Why did you choose Emerge?
I choose the Emerge Training because it was specific to women and specific to South Carolina. Women win at the same rate as men, but often choose not to run for reasons ranging from economic resources, to lack of social support among peers, to fears about the actual campaign process. The Emerge training is effective to address all of these concerns including identifying available economic resources, building one’s team, and answering many of the questions about how to run a viable campaign. But, even more than the actual training, I choose Emerge to become part of the community it fosters, among women candidates and those interested in helping those candidates, for peer support and colleagueship.
What office are you running for and why?
I am running for SC Houses District 123, which represents Hilton Head and Daufuskie Islands. I have become increasingly frustrated by the incumbent in this office who does not represent the interests and concerns of his constituency. His extreme views along with his lack of leadership have rendered his representation of our area ineffective. I have spent my life working in the public policy arena including crafting legislation, working in coalitions, and bringing together constituencies to enact laws that benefit communities. I want to use my skills for the people of Hilton Head and Daufuskie Islands to be a proactive member of the SC Legislature representing their needs.
What is your vision for your community?
Hilton Head, like the rest of the world, is currently experiencing great economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our local economy is greatly dependent upon tourism and the need to revitalize the economy but ensure the community’s safety will require great effort by multiple people. This critical time is an opportunity for people to work together in a unified manner to ensure all members of our community have a viable and sustainable income, access to affordable and quality health care, and protection for our beautiful coastline.
What/Who inspires you to run for office?
Every woman who has come before me. I have been very lucky in my career to have met many women who have run for office and listen to their stories. Although most of them were on the national stage, I think the lessons they imparted and the experiences they articulated apply to women running for local office. Women such Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferraro, Pat Schroeder, and Hillary Clinton all took great risks in their quest for serving the public and I am inspired by them every day.
Which Democratic woman inspires you and why?
In addition to the women I mentioned above, I am also inspired by the many women who ran for Democratic offices in 2018. I know – for them – the impetus to take a chance and stand up and run for political office, many of which had not done so in the past, was because they were appalled at the direction of our country and wanted to make a difference. I admire their leadership, their grit, and their courage. And, because they stood up – many ended up elected to public office and continue to demonstrate the leadership of Democratic women across the country.
What’s one thing you gained from Emerge and would like to share with others?
I know it sounds a bit cliché, but the community of Emerge and the women who comprise it are second to none. I am proud to count myself one of this community. In every state that has had success in getting Democratic women elected to office, one of the critical factors has included an active network of Democratic women helping one another as they embark on the challenges of a campaign.
To learn more about Christine visit: chrisdevriesforsc123.com