ANNOUNCEMENT: FEBRUARY 7, 2018
MICHELE YOUNG WILL NOT ENTER OH-1 RACE IN 2018
In 2016, I came to bring us together with a new vision of leadership for us with policies shaped by and for mothers and families. This was and is a vision of inclusion for all of us in the American dream. I was and am an outsider -a mom of five- who entered the fray for us, our children, and our community.
The race was not covered by the local Cincinnati Enquirer or treated as viable even by my own party. Nonetheless,we persisted and in the end, we made 148,000 voters into believers, more than ever against Steve Chabot (except in 2008 before the district was gerrymandered). We won early voting in Hamilton County and narrowly lost the general. We outperformed all Ohio Congressional gerrymandered districts by an average of sixteen points.
I cannot express the love and devotion I came to experience for all the people I met on the campaign trail and how I came to hold the hopes and fears of so many in my heart to this day. I am forever grateful to the leaders and civic organizations who came by the side of a mother who just wanted our community and our country to be better. I was so honored that leaders I have revered, like Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, came to my side.
While I lost, Steve Chabot, once considered invulnerable, was no longer. Our district received a new rating by the Cook Political Report. The DCCC and renowned national strategists encouraged me to run. But, I did not want to to do so unless I could win for the hardest thing about a loss is to raise hope in so many and then disappoint.
By 2018, I knew I would not disappoint and within thousands of a win. The last encouraging call from the DCCC was on Christmas Eve. Even our former Hamilton County coordinated campaign manager in 2016, Ernie Davis, offered to manage what he saw as a winning campaign in the Fall. I had a seasoned team coming in from across the nation who had won in gerrymandered districts time and time again.
As soon as I filed with the FEC, I learned of Aftab Pureval's plans to enter the race. I saw a primary battle that pitted mothers against sons, women against men, and one Democrat against another. I have no interest in rancor. I have no interest in dividing our party. I have no interest in running against someone who shares so many of my values and dreams for our community and our nation. I have spent my life bringing us together. Aftab won a race that should not have been won and brings new hope and enthusiasm. Just as so many stood by me, I now stand with Aftab.
Michele Young is the daughter of two New York City public-school teachers who taught immigrants and the disadvantaged. She arrived in Cincinnati on a Greyhound bus 27 years ago to interview as a law clerk to a U.S. Circuit Judge. She is a mom of five who helped build the family firm and a family with her husband Greg in this community she proudly calls her home. In her youth, she worked numerous minimum wage jobs including Burger King and Howard Johnson. She started Georgetown University Law Center evening school at night, taking out loans and working as a temporary secretary during the day to make ends meet. Michele knows what it is like to struggle to pay rent and to work hard for little pay and respect. She would have been the first OH-1 Congresswoman and the only one who could say "me too" and know what it means.
A Georgetown University Law Center graduate, former Federal law clerk, and adjunct law professor, she has written editorials and articles and co-authored a 728 page book for the American Bar Association on the Affordable Care Act and medical malpractice. Her legal work involved clients ranging from political and human rights figures to the poor and powerless. She developed the respected "no-text" zone campaign bringing in leaders across the community to join her in saying, "I just don't do it."
A close brush with death in 2009 led Michele to refocus her priorities on giving back to the community by providing legal counsel to clients ranging from prominent political and human rights leaders to the poor and powerless. Young sought the appointment and then ran the campaign leading to the landslide victory of the first Hindu, female and indian Hamilton County Coroner. S he also co-chaired the successful campaign of Judge Nadine Allen that year. The Cincinnati Women’s Political Caucus honored Young as an Outstanding Woman of Achievement in 2014.
Michele was the Democratic candidate for OH-1 in 2016. Although she never ran before, in a whirlwind campaign, Michele swept the Democratic precincts in the primary and then ran an energetic campaign that came so close to winning Hamilton County that the pundits now view this race as a potentially competitive one. Her race won support from icons including Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Gloria Steinem and national civic leaders and organizations.
Noted for reaching across political and demographic lines, Michele has developed bi-partisan support of public-safety initiatives including the "don't text and drive" campaign that has reached millions and the "Keep Hamilton County Safe" initiative to support the building of the first new crime lab in 50 years. Michele continues to work with interfaith leaders to make our community welcoming to all. She played an instrumental role in creating the local chapter of Kids4 Peace, an international organization dedicated to developing interfaith conflict transformation and interfaith relationship building. She is honored to serve on a Jewish and an Asian Board. She is deeply honored to serve as one of the mentors to Tyra Patterson, a woman freed from prison after 23 years for a crime she did not commit and to join the board of the OJPC, the civil rights organization that fought for Tyra's freedom. Michele believes there are no limits to what can achieved when there is a willingness to reach across barriers with a hand offered in friendship and fellowship for others.
Michele has a passion for children. She is counsel to Benyam Taye and co-counsel to the legal team seeking to bring justice to Gabriel, Benyam's 8-year old son, who killed himself after being bullied. She served as as pro-bono counsel to Jean Cadet and his organization fighting childhood slavery in Haiti. She joined United Way Co-Chair Sally Connelly to bring "100 Bold Women" leaders together to support early childhood education. A former volunteer children's soccer coach, Michele pitches in to improve children's lives whether it is on a committee to bring locally grown food to local schools, raise money for the local children's hospital or to march in the Fourth of July Parade every year as the Statue of Liberty for the local mother's group.
She is dedicated to the the environment, a co-founder and Articles Editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. She is now one of the founding board members of Shomrei Olam, a local environmental and faith-based organization. She received the national endorsement of the Sierra Club in 2016.
Michele dreams of a day where every child belongs, has food on the table, medical care when ill, and a chance to reach his or her dream. She envisions an American where opportunity is open to all regardless of race, creed, color, origin or zip code. She believes in an America where everyone will want to make room to give another a seat at the table.