Q&A with Stephanie Summerow Dumas
FOR HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER
1) In your interview with the Matriots 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?
In first grade I knew that my mission was to advocate for other people. The teacher asked the entire class what would they like to have for Christmas. Everyone answered something for themselves. I was the only one to answer that I wanted something for all the children in the world. Needless to say I won the prize and I’ve been advocating for others ever since. I saw the political arena as another way to advocate.
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 parents always told me that I can do anything that I put my mind to if I work hard. I imagine that’s why I became a licensed social worker, mayor, village manager, author, president/ceo and mental-health administrator. My family has always supported me in any endeavor.
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?
I’m a Licensed Social Worker and learning to actively listen and having compassion for others has allowed me to see every side of an issue or situation.
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?
This goal is a great one because women bring such a wealth of knowledge and diversity of thinking. Having women at the table and in the board room should not be an anomaly, but part of the norm.
5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Hamilton County has a $28 million deficit (1st Qtr 2018) due to several variables, but it has to be rectified and not on the backs of our citizens or by cutting services. Lack of funding by the State of Ohio for local governments for several years has impacted their ability to provide basic services for residents.
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’m very proud to know that once selected to the commissioner seat, I would make history as the first person of color in 222 years to be seated on the Hamilton County Commission. In addition, I played semi-pro softball and I carry my softball throughout my campaign. I want to remember the home runs that I have hit and the one I’m going to hit on November 6, election day!!