Thursday, August 9, 2018

Politics, business, and family with Liz Sumner


I’m excited to introduce my friend and all-around amazing woman, Liz Sumner. As a mom, small-business owner, village trustee, and most recently, State Assembly candidate, Liz wears many hats. While I’m over here simply trying to manage my family’s circus, she is conquering it all with enthusiasm and grace.

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes of conversation to realize Liz knows her stuff. She graduated from Marquette University before completing her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. After working in Chicago, she returned to her north shore roots to open her own business, finally settling in the Village of Fox Point with her family in 2012.

Liz quickly realized the village board needed a trustee who was deeply versed in the issues affecting young families. In her second term as trustee, Liz set her sights on something bigger: State Assemblyperson for the 23rd district.

Today I asked her some rapid-fire questions on business, family, political aspirations, and how she’s doing it all.

Alright girl, what I really want to know is how you’re managing all these responsibilities so seamlessly?

It takes a village! My parents, my husband, and my sitter are all incredibly supportive of what I am doing. Without them, I could never do all of this. I would love to claim everything runs smoothly around our house and in our lives, but that's not always true. Managing schedules, household needs, business concerns, and village trustee duties can be difficult. I try to make sure everything is on the calendar.

Take us through your average day. 

I drop the kids off at camp around 8:45 then head out to canvass for four or five hours. I try to make it to SHOP for a few hours in the afternoon to check in and discuss any items that have come up and see what new arrivals are in. I close out the work day with yoga at 5:30 - I’m so addicted to hot flow yoga at Empower. It helps calm my mind, and stretch and strengthen my body. Afterwards, I'm home to bathe my kids, read them a book, and put them to bed. My husband enjoys being with the kids in the evenings too (he also owns a business), so depending on the night, I may make dinner for the two of us; or read mail, email, or finish up work or campaign-related tasks. I watch a show or two after dinner while writing thank you notes for campaign donations, then it's off to bed.

Let’s get into the details. Tell us what a member of the state assembly does.

As a State Assemblyperson, I will represent the interests of the residents of the 23rd district while writing and voting on legislation to change or maintain state laws. The first order of business is to pass the budget. When I'm not in Madison, I will do constituent outreach in the district, which includes holding town halls and taking meetings with residents and local elected officials. This is an important aspect of the job because I will be forwarding ideas to the committee that have been brought to my attention by residents. It's important to me that I listen to their concerns and do what I can to alleviate them. 

I'm hearing our residents' concerns about education and the environment. They want quality public education for all children, and want to know that our beautiful lakes and rivers will be preserved for generations to come. Residents also want access to affordable health care, and common sense gun laws passed so that we can all feel safe in our communities.

Who is the 23rd district? 

The district runs from Whitefish Bay through Fox Point and Bayside and into Mequon, Thiensville and Grafton.

Why did you decide to run now? 

I’m very concerned about the direction our state is headed. Our current Assemblyperson is a rubber stamp for the conservative agenda at the state level and I don’t think that's reflective of the wants and needs of the residents of the 23rd.

How has being a mom of two and a small business owner helped prepare you? 

It has taught me how to delegate! I realize that I can’t do everything. I need to focus on what I am good at and let others help me in areas that they excel. It has also taught me patience, flexibility, and quick thinking. My negotiation skills have drastically improved since having kids as well - they negotiate for everything!

What can we do to help? 

Volunteer, donate, spread the word about my campaign, and make sure you and all of your friends vote. We get so busy and think our votes don’t matter, but it's so important to make time to make our voices heard. Schedule 15 minutes on August 14th and November 6th to head over to your local polling place and cast your vote. Get more information on voting here.

Thanks Liz! For more information on Liz’s campaign, check out her website.

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