Susan Harden, along with other new Mecklenburg County Commissioners Susan McDowell (District 6), Elaine Powell (Vice Chair and Commissioner, District 1), and Mark Jerrell (District 4), were interviewed on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks to discuss their priorities.
The Black Women’s Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and the Charlotte Women’s March honored Susan Harden and 24 other local women during their 2nd annual recognition “Celebration of Women Elected to Office” ceremony on December 6.
Liz Foster spoke with newly-elected County Commissioners about affordable housing in this WSOC story. Commissioners agreed that housing is an issue that needs to be addressed. “It’s critical that areas like south Charlotte stay affordable for teachers and firemen and retail workers,” Susan Harden said.
Susan’s first interview after winning her race for County Commission District 5 was with WBTV’s Molly Grantham. Here she shares that she’s thrilled to be a part of the “Year of the Woman”. “This means the issues that women care about may very well get addressed,” she said. “We know that when women run, women win. And when women win, they really do champion the issues in their lives."
On Instagram last week, People of Charlotte shared my story about my Camino de Santiago journey to Portugal last year.
People of CLT, check out Susan’s amazing story below. You can do anything you want to do! To mark my 50th birthday in the summer of 2017, I decided to take a three-week solo pilgrimage and walk the Camino Portugues from Porto Portugal to Santiago Spain. I had never travelled for pleasure alone and I wasn’t sure that I could meet the physical demands of the walk. This trip was pushing me outside of my comfort zone, but I wanted that experience. A pilgrimage is a ritual journey and the pilgrim is transformed along the way. This was certainly true for me. As I walked the daily journey of 10 miles with a pack on my back along the stunningly beautiful coastline of Portugal, I had time to be alone with my thoughts. Pilgrims say that every step is a prayer. I thought about all of the blessings in my life: my 25-year marriage, my almost grown kids, my aging parents who were a constant source of support, my dear friends, a wonderful job as a professor, and a community that I love. At the end of the 150 mile journey, I felt strong, powerful, and peaceful. I knew that if I could walk the Camino, I could run for office, even though I knew it would be hard. I heard the call to serve and here I am. @susanbharden
Thank you, People of Charlotte, and Arden McLaughlin, for this great interview. It is an honor to be featured amongst so many fantastic Charlotteans making a difference in our community.
As shared in the article, “I teach teachers to be community leaders; to engage the community,” and I appreciate People of Charlotte’s focus on our region’s leaders.
As a professor at UNC Charlotte, I am passionate about teaching, about educating teachers, and about shaping our county with great education. “The fact that I’m an educator and a mom fits in with what Mecklenburg County does.” County Commissioners deal with human services; things like parks, schools, mental health, and libraries — the things that make us great.
Find the entire article, and lots of other great features, at PeopleOfCLT.com.
In Charlotte, thousands of women marched. That was only the beginning.
Jim Morrill, Charlotte Observer, 1/19/2018
To say Susan Harden was moved by last year’s Women’s March in Washington may be an understatement.
“The enormity of what I experienced had a pretty profound impact on me,” says Harden, 50. “I was very inspired.”
So much so that Harden, who teaches education at UNC Charlotte, plans to launch her bid for Mecklenburg County commissioner at Saturday’s anniversary march in Charlotte.
She’s one of thousands of women across the country who have translated last year’s passion into activism, even candidacies. For many women in Charlotte and across the country, the march has become a movement.
So far, nearly 600 women have declared their intent to run for Congress or statewide offices, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. That’s twice the number who’d announced by this time in recent elections.
Susan B. Harden went to Washington a year ago to join millions participating in the Women’s March there and in cities across the nation and globe. She took to heart the call for more women to take on government leadership roles.
On Saturday, Harden will head to uptown Charlotte to join this year’s Women’s March, where she’ll also launch her campaign to become a Mecklenburg County commissioner.
A professor in teacher education at UNC Charlotte, Harden, a Cotswold resident, is seeking the District 5 seat. The district includes a vast range of south Charlotte neighborhoods, from Myers Park and SouthPark to the corridors of South Boulevard and Monroe Road.
Harden believes her college degrees in economics and finance, her educational expertise, community involvement, and a long history of collaborating with people of diverse backgrounds have given her the experience and perspective needed to serve effectively on the county commission.
Harden, a Democrat, says she wants to help find long-term solutions to the complex issues facing Mecklenburg County.
She says she’d offer a fresh perspective on issues such as funding public schools, combatting the opioid epidemic and helping residents on fixed incomes facing rising taxes from escalating property values. She vows to work with colleagues across the political spectrum to make sound decisions about growth, infrastructure investments, public health and protecting the environment.
“Rapid growth, partisan acrimony and narrow political interests have hampered efforts to solve our most challenging problems,” Harden said. “Most people just want their elected leaders to do their jobs. I truly believe that people from different backgrounds with different beliefs can collaborate to solve the problems we face, and do what’s best for the residents of Mecklenburg County.”
Susan’s priorities include teacher advocacy; education reform, particularly improving teacher pay and access to early childhood education; healthcare advocacy to ensure access to healthcare, particularly for women and families; affordable housing for all sectors of the community; and pushing back against pre-emptive state laws that prevent Mecklenburg County from advancing solutions that make sense for our community.
Susan and Brian Harden have been married for 25 years. They have two daughters, Anna, a UNC-Chapel Hill student, and Katie, who attends Myers Park High School.
Contact: Susan B. Harden. firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-651-4810