for State Representative
I’m Alison Theiss, your Democratic candidate for Ohio state representative in District 1. I’m a proud Navy mom who raised a son as a single mother.
My single-parent status happened at the worst time, the start of the Great Recession. I found quickly that being a single parent isn’t easy, especially if no one will hire you. With zero job prospects, I decided to head back to school for my bachelor’s and masters in psychology. While attending school, I designed my life around my son so that I could be there if he needed me. I did this by turning a part-time side gig of helping others into a full-time business. Despite my motivation to have a good life for my son and I, I found myself having to temporarily lean on the system for food stamps, health care, and help with utilities.
I understand the needs of struggling Ohioans as I’ve lived it. I’ve been food poor, lost my house, and put off medical care because I could not afford it. I drove my 2000 Cavalier until it died because I took out a series of high-interest loans just to get by. I still struggle at times to pay what is needed, but now I have a steady job and employer-based health care.
I am a school bus driver for Wooster City Schools. I have had many people ask why I am driving a school bus when I have a master’s degree. At the beginning of my employment, that answer was simple, this was the only job offer I received since I started my job search in 2007. However, if asked why I stay at the job the answer is easy; I love my kids.
From preschool through high school, I care about my students and want them to succeed no matter if they live in the disadvantaged south end, behind the College of Wooster, or across from the Country Club. I use what I’ve learned for my psychology degrees to try to understand what they are going through and how I can talk to them in a way that will be helpful to them. Driving a school bus isn’t about me, it’s about them, the children, a parent’s most precious cargo.
I come from a union household, so it was an easy decision to become a WEA union representative for the transportation department. Being pro-union, I will always stand on the side of worker’s rights.
I’ve lived in Doylestown as a child, Wooster as a single mother, and now in Shreve. I know Wayne County and want to serve the needs of residents and communities alike. As a proud Democrat, I will put energy into working with diverse constituencies. I believe “we work better together,” instead of against one another.