Meet Donna Brown Newton, running for South Carolina House of Representatives in district 80

Donna’s district is actually a brand new one, created by recent redistricting. After running in 2020, Donna is ready to jump back into campaigning and get things done!

Donna has always been active in her community, working in the civic association for her community as well as the county disabilities board. She has even been involved with the Democratic party since Obama began running for president in 2008!

Donna told us that back in 1969, her aunt was part of a union that advocated for fair pay for underpaid hospital workers—many of them being African American. This is where she was first introduced to campaigning for important issues and she hasn’t stopped since. Her first introduction to community service in her adult life was back when her daughter wanted to join the girl scouts. When Donna learned that her community didn’t even have a girl scout troop, she became a troop leader and started a new scout group in her community!

Donna has noticed that representatives in her community do not truly represent the average person in her district. She told us that oftentimes, they only see representatives during election time when they are out campaigning for votes. After that, they do not show up for the community in the way that they should as a true representative. Donna wants to be someone who any citizen can talk to about local issues. If elected, Donna vows to give honesty, trust, communication, openness, and availability to her community all year round—not just during election months.

Affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues within Donna’s district. Essential workers in Donna’s community aren’t making nearly enough to afford to live in the areas they work in. The workers that keep our society going—nurses, firefighters, police officers, are all being priced out of housing and forced to live elsewhere. On top of that, there is not enough public transportation in her community and Donna says many people who cannot afford a car have a hard time getting just about anywhere. She even mentioned that her own children are unable to live in the town they grew up in because housing prices have skyrocketed. Donna’s family has been in these communities for over 5 generations, but things are changing. Donna’s goal is to provide workers in her community with livable wages so that they do not have to leave or struggle just to get to work.

Here’s what the future looks like if Donna succeeds in her mission: Growing communities, beautiful parks, beaches, and scenic areas full of people enjoying natural beauty. One important part of Donna’s community is the settlement communities that African American families have lived in for generations. Donna says that these communities are full of history that need to be explored and celebrated. Something unique that originated in Mount Pleasant are sweet grass baskets, woven out of the grass that naturally grows in the area. There is even a Sweet Grass Basket Festival that is actually happening right around the time this was written! Donna says it’s a great way for the community to connect and make beautiful works of art. New development has made this grass harder to find and harvest but Donna sees the importance of keeping this tradition alive and well!

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