Francesa H

Tell us about yourself: who you are, where you're from, etc.

Originally from California, and currently calling Ohio home, I am first and foremost a mom to 3 young boys age 13 and under (still can't believe my oldest is 13!). I founded and still serve as CEO of Zebu Compliance Solutions, a healthcare technology company since 1999. My undergraduate studies were in Computer Engineering, English, and Microbiology (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), followed by an MHA from UNC Chapel Hill. I serve on the Board of Trustees of Shawnee State University, as a judge for Ohio State Science Day and on the Selection Committee for Ohio I-Corps. I previously served on the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board. Along the way I also founded Portsmouth STEM Academy, a non-profit K-12 school in a challenged small town, which is doing amazing things every day.

What does being a "Centrist" mean to you, and why did you get involved?

Extremism and partisanship are the enemies of democracy, leading only to civil unrest, economic ruin, and civil rights horrors. History shows us this over and over, and yet here we are again. I believe strongly in moderation and thoughtful leadership, and that we should ignore the bullies and hysterics of the far left and the far right. My Republican friends think I'm "brainwashed" when I don't agree with them. My Democrat friends think I'm a "traitor to the cause" when I don't agree with them. My rational friends are as scared as I am of what is going on. But all we can really do is talk towards and support moderation - ie, centrists.

What is a policy issue you are passionate about and why?

Healthcare. It is my professional background and it is crippling our country. I am also passionate about the crisis in our education system and developing models for something way better for our kids, internationally competitive academically, and accessible at a public school cost (or less).

How do you think we can unite our country and fix our politics?

The name calling has to stop. We have to focus on identifying the problems, finding agreement in the problem identification and goals, and then critically evaluating and testing interventions and outcomes to see what, if anything can be done, and at what opportunity cost. It is much easier to have the conversation with any political persuasion if you start with a mutual acknowledgment of the problem, rather than blaming someone or assigning a moral assessment. And agreeing on the existence of a problem breeds common ground.

Anything else you'd like to add?

A few more zeros to my bank account? Lol

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