Get to Know Michaela Burriss

Get to Know Michaela Burriss

Name: Michaela Burriss
Office you’re seeking: Upper Arlington City Council
Are you an incumbent? No
Age: 33
Facebook: facebook.com/citizensforburriss
Website: citizensforburriss.com

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Tell us a little bit about yourself (i.e. where are you from, where’d you go to school, what you do for a living, etc.)
I grew up in Lake County, Ohio’s smallest county, before traveling to Ohio University/Athens on a swimming scholarship. Capital University Law School brought me to Central Ohio and I’ve lived here ever since. My husband, Patrick, and I live in Upper Arlington with our two dogs, Koopa (Boxer - Age 2) and Bowser (Boston Terrier - Age 10).

Most of my professional experiences have been in the public sector including working for America’s favorite U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown. Currently, I am the Legislative Aide to State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan, representing Ohio’s 58th District (Youngstown). 

Why are you running for this office?
I'm running for Upper Arlington City Council because this is my forever home and I believe, with passionate and hardworking leadership, our best days are ahead. Our region is growing and changing quickly. My perspective and passion can add value and help us find solutions to complex problems on everything from development, infrastructure, safety, and finances. I enter this race and the potential for holding public office without any misgivings about the role, and with the patience needed to welcome residents of any ideology or energy level into important discussions about our path forward. 

What are the most important issues on your campaign?
The rapid growth and population increases anticipated for our region will require change. The most likely change is density and developers are seizing the opportunity. Residents are not adverse to change. They simply want to be a part of the process earlier on. Our City must do a better job of being proactive in our approach to development and infrastructure, updating our zoning laws to re-examine the qualifications of “neighborhood compatibility,” and allowing for more citizen review and feedback. As a Council Member, I will continue to push for mass transit and other traffic decongestion solutions, as this is clearly a theme in all development related objections.  

Give us a fun fact about yourself.
I’m an egg donor <3

What’s your favorite thing about Ohio?
It’s a mini-America. There’s a little bit of everything and everyone here. I love midwest friendliness, and I especially love the working-class grit that exists here.

Which team is your favorite sports team? If there’s a fun reason why, tell us!
I love/hate most/all Cleveland sports teams. The first jersey I ever owned was for Mark Price. Cavs traded him shortly after. In elementary school, all I wanted was a Browns Starter jacket for Christmas. They were moved to Baltimore a year or two later. Same thing with my Kenny Lofton t-shirt, and all those nights watching the Tribe in the World Series during the 90s.

Needless to say, as an adult, I’ve tried to unlearn my love of Cleveland sports. You can only endure so much torture. Anytime they do remotely well, and I get emotionally invested again, I pretty much hate myself for it.  

If you were a professional athlete what song would you choose to be your “walk out” song?
Skillet's "Feel Invincible" 

What TV show have you binge watched entirely too fast?
Too many! But the one that seriously got Patrick and I into trouble was Breaking Bad. Even when I had to be up at 5:30am to coach swimming the next day, we would still watch until 2am some nights. It was rough!

If you were an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
I grew up swimming. It played a huge role in my life. But at an elite level, it’s a very miserable sport. I would much rather do badminton, sand, or court volleyball. Maybe even speed skating. That would be way more fun. 

Most importantly, how can young Dems help in your campaign?
Helping us talk to our neighbors at their door will be most important. Canvassing is critical. Can’t overstate the value of making a financial investment. UA has an annual $250 individual limit, so we need a wide base of donors to raise what is needed to win. Interacting with our campaign Facebook page will also help - share, like, comment, etc.!

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