Although she has spent her career in education, Marion County resident Tanyce Addison never has been one to shy away from politics.
"I've always been very politically involved," she said. "In the 1990s, I got very involved in the education issues with standardized testing and I became a lobbyist for a political action coordinator for Central Ohio Education Association, and developed a lot of relationships with legislators during that time and really believe in the process. I think it's important for people to voice their concerns and for people to listen."
Addison said she decided it was important to make a run for office after she and others were locked out of a hearing for Senate Bill 5, a measure that failed at the ballot box last November which would have limited collective bargaining for public union members.
"That sent a big message that we need strong communication between our legislators and our constituents and I believe I'm a very good listener," Addison said.
"I've always felt that teachers feel their biggest job is to be in the schools and not in the politics. And I still believe that is the most important place where teachers should be, but the world has now made the teaching profession very political, and we need to be very involved because those decisions are really driving what our career is like," she added.
An issue Addison would like to work on is restoring funds to schools and local governments, many of which are putting tax levies on the ballot after losing sizeable chunks of state funding.
"I think we need to recognize that the state is bragging that they didn't raise taxes, but what they did was put it right back onto the local taxpayer, and what they're doing is taxing us back to poverty," she said.
She hopes to find a plan to fund schools without relying on property taxes, and wants to discontinue vouchers for for-profit and charter schools, with funds returned to public school districts.
"That's at the expense of a child's education," she said.
Addison said her priority is to work the community and speak with constituents.
"Campaigning is really just practicing doing your job," she said. "You go to all of the festivals, and you go door-to-door regularly and check in on what's going on. I know you'll have that other part in Columbus, but that's really the most important thing, because you have to be in touch with who you're representing and to really hear the stories."
She said she hopes she can make a difference in the Senate, and help provide a vision for a better future for the next generation to achieve the American Dream.