An interview with Attica Scott

Episode 11-11 November 12, 2021 00:21:17
An interview with Attica Scott
Moving Kentucky Forward
An interview with Attica Scott
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Show Notes

In this episode of Moving Kentucky Forward, we interview state Rep. Attica Scott about her campaign for Congress in Kentucky's 3rd district. We ask her why she decided to run, how her campaign is going, and what key issues she wants to address if elected. Give a listen to this progressive champion as she speaks with passion and vigor about what her campaign is about.

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Episode Transcript

Bruce: Hello and welcome to move in Kentucky forward. I'm Bruce Maples, publisher of Forward Kentucky. With 2022 quickly approaching, numerous people are filing to run for various offices. And with Congressman John Yarmuth announcing that he was retiring, that seat, which looked to be his for pretty much as long as he wanted it, is suddenly wide open. A number of people are considering running for that open seat, and some have already filed. But one that filed long before he announced he was retiring was state representative Attica Scott. A number of people wondered why leave a fairly safe seat in the state legislature to challenge a Congressman that probably will be reelected no matter what. We asked her about that, and about a number of other things, including how her campaign is going and what her message is to the voters of the third district. :: Bruce: So we're here today with representative Attica, Scott, who is running for Congress in the third district in Kentucky, uh, to fill John Yarmuth seat. Since he has said he is not going to run again. Uh, representative Scott, welcome to moving. Speaker 2 00:01:42 Thank you so much, Bruce. I appreciate the opportunity. Speaker 1 00:01:45 Well, I'm very glad we were able to connect and, and have this interview. Let's get some sort of housekeeping things out of the way your campaign's been in place for a while. How is it going? Speaker 2 00:01:58 It's going well. It's really exciting to have people who say things like I've never donated to a political campaign before, but I'm donating to your campaign. And, um, all of the folks who are reaching out to us to volunteer and the fact that our campaign is really exclusive and representative of our community. Okay. Speaker 1 00:02:18 So how's you say you're having people who said they'd never donated before. How are your donations going? Speaker 2 00:02:25 I'm really glad to share with you all that. The majority of our donors, our teachers, and that 67% of our donations have come from Louisville or Kentucky. So, um, super local donors. And it's really interesting to see, uh, the small dollar donations come in. And some of them, people I know who, um, you know, are, are, are trying to make ends meet, but also believe in our campaign. And one day that's what they can do. It Speaker 1 00:02:54 That's exciting. So one last housekeeping thing. How has your volunteer situation? You said people are, are volunteering. Are you doing good there? Speaker 2 00:03:04 Yes. So we've been endorsed by the sunrise movement, Louisville and sunrise, Kentucky, and they have a phone bank for us that they are hosting where their members who are young people will be calling folks in Kentucky, certain restaurant districts, asking them for their support of our campaign. Speaker 1 00:03:22 Wow. That's exciting. Uh, following up on that, would you say that your campaign has a lot of young people involved and interested in it would, is, is it sort of tending that way? Speaker 2 00:03:36 Well, our campaign definitely has a lot of young people involved, uh, young people who want to know exactly what can they do to support, make phone calls, knock on the door for us. Um, some of them may not have money to give, especially the ones who are still in school, but they want to give their time and their energy and that's something that's measurable. Speaker 1 00:04:00 Okay. So I want to ask this question that has been probably on the minds of many, many people, since you announced, uh, you announced in the summer, uh, when we didn't know if Congressman Yarmouth was going to run again or not, and everybody, you know, pretty well thought to themselves. Well, you know, uh, John Yarmuth can have that seat pretty much as long as he wants, I suppose. So the question that a lot of people were wondering is why you were in the state house. You probably could have stayed in the state house for a while. So why give that up and choose to run against a re relatively popular Congressman in your home city? Speaker 2 00:04:47 That's exactly why, because far too often, um, some people in politics allow themselves to think that a political seat belongs to some one individual when it doesn't, it belongs to all of us and the people. So we all have the right to run for any seat at any time. Um, if we recognize that we, or the people that we're wanting to serve may not be having their needs met. And so that's one of the reasons why I ran because I was encouraged by young people for years to run because they wanted a champion, um, to act on the time it crisis and people in my community, um, that I live in, in the west end of Louisville, encouraged me to run because they wanted someone who was going to fight to do what they can to hold police accountable and to protect protesters. Um, those, those were some of the issues, uh, where some people felt like they didn't have the representation that Speaker 1 00:05:40 Okay. Uh, did you speak with Congressman Yarmouth before you decided to file to see if he was going to run again or to get any sort of feedback from him? Speaker 2 00:05:50 I did. I called to share with him that I was interested in running. Speaker 1 00:05:54 Okay. And what sort of response did he give you? Speaker 2 00:05:58 Well, I will say it was a personal phone call, so I don't want to share too much of it, but we did have a conversation. Okay. Speaker 1 00:06:04 All right. So since you filed, uh, as you said, there are issues that you feel like that may be weren't being represented well enough where people wanted you to get in there and, and fight for. So you named a couple of them, but let's, let's get specific. If you are elected, what are going to be the top, say three things that you want to accomplish on behalf of the third district. Speaker 2 00:06:29 Yeah, I appreciate that question. And definitely one of them is addressing the climate crisis. We I'm clear that we are fighting for a lot of justice issues. The reality is you don't have a planet because of extreme heat because of flooding because of, uh, wildfires. And the fact that our planet is literally on fire, then we won't have people to fight for those justice issues. We have to have a livable planet, so we have to protect our planet. So that has to be one of the top issues, um, for me to work on when I get to Congress. And my hope though is that in these next, uh, 10 to 11 months, that there will be action on our climates. And of course there's always additional work that has to happen around making sure that people have access to, uh, sustainable jobs that they, uh, are available in rural communities, that there are available in communities that are predominantly black and people of color. Speaker 2 00:07:30 And then I also want to be very clear that we have to address the needs of people who are pregnant. We have to address the needs of infants. As sadly in this country, we are failing right here in Louisville. Black women are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. That's an issue that has not been addressed if we're honest by any politician. And so that's why I've been a champion of that issue at the state house. And I will take that work to DC. And then finally, I think it's very important for us to make sure that we are addressing issues of poverty. And what that looks like is of course, uh, Jessica eviction moratorium, and the ways in which landlords are trying to get around that moratorium and trying to make people, uh, because it, it may have more people living in the home than it was on the lease or, uh, because of so-called property damage. We have to address the issue of paying people, poverty wages. We have to pay a living wage to people. We have to force the address, the student debt crisis. I just paid off my student loans in September, and I don't want anyone else to carry that burden. It's heavy, it's painful, it's difficult. And then you are a single parent trying to take care of your children. I have that burden over you. It's just, it's hard. And so those are just some of the issues that I want to address my get to conduct. Speaker 1 00:08:55 Interesting, because, uh, if you were just to take all the names, personalities, and history out of it, and you just ran that list in front of people, pretty much every Democrat and every progressive I know would go, yeah, those are all the things I'm for. Those are great, you know, issues. Uh, what kind of response are you getting to those issues out in the field? Speaker 2 00:09:20 Those are exactly the issues that people are asking us as Democrats to address. That's what they're asking Congress to be bold and courageous on. They're saying address these issues and we'll be there for you and with you. But we saw, uh, with the elections, uh, that recently happened, uh, on election day here in November, that people are also going to make it very clear that if you're not going to address those issues are not going to come out to vote for you. So we as Democrats have to get a backbone and we have to be willing to say, I would, we have the majority group going to pass these issues. We're going to pass bills that lift people up out of poverty that take care of people that make sure that people are healthy and that we have a little more sustainable planets. So Speaker 1 00:10:07 For, I speak to you about your primary competitor, have you spoken to any of the other people who have expressed interest such as Jennifer Moore or Josie, Raymond, or McKinsey? Can't TRO Speaker 2 00:10:21 The representative Raymond and I have spoken and we worked together quite a bit. Speaker 1 00:10:26 Okay. All right. Have you heard, if any of them are going to file in the space alongside you? Speaker 2 00:10:32 I haven't heard any definitive answers. I know that, um, some are waiting to see what the redistricting maps look like to make their decision. Um, and so, you know, that's, that's not something that I'm aware of, um, because they, we still haven't seen the maps. So, um, I know that some people are still weighing their decision based on that. Speaker 1 00:10:51 So let's, let's ping on that for just a minute with the re-districting. Um, there was a map that ran around earlier this year. I'm thinking January, February that showed the third district actually being split into three pieces and going with other districts, basically splitting up the district and perhaps potentially gerrymandering it in such way that it's all Republican. Have you seen that map? And if that, if anything like that were to happen, would it change your mind or approach about this? Speaker 2 00:11:23 Well, first of all, we'll say that we need to make sure that we're hypervigilant about redistricting and, um, that we also, uh, pay close attention to the actual match when they are released. Um, I know that there were actually a couple of different versions of maps that were released earlier this year. Um, but I'm not certain, and I'm not convinced that those are still the maps, uh, that the super majority are working from, because that was, uh, nearly 11 months ago. So I'm sure that they have changed, but I will also say that, uh, I'm not running based on a political map. I'm running based on the fact that I was asked for years by people that I am in community with to run. And so that wouldn't change because of a map. Speaker 1 00:12:07 Okay. Let's talk for just a moment about your competitor. Uh, obviously when Congressman Yarmouth announced his retirement, uh, state Senator Morgan McGarvey rolled out like literally minutes later, uh, saying that he was running, uh, first of all, have you spoken to him at all since he announced that he was running? Speaker 2 00:12:32 Okay. Speaker 1 00:12:33 Um, I'm, I'm sure that that was, I, I feel sure that that was not a shock to you because the, he had been mentioned before, uh, if you were to compress compare and contrast, I sound like an English teacher. If you were to compare and contrast yourself with Morgan McGarvey, uh, what are some of the differences that you see between your two campaigns in between you two, as candidates Speaker 2 00:12:58 Compare and contrast us? Because our, our life lived experiences are very different, but what I will say is that, um, this is how patriarchy and privilege work, that, um, you had one person who got a call in advance, uh, that Congressman Yarmouth wasn't retiring and another who didn't. Um, and so that already creates a, a system of any inequity. And so those are the kinds of issues that I, as a Democrat and, uh, other people who are Democrats in the party have to address is continuing to maintain systems that and practices that exclude, um, or attempt to exclude people like me from being able to run for higher office. Speaker 1 00:13:41 So if you come up against, while you will come up against Morgan McGarvey, I assume in any sort of debate or something, uh, what would you say to people who are watching to say, this is why you should vote for me rather than vote for him Speaker 2 00:13:57 Once a year, that people should vote for me because they know my record. And, um, people have to acknowledge the fact that, um, when I was on Metro council, I was able to get a unanimous bill passed to ban the box on job applications to take off the question of whether or not someone has a felony conviction to pass a unanimous resolution, to restore voting rights, to pass an increase in the minimum wage and make us the first Southern city to do so. People know that, and they have to acknowledge that they can't deny that work. People know that I'm qualified and experienced to be their member of Congress. People have seen me hold the line in, uh, Frankfurt to make sure that we got a better a ban on no, not warrants than the watered down version that the president of the Senate was trying to pass. Speaker 2 00:14:42 And not only that they've seen me inspire political movements across Kentucky, where Lexington then took on the charge of passing a full ban on no not warrants because the state legislature failed to do so. They've seen me champion the count active and discrimination based on natural hair and Covington, Kentucky in December past the crown act. And then Louisville this summer has the crown act. So people know that I inspire policy movements, um, when we're in situations where we may be part of a super majority that refuses to act on, uh, justice issues. And so people should vote for me, if they want a champion in DC, who's going to work with across the aisle, but it's also going to hold the line when we need to hold the line for our people. Speaker 1 00:15:27 That's a, that's a really complete, an excellent answer. And I have to admit, I got inspired just listening to you say it. So that's good stuff. Um, let me ask some practical questions. Uh, COVID of course has thrown everything into a cocked hat and, you know, it's hard to do door knocking and so on and so forth, but you are in a, uh, urban area where it's a little easier to do door knocking. Are you and your campaign getting out and how are you doing that? Speaker 2 00:16:01 Yes, we are out. And we are. It's interesting. When I run into people, they say you're everywhere and it's true because we go all across the city. There are still lots of events that are happening, um, and outdoor events as the weather changes. Of course, that will change. But I will say since we lost in July, there have been, since he have outdoor events for us to go to all across the city, to meet folks, to listen to their issues and concerns and to share my values and my vision, uh, as their member of Congress. And so that's the kind of, uh, adaptation we have to make more in the midst of a global pandemic. We have to show up where people are and where that space is created so that we can engage with the electric. Speaker 1 00:16:46 So what are you doing about, and of course, it's early, I understand that. Uh, what are you doing about turnout? One of the issues that I've seen for a lot of campaigns is they get a lot of people excited, but when it comes the day of the election or in our case, now the days of the election, uh, the people don't actually get to the polls or not enough of them do. So is your campaign working on that? Speaker 2 00:17:09 We are. And part of the, the, uh, call to action that I will say that we had from the, uh, recent November election results, is that people do want candidates who inspire and excite them, that they aren't going to come out for candidates who, um, aren't speaking to their issues and concerns. Uh, and so that's, uh, one of the ways in which we are working on turnout is being the candidate that people need and that they want. We're also, of course, educating people about government and politics. I feel like that's one of the areas of growth for us as a political party is that we have to continuously educate people about what's happening, happening at every level of government, rather than assume the small bubble in which we navigate is enough. It's not because we tend to only talk to other people who are already politically engaged. Speaker 2 00:18:03 And sometimes people who want to maintain the systems and status call that leave folks behind. And so we're not leaving folks behind. We are very inclusive and intentional. We're making sure that we're going to places and spaces where people have not seen politicians show up. And that's one of the ways that you engage people and excite them to want to get out and vote. When I have young people who say they are excited to work on a political campaign, that means something. And I have older people who are asking for a phone list so they can make phone calls. That means something Speaker 1 00:18:39 That's exciting. Um, so let me ask you this. I, uh, is there anything that I did not ask you that you wish I had, or is there anything that you wanted to talk about that I haven't brought up? Speaker 2 00:18:51 Well, one of the, thank you again for the opportunity, and I am thrilled to be able to engage with people all across Louisville about our campaign for Congress and ask people for their vote. I'm asking your listeners for them, their vote. I encourage folks to visit Attica for congress.com, ATT I C a F O R congress.com get engage with our campaign because we are working to transform institutions and systems that haven't worked for a lot of people for a long time. And that gives me hope. Speaker 1 00:19:26 Excellent representative Attica Scott running for third district in Congress from Kentucky. Uh, we're really glad you were able to be with us today. Thank you for being on moving Kentucky Speaker 2 00:19:38 Forward. Thank you so much, Bruce. I appreciate you. Speaker 1 00:19:40 That was representative Attica, Scott running for Congress in the third district. I think she's running an exciting and meaningful campaign, raising issues and ideas that definitely need to be talked about and addressed. I want to thank her for her time and look forward to following her campaign over the coming weeks and months. That's all for this episode. If you want to know when new episodes are posted, go to forward K y.com and become a subscriber it's free and it keeps you in the loop on all the news and updates on the site and watch for are ready for 22 sale that starts this week, where you can become a full member for one-third off the regular price. Get ready for all the political news in 2022, by becoming a member of forward Kentucky, you'll get lots of special perks, including the bill tracker for the upcoming general assembly special interviews that are only available to members and much more. The sale begins on Monday, November the eighth, and is your opportunity to get the full forward Kentucky experience. Thanks again to Attica Scott, and thanks to you for listening as we continue to move Kentucky forward.

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