Natalie is a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina majoring in History and Public Policy (with a concentration on Social Justice). She comes from a very politically engaged family, but truly discovered her passion for politics in her tenth grade Civics class. Since then, Natalie has volunteered and registered voters for presidential campaigns as well as worked in the office of U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC). In March of 2012, Natalie represented Vanderbilt at the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement Annual Conference at Harvard University Institute of Politics. She now serves as a Senior Editor on Vanderbilt Political Review and writes the column "Real Women, Real Politics." Natalie is also Secretary of Vanderbilt College Democrats.
Women make up 51% of the population, 17% of Congress, and 0% of past presidents.
Name: Ludmya “Mia” Bourdeau Love
Born: December 6, 1975 (age 35) in Brooklyn, New York
Current Office: Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah
Political Party: Republican Party
Residence: Saratoga Springs, Utah
Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Hartford (Performing Arts)
Why she is the Woman of the Week: For the mayor of a small city who has been in politics for less than ten years, Mia Love has quite a bit of fame. Her race to become the U.S. Representative for Utah’s 4th Congressional District launched her into the spotlight, especially after her speech at this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, in which she spoke about lessons of self-reliance that she learned from her immigrant parents. Although she lost an incredibly close race to the Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson in the general thumping Republicans took in this year, she was lauded as a symbol of hope for the chance she represents of bringing minorities back into the Party. Had she been elected, she would have been the first black female in the House of Representatives. She is reluctant to embrace the role of the Republicans’ “emblem of diversity,” and has remained adamant that she wants to be elected on her policies, not her race or gender.
Background: Love is the daughter of two Haitian immigrants. When she was born in Brooklyn two of her siblings still remained in Haiti. In her speech at the Republican Convention this year, she credited her political ideology to the lessons her parents taught her while she was growing up. They came to this country with very little money and “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,” working multiple jobs insisting that they never received a government handout. They also insisted that she do the same. “On the first day of college my dad said to me, ‘Your mother and I have never taken a handout, we have given you everything that we possibly could, we’ve worked hard for everything that we have. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back.’” Her older siblings finally joined them when her family moved to Conneticut. After graduating college in 1998 and joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she moved to Utah as part of her job as a flight attendant and to learn more about the Mormon faith. She married Jason Love, an LDS missionary she had met briefly in Connecticut and helped her move in when she moved to Utah. In 2003 she was elected to the Saratoga Springs City Council and six years late became Mayor. During the economic downturn, she worked with city council members to drastically cut expenses, reducing the city’s shortfall from $3.5 million to $779,000; Saratoga Springs now has a AA+ bond rating, the highest possible for a city of its size.
Key Issues: Love always emphasizes her views on economic issues, but she is no doubt a social conservative—and backed by the Tea Party. “I’m obviously really focused on… fiscal discipline, limited government, personal responsibility. But I can tell you, I am 100% pro-life and I do support marriage between a man and a woman.” She advocates large cuts to student loan programs and local law enforcement grants, as well as a significant downsizing of the Energy Department.
Her Latest Headline: “Mia says election surprised her, but she’s mum on future” – Deseret News
“I was elected mayor not because of my race or gender, not because I wear high heels, but because of the policies I put in place.” – Mia Love
[Image Credit: http://d2.yimg.com/sr/img/1/fda63611-e273-3509-ad73-12bb5e4f45ab]