Why did you choose Emerge?
I have always been interested in running for a political office for a number of years. However, I was concerned that I did not know enough about the ins and outs of starting and running a successful campaign. In September of 2017, I went to the Emerge South Carolina kickoff, that was held in Charleston and I thought to myself, this is what I was looking for to give me the tools I needed to fulfill my dream of running for political office.
What office are you running for and why?
I am currently running to be the South Carolina State Representative for Charleston and Berkeley Counties. I live in an unincorporated community with a majority minority population that does not have a voice in the municipality where we live. I believe that I am the person to carry the message of the average resident that in reality goes unheard.
What is your vision for your community?
My vision is that all communities no matter where it is located should be able to have a seat at the table where decisions are made about them. Some elected officials only visit certain communities during an election year and are never seen again until it’s time to vote again. I believe that the only way you can speak for the people is if you are communicating with them on a regular basis.
What/who inspired you to run for office?
I was inspired to run because of the current state of our country as a whole and South Carolina in particular. We are in a place that some of us don’t care about the wellbeing of one another. I also know of people not being able to visit their doctor because of the lack of affordable health care. And if by chance you have some insurance then you are faced with another challenge, transportation. These are just some of the reasons I was motivated to be involved as a decision maker.
Which Democratic woman inspires you and why?
I am inspired by former State Representative Ms. Lucille Whipper the first African American woman to be elected to serve from the Tri-County, (1986). She has also sponsored two important pieces of legislation—making marital rape a crime and requiring the monitoring of state agencies hiring goals for minorities and females. She is now 91 years old and is still active in the causes for women and the underserved.
What’s the one thing you gained from Emerge and would like to share with others?
Emerge has taught me not to be afraid of my own voice. It has shown me the importance of believing in myself by introducing me to women in political office. It has also shown me some of the obstacles that women had to overcome to run and win.
To learn more about Donna visit: http://donnabrownnewton.com/