Why did you choose Emerge?
I chose Emerge because I knew that it not only provides tools for successful campaigns, but also provides an avenue to meet and develop relationships with like-minded women who want to improve our worlds. Having a network of women around you is a key to success. As a woman who attended a woman’s college, I truly believe in women supporting women, and know the power of investing in these relationships.
What office are you running for and why?
I am running for Greenville County Council, District 24. I am running for this seat because it is one in which I know I can truly make a difference for my neighbors, friends, and community. Here in Greenville County, we are in desperate need of positive change on County Council. For too long, the same people have been in power, and holding our County back—by wishing for a time that has passed and being unwilling to work with others. It’s time for someone to bring fresh and innovative solutions, and bring Greenville County into the 21st Century. Furthermore, we need representation ready to hear from every person in our County, regardless of their street names, and whether or not their numbers are saved in my cell phone.
What is your vision for your community?
I envision an Upstate community in which everyone has a fair shot at the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. I will work to support those who need a hand up, and stand for humankind.
What/who inspired you to run for office?
I am inspired by all of the women who have come before me, and paved the way so that women like me can step up to try to influence our community for the better. Women like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who succeeded in her profession even when women were not welcome. Women who attend women’s colleges because they want to support each other and learn from the leadership that has historically risen from those environments—before women were even expected or encouraged to go to school or aspire to pursue our dreams. My grandmother, Rose Goodman McDougald, who showed me what it means to be a member of one’s community and serve others. And of course, my son, Polk, for whom we have to fight to make sure a future exists for him–-and for every Polk in Greenville County.
Which Democratic woman inspires you and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt. She truly aspired to fulfill her own potential, and worked hard to make the world a better place each day—in spite of her close, powerful critics and challenges. She didn’t let the obstacles of her era keep her from working towards political, racial, and social justice. She also served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations, and oversaw the drafting and passage of the Universal Human Declarations of Rights, which set a precedent for the world, and established an aspirational goal for humanity. Furthermore, she maintained a relationship with her cousin, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who was, in many ways, her adversary. I admire the way that Eleanor and Alice found ways to maintain their relationship despite the fact that the two sparred politically.
What’s the one thing you gained from Emerge and would like to share with others?
So far, I have gained a state-wide network of women with whom I look forward to not only going through my campaign, but also our collective journey to improve South Carolina, the United States, and the world.
To learn more about Amanda visit: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaForGC/