Why did you choose Emerge?
Women make up a very small portion of our of SC Legislature, and without investment in women running for office we will not change that. Emerge stepped up to the plate to help create a sisterhood of women who will run and win.
What office are you running for and why?
I am running for House District 115 to bring positive change to the people of South Carolina. My upbringing taught me to fight for what I care about, and I care about positivity, solutions, opportunity and hope for every citizen of South Carolina. I worked for many years with commercial fishermen on saving our oceans and our fish. I learning two things 1) new ideas always need a seat at the table 2) people of diverse background always have things in common. I’ll bring an indelible spirit to the State House.
What is your vision for your community?
My vision is a healthy, resilient, and united community — where each person is valued. Whether it’s a great education for our kids, healthcare that doesn’t bankrupt a family, or uniting our community as warriors against climate change, we support each other in the common goal of improving citizens lives.
What/who inspired you to run for office?
My girls, Mattie and Mary. They work hard in school, they are kind and smart and brave. My mom always said, “kids follow not what you say, but what you do”. So that’s what I am doing, being the woman I want them to be.
Which Democratic woman inspires you and why?
I am 43, so I was an 80s child who spent countless hours in NARAL and NOW meetings with my mom. We’d head to a march for our rights in Washington or Raleigh, NC on her precious days off. She both inspired me and introduced me to Gloria Steinem who taught me to recognize my worth. “I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with a courage to make themselves vulnerable that I find moving beyond words.” – Gloria Steinem.
What’s the one thing you gained from Emerge and would like to share with others?
You’re qualified. You may be a stay at home parent, a CEO, or a waiter but your experience makes you qualified. Limit the doubt –you got this! While politics can seem rigged for the wealthy and the men, when women run, women win. But if we don’t run, we can’t win. So, don’t start with — can I win this seat, am I qualified, should I work my way up? Start with — I am ready, I am qualified, and sure I may have a lot to learn, but I can crush this. Oh, and when someone says, “don’t you want to run for school board to get some experience?”, recognize the beauty of politics is that you can start wherever you want.
To learn more about Eileen visit: https://www.electeileen.com/