If you were in South Carolina in 2008, you may remember Edith S. Childs, the Greenwood County Councilwoman with a small frame but a big voice. She was the one who – in a crowd of people at a rally with then-Senator Obama in Upstate South Carolina – shouted, ‘Fired up, ready to go!’ It was a chant that caught on like wildfire throughout the 2008 election, and it continues to fire up crowds across the country for President Obama.
Now, exactly four years after South Carolina chose Barack Obama as its Democratic nominee for President, Mrs. Childs is still as fervent as ever in her support of President Obama and her belief in what he stands for. “I was with him, and I’m still with him,” she told the South Carolina team during a recent visit. She hasn’t forgotten one minute of the history-making election she was a part of, and she reflects on trips to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration and visits to the White House with pride and passion. “It was worth every minute of it,” she said. “I wouldn’t change anything.”
Mrs. Childs put a lot of herself into the 2008 election – registering voters, making calls and knocking on doors in her community – all in support of Barack Obama. And 10 months out until the 2012 election, she is gearing up again to help ensure he stays in the White House. Re-connecting with her team from 2008, Mrs. Childs plans to get back out into her Greenwood community over the coming months and encourage folks to talk to their families and people in their neighborhoods and churches about President Obama and all that he has accomplished over the last three years.
The Affordable Care Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act stand out for Mrs. Childs as particularly notable accomplishments in President Obama’s record. It’s so important for people to be able to see a doctor, she told us. She’s also happy to see that thousands more children now have healthcare coverage. The President’s focus on jobs and services for America’s veterans are also issues significant both for Mrs. Childs and those in her community.
As she engages her hometown in a conversation about the upcoming election, Mrs. Childs’ goal is to get people involved and inform them about the world around them. Lots of people in Greenwood don’t keep up on the news, but Edith and her husband, Charles, watch the news every night to keep up on what’s going on. “We will get with them and do what we need to do,” she said. “If you get people involved, you could turn Greenwood upside down.”
Her work won’t be easy – Upstate South Carolina is perhaps the most Republican part of the state – but Mrs. Childs hasn’t lost her fire. “I feel good about the election. And I feel good about the President – and there’s a lot of reasons I feel good about him.”
We’re sure we haven’t seen the last of Edith S. Childs. Even four years later, she’s still ‘Fired up, ready to go!”
If you’re interested in learning more about Edith S. Childs – where she comes from and where she’s been – pick up her book: A Southern Black Woman Beats the Odds.