond.

“We firmly believe that political participation by women is a key to good government and a growing body of evidence supports this,” said Sally Crane Cox, a member of The Matriots’ convening committee and current Chair and Treasurer “Unfortunately, women are significantly underrepresented in Ohio. We rank 36th in the country for women in elected office. In our state legislature, women have never accounted for more than 25 percent of our representatives though women make up 51 percent of our state’s population. That must change and The Matriots intend to lead the charge.”

From the original founding group of six, The Matriots has grown to almost 300 women and men across Ohio. Members represent different political parties, ethnicities, races, religions, and sexual identification. The majority of the current members are “Founding Members,” having participated in the quiet fundraising campaign to launch the PAC, conducted via a series of house parties and personal interaction. The full list of Founding Members can be found at MatriotsOhio.com.

“We returned from the Women’s March invigorated and resolved to do more,” said Cox. “We were focused on working toward achieving greater economic justice for women. After doing our due diligence and research, we knew that more women in government would be critical in changing this culture. However, we also saw a gap in women candidates’ ability to raise the money they needed to successfully launch and win a campaign. That’s where The Matriots fit in.”

The nonpartisan PAC will work to get more women elected to Ohio offices by encouraging, endorsing, and supporting women running for office. Any candidate receiving The Matriots’ support or seeking endorsement must share the group’s core values: candidates must believe in working together to create a healthy economy in which women can thrive. In addition, candidates must advocate for legislation that leads to safe and prosperous communities where all individual’s human, civil, and reproductive rights are safeguarded. The PAC plans to announce its first endorsements in conjunction with the 2018 primary elections. An endorsement application can be found on the Matriots’ website.

The Matriots is currently led by a 10-member volunteer Steering Committee that sets policy and strategy for the PAC. The Committee, made up of business and community leaders from around the state, includes Sally Crane Cox, Chair/Treasurer; Trudy Bartley, Vice-Chair; Rebecca Ibel ,Secretary; and Sharon Steele, Business Officer; as well as Sandy Anderson, Mindy Coffey, Myrita Craig, Rita McNeil Danish, Rachel Escusa, and Tom Grote. The group hopes to add three more members to the Steering Committee and hire an Executive Director in the coming months.

Suggested Tweet: Nonpartisan PAC, @MatriotsOhio launches w more than $500k raised. Aims to elect more women to public office. matriotsohio.com

More information about the PAC can be found at MatriotsOhio.com.

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