Get to Know Rachel Crooks

Get to Know Rachel Crooks

Name: Rachel Crooks
Office you’re seeking: Ohio House District 88
Are you an incumbent? No
If no, do you currently hold an elected office? No
Age: 35
Facebook: rachelforohio  Twitter: @RachelforOhio

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’m from the small town of Green Springs, Ohio, a place with just one traffic light and known for having the “World’s Largest Natural Sulfur Springs,” which means it sometimes smells like rotten eggs there. On the plus side, according to the Native Americans who inhabited the region, the springs were said to have healing powers.

I’ve always loved school and learning new things, so it’s no surprise that I work in the field of higher education. Specifically, for most of my career I’ve worked with international students, which has allowed me not only to travel the world, but also learn about new cultures from the students who choose to pursue their education here in the U.S. I’m also a Ph.D. student at The University of Toledo, currently stuck writing chapter 2 of my dissertation.

Why are you running for this office?

I am tired of politicians working for themselves and their donors rather than the people they were elected to serve. We need people in office with integrity and the motivation to do the hard work and right thing, even when it’s not politically expedient to do so.

What are the most important issues on your campaign?

Education, income inequality, and healthcare.

I am appalled that our current state legislature has endorsed for-profit charter schools instead of fixing our public education system, which has now fallen from 5th to 22nd in the U.S.

Perhaps the single biggest issue in America is growing income inequality and the shrinking middle class. The rich keep getting richer while we see more and more families struggling to make ends meet, but if we can build up the middle class with jobs that provide livable wages, I think we’d see a lot of other issues diminish.

Finally, if we live in a great nation, then we need to act like it, and that includes providing affordable and accessible healthcare for everyone. Quite simply, healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

Give us a fun fact about yourself.

I come from a long line of mushroom hunters! Each spring, my family and I scour the woods for morel mushrooms. First rule of mushroom hunting? You don’t talk about your mushroom hunting locations.

What’s your favorite thing about Ohio?

This may sound weird, but when I lived in New York, many people would comment that I was “too nice to be from the city.” I took that as a compliment and I like the down-to-earth sensibility,  no-frills approach and pleasant demeanor that many Ohioans have. Also, I will always say “pop” over “soda.”

Which team is your favorite sports team? If there’s a fun reason why, tell us!

I’m not a die-hard sports fan, but I like to support the Cleveland professional teams the most. I’d take live sports over TV any day.

If you were a professional athlete what song would you choose to be your “walk out” song?

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble. I’m a bit nostalgic about it, because this was the first song I remember warming up to in my early volleyball days. It always got me fired up!

What TV show have you binge watched entirely too fast?

Grace & Frankie, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

If you were an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?

Volleyball. I grew up in a volleyball family, so it’s in my blood. I also played in college at Syracuse University.