Matriots PAC names CEO, will endorse candidates across all non-judicial Ohio races in 2021

Katy Smith
The Columbus Dispatch
Emily Quick Schriver has been hired as the first full-time CEO of the Matriots, a nonpartisan political action committee which formed in 2017 with the goal of getting more women into office in Ohio.

Ohio isn’t dead last among states when it comes to women in elected office, but it’s not that far from it, at No. 39. Here, 26.5% of mayoral and council positions are held by women, according to Rutgers University research from 2021, while 31% of statewide officeholders were women.

The Matriots, a Columbus-based political action committee, would like that to be at least 50%. To lead the way, it has hired its first full-time CEO. And for the first time since it launched in 2017, this fall it is endorsing candidates in every kind of non-judicial race, from school boards to village councils to township trustees and state senate seats.

Emily Quick Schriver comes to the top role at the Matriots with a history of activism — she joined the Women’s March on Washington in 2017 — and service as an attorney.

“I’ve been paying close attention to the Matriots and their success, and I am passionate about getting women elected to office,” says Schriver, who has attended the organization’s events.

The new CEO most recently was assistant vice president and senior associate general counsel at Ohio State University, where she worked with the university’s research portfolio. Previously, she was with Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., where she represented universities, corporations and nonprofits; served as a law clerk to Judge Richard Tallman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle; and held internships with then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama and U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen of Illinois, who is retired. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State and a juris doctor from Northwestern University.

The Matriots, which has a $750,000 budget this year, includes more than 1,800 members in more than half of Ohio’s counties. When it was founded in 2017, only 22% of elected officials in the General Assembly were women. After the 2020 election, women made up 31.8%. 

Schriver will be able to capitalize on a wave of women engaging in the political process at historic levels.

“She's very connected to the mission of the Matriots. She has been involved in the organization. That alignment is very important to us,” says Myrita Craig, a longtime Cincinnati business leader who serves as chairman of the board for the Matriots. “[Schriver] is so intelligent, engaging, passionate, organized. She's just hitting on all cylinders in terms of what we were looking for to take the organization to the next level.”

As it looks toward the next five years of its existence, the organization hopes to begin supporting women with the resources they need in making the decision to run in the first place, Schriver says.

The ultimate goal? Gender balance across Ohio's elected offices.

For a candidate, an endorsement from the organization means financial support, introductions in its influential network and general support. The Matriots has endorsed 248 candidates with a win rate of 59 percent since 2018 — Democrats, Republicans, independents, Greens and Libertarians. Candidates must align with its values, which are economic empowerment, equity and independence, women's access to health, education for women and families, and safe communities to live and raise families.

“The political process right now, there are so many challenges with it. We're at a lot of loggerheads with each other. And if we were to distill things back to what we what we value, core principles that we value as people, I think we’d get a little further,” Schriver says.

Schriver resides in northwest Columbus with her husband, John Schriver, and their three daughters.

ksmith@dispatch.com

@katywatersmith