ICYMI: Post & Courier: Senator Scott on Mission to Help Fight Poverty
Charleston, SC – U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s (R-SC) primary goal in the Senate is ensuring children and families have access to opportunity. His Opportunity Agenda, which includes his latest bill the Investing in Opportunity Act, focuses on helping Americans living in poverty succeed with access to quality education, apprenticeships, and capital gains.
Yesterday, the Post & Courier (Charleston, SC) highlighted his continued efforts to help South Carolinians and low-income communities across the country.
Tim Scott wants to fix poverty, one human interaction at a time
Post & Courier
July 4, 2016
During a recent event on Capitol Hill, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott began his remarks behind a microphone.
By the time he’d finished telling the audience of children’s advocates the story of his upbringing – son of a single mom, practically failing out of school, “mired in poverty” in North Charleston – he was standing in front of the lectern.
Scott already has an agenda, which he didn’t neglect to mention. It’s called the “Opportunity Agenda,” and it’s actually a series of Senate bills focused on doing just that. There’s a bill that would give tax credits to employers who create apprenticeships. Another would give parents more flexibility on where they send their children to school. His most recent proposal has “opportunity” in its title and deals specifically with poverty.
The “Investing in Opportunity Act” would use the tax code to encourage long-term investments of private dollars into some of the country’s poorest areas, or what Scott calls “distressed communities.”
This is the bill Scott is promoting the hardest these days at speaking engagements, in op-ed pages and during committee hearings. It has co-sponsors in both parties and chambers. Outside groups are also enthusiastic.
Scott is aware his ability to be relatable is an asset in talking about poverty to real people, which in his view will make a bigger difference than lecturing his colleagues.
“I am not limiting myself to this notion that all answers come through platforms and politics. My goal is to touch lives where they live and to find advocates and allies and resources through every major pillar of our society,” he explained. “We need to have a new conversation about solving an old problem. We too often have a political conservation in election cycles. I want to have a long-distance run with friends who are gathering through different walks of life.”
Scott started selling the end user in the first days of 2013, just after he was appointed from the House to the Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley. Suddenly responsible for a whole state rather than a district, he set out to meet his new constituents. Without telling even his staff, he started going undercover, mixing with those in the workforce. He worked a few hours at a shoe store; he rode a single bus line all over town chatting with passengers. At a Goodwill donation center in Greenville, a supervisor asked Scott if he was doing court-ordered volunteer work.
Now that he’s been in office a few more years and his profile has grown, it’s harder to speak to people as though he were just another salesman, stockroom employee or checkout clerk. He still makes the rounds, recently making coffee drinks as a barista in a Mount Pleasant Starbucks. Now he’s there in his capacity as Sen. Scott, not “Tim.”
“We are going to focus this message in as many environments as possible in an attempt to create a big net, a wide net,” Scott said, “and then we are going to pull it and we are going to watch people celebrate and get excited about a renaissance that’s going to happen in places where a renaissance has not been in a very long time.”
For those who would point out that Scott’s job is to be a legislator, which necessitates a focus on legislation, Scott just smiled. “That’s why I have a legislative agenda.”
You can read the entire article HERE.