Desiree Tims

Q&A with Desiree Tims (OH-10)

“Be true to yourself and trust your gut — it will all work out.”

Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Desiree Tims: I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and I’m a proud product of Dayton Public Schools. After graduating from Dayton Dunbar High School, I became the first in her family to graduate from a four-year college and attended Xavier University. Most recently, I graduated from Georgetown Law.

As an undergraduate at Xavier University, I joined the 2008 Obama presidential campaign as a volunteer in Southwest Ohio. Later, that experience would land me in The White House during President Barack Obama’s first presidential term. Following my time at The White House, I began working on Capitol Hill for United States senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York). I was also elected to serve as President of the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus.

While on Capitol Hill, I worked on important policy issues that ranged from the reauthorization of the farm bill, minimum wage, affordable child care, healthcare, and climate change. This work solidified my passion for public policy and advocacy for the everyday worker, which led me to serve in senior advisory roles at the League of Conservation Voters and Child Care Aware of America.

OTS: Tell us about where you’re running and what your district is like.

DT: The Ohio-10 race is going to be a competitive race. The district is R+4 and is primarily urban-suburban encompassing the entire Dayton Metropolitan Area. The district is home to five colleges and universities and has a large minority population. This district is representative of the midwest — a diverse community that has been hurt economically and politically left behind. However, the district also represents the best of the Midwestern spirit and optimism.

OTS: Whose support or encouragement are you most grateful for?

DT: I’m extremely grateful for the support of the women in my family. They’ve been constant sources of encouragement and love throughout my life. In particular, I’m grateful for my grandmother who’s been a huge inspiration to me and constantly supported me. She’s always pushed me to work hard for my goals.

OTS: What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

DT: Be true to yourself and trust your gut — it will all work out.

OTS: What issue do you believe deserves more attention on the campaign trail?

DT: Poverty and economic inequality are issues that we need to address more. It affects millions of lives and is deeply intertwined with our healthcare and education system. It’s time we tackle these problems and provide better economic opportunities.

OTS: What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading now or you’ve recently finished? And why?

DT: “How to Lead from the Outside” by Stacey Abrams, because she wrote the book while she ran for Governor. It was great getting to read about her experience and running for office.

OTS: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?

DT: I made a rap video about voting and it went viral. Check it out here!

OTS: If you could have dinner with three people (living or deceased) who would they be and why?

DT: Martin Luther King, my great-great-great grandmother, and Beyonce for various reasons. I am inspired by MLK’s activism and leadership, and how he sacrificed everything to achieve equality. I would love to talk to my great-great-great grandmother to find out more about where my family has been, especially the women in my family, and discuss where I am now. Having dinner with Beyonce would be amazing because I admire her work ethic and how she stays humble despite all her success.

OTS: How do you de-stress/unwind?

DT: I destress by going to the gym and unwind after with a glass of red wine.

Off The Sidelines is @SenGillibrand’s movement to help women run for office—and win.

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