Friends and family of Anita Rios and Sean Nestor excitedly waited for the results of the primaries last night at the Attic on Adams. This was one the few times that more than one Green Party candidate was on the ballot in Toledo. Nestor finished with 147 votes, bumping him out of the race with 8.48% of the District 6 votes. Rios came in second in District 4 with 15.49% of the votes and will go on to the general election in November.
“Fundamentally, I am running for the Toledo City council because I love this city which has always been my home.” says Rios.
Rios continues, “Like the rest of the rust belt, we are experiencing very hard times. But we must not let that be an excuse for eroding the foundations of our community, with living wage public sector jobs being a vital part of our infrastructure. We must not allow a plea of poverty to be the excuse for privatizing those functions that we all depend on or for diminishing workers rights, nor must it be an excuse for eroding our educational system or under staffing our police and fire departments.”
It is extremely challenging running as a minor party, whether here in Toledo or anywhere else in the U.S. The two main parties have been in control for so long, and so many people vote based solely on party and not on the actual candidate. Yet many other people are disenfranchised and don’t vote because of this system. House bill 194, that is being challenged would put in place restrictive ballot access rules that make it harder for third parties to gain recognition by the state.
The Green Party is a values-based party and fights to protect the rights of all people, not just the wealthy, and especially the underrepresented. The Green Party believes in a Grassroots Democracy where all people have a voice in politics. Rios and Nestor decided to run for city council to broaden the spectrum of political parties and to clear a path to show that any person can run for office without a large budget or backing from a major political party.
Rios wears her politics on her sleeve and plays by the rules, a rare find. Rios looks forward to running an honest campaign about issues and ideas and to serving the people of Toledo.
Anita Rios is an unwavering union activist, feminist, and community organizer. She was formerly elected lead delegate for SEIU/1199 at the Zepf Community Mental Health Center, and was a representative to the regional labor council of the AFL-CIO. Rios serves on the Central Committees for both the Lucas County and Ohio Green Parties and is president of the Toledo chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and president of the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund. She is currently employed at the Center for Choice.
When elected to Toledo City Council to represent District 4, Rios will commit $2,000 annually of her council salary toward youth internships in local politics.
Stacy Jurich, Campaign Manager