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Attica Scott is a legislator in the Kentucky House of Representatives, District 41.

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2021 Most Admired Woman — Business Owner

Legislator, Kentucky House of Representatives, District 41
Family: Son Advocate and daughter Ashanti
Neighborhood: Parkland

The idea of running for office sometimes seems mystical and veiled. How does a person do it? What actually happens? When Attica Scott and her friends sat around the kitchen table discussing situations they would like to see addressed through the political system, they realized the individuals at the local, state, and federal levels did not reflect their values and visions. She says because she and her friends had no idea what they were doing, they weren’t intimidated or overwhelmed but simply excited and energized to make positive change. Although Attica lost that first political race, it set her on a trajectory that led her to win and serve others later on.

What is a misconception that women have about running for office?

One is thinking that we can’t do it because we may be moms or because we may be the primary people responsible for elder care or because we work full-time or part-time. All of this is put into our heads as women. We’re told we’re not going to be able to raise the money. Every time I ran, I raised less than the other people in the race, and I’ve won multiple times. I want women to know you have every right to run for office; you belong in every level of government. Please do not allow anyone or anything to stop you.

Who are women from your own life who have inspired you?

My daughter, Ashanti, is one of my biggest inspirations. She’s a young person who sees everything happening around her and decides that she’s going to do something about it. Former state representative Eleanor Jordan. We live in the same neighborhood. To have her as one of my political mentors has helped to guide me and ground me. Jackie Floyd is one of my spiritual mentors; she got me connected to the church I’m a member of now.

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What have been the benefits of being in office?

I get to bring different life experiences to the state legislature and share them so that my colleagues who don’t come from anything like what I come from understand our realities and experiences. I will always remember three young white women from Eastern Kentucky stopped by my office in Frankfort my first year in office and said, “You are the state representative we wish we had.” That was one of those moments when I was reminded why it was important for me to be there.

What person from history would you want to meet and why?

Harriet Tubman because I want to know how she kept going even when she had Black people who were afraid to escape slavery.

When you were younger, what did you think you wanted to be professionally?

I thought that I was going to be an attorney. In graduate school, I worked full-time at the law school in Knoxville, Tennessee, and went to night school. That experience helped me to see that working in the field of law was not for me. Understanding law was definitely for me, but I wanted to be more direct [and] hands-on.

Is there any advice you’re glad you ignored?

When I was first appointed to Louisville Metro Council, I had people asking whether or not I would cut my hair and take out my dreadlocks. I had people strongly encouraging me to do that. I prayed over it and realized I would rather not serve in office if I couldn’t be my whole, authentic self. I’m so glad I didn’t change myself for a political position.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Food and binge-watching. I love sci-fi, action, fantasy, and adventure. I could sit and binge-watch something sci-fi for hours. My real guilty pleasure food is popcorn.

What color makes you happy and why?

Red is my favorite color. It makes me happy because it is power and presence. I like bright, big, bold colors. It’s a statement color.

Are you a sweet or salty person?

Definitely sweet. I get it from my dad. If I’m going to have dessert, I’m going to go with a pie [key lime or chess]. I’m not a big cake person, and I don’t like the consistency of brownies.

P.S. Purchase your tickets for the revamped Most Admired Woman event, being held at The Gillespie. Be a part of history as former Today’s Woman owners Cathy Zion and Anita Oldham pass the baton to new owner Tawana Bain. You won’t want to miss this night of sisterhood!

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