Jill Miller Zimon
The short version: Jill Miller Zimon writes the topical blog, Writes Like She Talks (www.writeslikeshetalks.com) and often highlights the paucity of women in politics, among other topics. She's now a Candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives, House District 12 (check her out at jillmillerzimon.com). Previously, she was the Project Director for the Civic Commons EfficientGovNetwork and is in her fourth year of her first term as a Pepper Pike City Council Member (a suburb about 15 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio). She keeps a city council blog, In the Arena and also tweets as a city councilperson (@zimon4council). She won the 2011 Campaigns & Elections Innovators award last fall for her use of social media and tech in her public service role and speaks frequently on the intersection of women, politics, power and media. She has a thriving freelance writing career when not doing something for these other endeavors or her three kids or husband or pretty much anyone who asks for her help.
The longer version:
Jill is a Contributing Editor at BlogHer.com, and in 2007, she was the only female in the short-lived, paid political blogging effort to be hosted by The Plain Dealer/cleveland.com called Wide Open.
Accolades for Jill’s freelance writing, blogging and political observations include being the first blogger to be named Women’s eNews Journalist of the Month (March 2009) and recognition as one of WE Magazine’s 101 Bloggers to Watch twice (2008 and 2010). She has provided commentary for CNN, C-SPAN, BBC, NPR (in its Election 2008 blogger war room), Newsweek.com’s The Ruckus, Cleveland public radio and television, The Plain Dealer, The Washington Post, Campaigns & Elections and many other broadcast, print and online outlets.
Before Jill began her journalism career, from 1992-2000, she was the first Ombudsman and then the first Director of Risk Management at a large mental health agency in Northeastern Ohio. Her unique work there led to a nomination for the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation. Prior to those roles, while earning her joint degree in law and social work at Case Western Reserve University, Jill was the principle investigator for ground-breaking work on training health care professionals to identify, assess and intervene on behalf of domestic violence victims who presented in pediatric settings.
In 2009, after a local Ohio newspaper named her “Most Influential Person” because her blogging helped expand a political free speech law, Jill decided to put her White House Project Go Run! training to the test. In her race for Pepper Pike City Council, she became the first ever candidate to have a campaign website, as well as use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube and LinkedIn. She also covered her experience for BlogHer.com, and, after winning, became one of a few political bloggers nationwide to step into and post directly from the political arena.
Although Jill’s formal entrance into electoral politics may seem late, much of politics today seems to her like “the old is new”: during her undergraduate years at Georgetown (where she earned dual degrees in government and sociology), she worked to track media exposure for immigration reform (aka the Simpson-Mazzoli bill) in the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice during Ronald Reagan’s first term. She also interned on Capitol Hill for Congressman Bruce A. Morrison, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro’s predecessor and nearly became a co-founder of a women’s speakers bureau – in the mid-1980s - that sadly never came to be.
Jill lives with her husband, Jeff and their three school-aged children in a suburb east of but not hot in Cleveland.