How We Lead 2020
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How We Lead 2020

Candidate Profile: Reem Subei

This year, Run for Something has already endorsed 130 first-time and second-time down ballot candidates, ready to shake up the status quo and usher in bold reforms at the local level. And let’s face it, if progressives want to win big in November, we have to at elections both up and down the ballot.

With this in mind, we’re offering a closer look at some of our most prolific candidates in our new Candidate Spotlight Series.

Meet Reem Subei, running for Ohio State Senate in District 2. As a civil rights attorney, Reem has seen how Republican policies have held back Ohio’s working families. When elected, she plans to use her extensive legal experience to bring housing rights to working families and a Constitutional funding formula to public schools, so that every Ohio family has access to economic justice. Learn more about Reem below!

Hi Reem! Tell us, what inspired you to run for office?
People, neighbors, community. Before I had made up my mind to run for office, a dear friend of mine reminded me that this is not about me, it’s about building representation for young women and women of color. My friend is a queer woman of color who deals with severe health issues; she inspires me every day to stand up for her and all vulnerable communities.

What issue is most pressing in your community and how do you plan on addressing it?
Healthcare access. I know a mother who chose to not get a diagnosis for her cancer because she knew she could not afford it. I know a 14-year old child who is missing school because his parents cannot afford to take him in to see a specialist. As a state senator, I plan on working to protect the Medicaid Expansion, preventing obstacles set up to harm vulnerable communities such as work eligibility requirements, taking a ‘whole person’ approach to healthcare that looks at the environments people live in, as well as improving transportation. All of these steps will help keep Ohioans healthy.

As you’ve been meeting with voters in your community, what is something new that you learned?
I learned that children are more aware of the political climate than we give them credit for. I’ve spoken with many working families and had the privilege to connect with them and their children about the issues that matter most to them: education, healthcare, and equal representation. Children are part of our community and we owe them the best public education possible and an economy that creates opportunities for success.

What’s surprised you the most about being a candidate?
How ready Ohioans are for a change. As we talk to our neighbors and communities across Wood County, Lucas County, Ottawa County, Erie County, and Fulton County, knock doors and talk to voters, we continue to be delighted to hear about the movements for change that people are already building. Ohioans are organizing for change, and together will make this happen.

If you could change one thing in politics today what would it be?
I would get money out of politics. We live in a democracy, which means that every person should have equal representation and power in the political system, but money meddles with that. This is why I have not accepted any money from corporate PACs.

What song keeps you energized while canvassing?
Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Miserables.*

What is one takeaway you’d like to leave your constituents with?
History and experience tell us that when people come together they can make meaningful changes. Let us continue the march for civil rights, justice, and equality for all.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about running for office someday?
You can do it! Your run will inspire many others who didn’t think they could run, so don’t hold back. When you run, remember that it is your duty to build a movement that lifts all Ohioans.

*Editor’s note: We polled our staff and they all agree, this is by far the best answer to this question. Nothing will top it.



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