Meet the Candidate: Heather Bauer (SC)

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12 mins read

Heather Bauer – South Carolina – State House District 75

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am a small business owner and an information technology project manager.

One of my first memories was seeing our single-wide trailer burn down at the age of four. My four siblings, my single mother, and I moved around a lot. We got by on food stamps and other public assistance programs. At the end of it all, I helped my mother study for her GED.

I wasn’t even considering college when I learned that I earned a scholarship to play volleyball at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Through sheer grit and determination, I graduated with highest honors and accepted an offer to attend graduate school at The University of South Carolina.

Ever since, I have worked to make South Carolina a better place to live. I joined local boards, worked for nonprofits, and contributed to local tech startups. I made myself indispensable, figuring out what others could not. I get stuff done.

Through the years, I have continued to be active and passionate about health and wellness. I realized that there was space in the market for the kind of gym I needed, which focused on community as well as exercise. Out of necessity, I opened Warrior Fitness.

I am a changemaker, believing that if you can get better 1% every day you can achieve anything.

Why are you running for office?

54% of voters in SC are women, yet SC is ranked one of the worst states for women. We also have some of the lowest female representation – with women representing only 17% of our state legislature. It is not a coincidence that SC is bad for women AND we have some of the lowest representation in government. SC is bad for women BECAUSE we have some of the lowest representation in government.

South Carolina needs a state government that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.

What are the three biggest issues facing your community?

Improving our k-12 school systems- being #44 in education is unacceptable.
The fight for our abortion rights and basic bodily autonomy as they are continually under attack.
Representatives who are actually responsive to constituent concerns.

How do you propose to solve those problems?

Free, high quality public education is a right of every child.

Public education is important to build thriving economies, strong communities, and individuals who believe they can make a difference. Education was my way out of poverty and I owe it to a system that invested in me. South Carolina’s public education has been on the wrong side of the ‘best of’ list for too long. Teachers are leaving the state because they do not feel like they are being treated as professionals and our children are underperforming because they are being tested like machines.

To ensure that all children in South Carolina receive the highest quality education, the government must stop putting their blind trust into testing companies and focus on real solutions.

When teachers are treated with respect, paid competitively, and have their voices heard, they will be more inclined to stay in the field, thrive in the classroom which in turn will provide better outcomes for their students. Retaining talent is always cheaper than hiring new. Respectively, when children are not treated like robots they are able to flourish and become strong, self-relying human beings.

Bodily autonomy is a human right. No government should interfere with the private healthcare decisions that patients make about their own bodies.

The vast majority of South Carolinians do not want to see the protections of Roe vs. Wade go away. And yet politicians in our state government are not brave enough to stand up to the extreme, vocal few who not only want to take away women’s bodily autonomy but also your rights to privacy, contraception, and the right to marry whom we love – all rights linked to Roe vs. Wade.

The consequences of our state government taking away your right to an abortion would fall disproportionately on the poorest women in our state – women who have been abused, victims of incest, those who have been raped, and mothers who are struggling.

We need strong state legislators to stand up to this kind of government interference. I want to make this clear: I will not only fight for your right to bodily autonomy but will work to expand and improve care for pregnant people and young families.

Everyone needs an advocate.

We all deserve a leader who shows up and is listening to what the concerns are. As your next State House Representative, I will be available, and attend neighborhood meetings to actively participate. As a Project Manager and client advocate at my job, I am tasked with working on a budget and on tight schedules to deliver the needed solutions. I’ll take these skills with me to the state house.

We must work with local boards and councils to make change in our district and for our state. That’s why I’ll lead the charge on creating an ad-hoc committee between Richland County State House Delegates, city and county councils. Together, we can work to be the advocate our citizens deserve.

What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?

We are in a climate crisis. We need leaders in and outside of government to acknowledge that climate change is an existential threat that must be urgently addressed.

The South Carolina state government must take all available measures to address the effects of climate change, pollution, and other man made disasters.

What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?

I have nine evidence-based approaches that would improve gun safety measures.

They include mandating NICS background checks on all gun purchases, requiring punishments for domestic violence and hate crimes to be firearm relinquishment, and instituting a ban on possessing guns 1,000 feet from schools.

They also include instituting ‘safe storage’ laws, that require guns to be stored with a locking device when not in use or under the owner’s immediate control, and ‘red flag’ laws that allow police or family members to ask the court​ to temporarily remove firearms from someone who may present a danger to others or themselves. ​

How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?

Everyone needs to be safe.

Too many residents live in fear of crime, and too many neighborhoods suffer neglect. We must repair the relationship between citizens and law enforcement by extending and expanding the city’s ongoing efforts to promote community-based and service-oriented policing.

To improve communication and responsiveness, we should implement evidence-based programs for building trust and promoting empathy between the police and the people. Also, because not all calls actually involve violent emergencies, we should diversify and reform our first responders to prioritize service whenever possible. We need to expand our investments in victims’ services, rehabilitation, and mental health. We can imagine a new model of community safety that protects everyone.

How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?

Bodily autonomy is a human right. No government should interfere with the private healthcare decisions that patients make about their own bodies.

The vast majority of South Carolinians do not want to see the protections of Roe vs. Wade go away. And yet politicians in our state government are not brave enough to stand up to the extreme, vocal few who not only want to take away women’s bodily autonomy but also your rights to privacy, contraception, and the right to marry whom we love – all rights linked to Roe vs. Wade.

The consequences of our state government taking away your right to an abortion would fall disproportionately on the poorest women in our state – women who have been abused, victims of incest, those who have been raped, and mothers who are struggling.

We need strong state legislators to stand up to this kind of government interference. I want to make this clear: I will not only fight for your right to bodily autonomy but will work to expand and improve care for pregnant people and young families.

What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?

I would introduce/support legislation to ensure that:

– Voters with disabilities have equal access to the ballot box.
– We end partisan gerrymandering.
– Voters will not be forced to wait in hours-long lines to cast their ballots.
– There is less or no big corporate money in our political system.
– Local election administrators are protected from partisan election subversion.
– Election Day is made a national holiday.

“Posts by or about political candidates do not imply endorsement. All posts are created by answers from our Meet the Candidates survey.”


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