The Legislative Leader is a monthly interview with one of the pro-choice, progressive women currently serving in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Representative Sydney Batch grew up in North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. Following law school, she started a family law practice with her husband. As a mother of two, social worker, and child advocate, Sydney is passionate about improving the lives of children in North Carolina. In 2018, she decided to run for an open seat in Wake County and won. Lillian’s List Executive Director, Sarah Preston, had a chance to catch up with Sydney during the first week of session to talk about why she ran and what she hopes to achieve in public office.
Sarah Preston: Why did you decide to run for office?
Rep. Batch: I decided to run because I was frustrated with the policies being passed by the legislature that really harm families. I knew that the legislature needed the perspective I could bring as a mother of two boys, family law attorney and advocate for children. The perspective of working parents, especially working moms is left out of the decisions being made in the legislature, largely because the part-time pay means you need to be independently wealthy or retired to serve. I am lucky enough to have my own business and be able to make it work so that I can serve and bring that perspective to the legislature.
Sarah: What are the benefits of being a woman while campaigning and serving?
Rep. Batch: Women tend to be more collaborative and that was really helpful on the campaign trail. You can also serve as an example for others and help other women see that they can do this. I heard that on the campaign trail and it meant a lot to me.
Sarah: Why are you pro-choice?
Rep. Batch: I am pro-choice because women absolutely need to have the ability to decide whether and when to start a family. Having a family can affect a woman’s health, her future, and her ability to care for her family. There should not be barriers to access health care.
Sarah: What do you hope to accomplish for women while in office?
Rep. Batch: While Democrats still do not make up the majority of the legislature, I believe there are some changes we can make. I will primarily focus on expanding Medicaid so that more North Carolinian women have access to health care. I will also be working on policy to secure paid sick leave and raise the minimum wage so that women don’t have to struggle to care for their families.
Sarah: Who is you favorite fictional politician?
Rep. Batch: Elizabeth McCord. I love Madam Secretary!