I am an organizer, a leader, a worshiper, a former waiter, and a former grocery clerk and now I am running for the United States Congress! I believe as the country moves towards a brighter and more progressive future, we must set the stage for a new day in political representation - we need someone who will fight for justice, inclusion, peace, fairness, and equality.
MISSION & HISTORY.
Lawrence Nathaniel is running for Congress to create an America that works for all of us—not just the wealthiest few.
We’re going to do this the right way: no corrupt political machines, no big money corporate PACs, and no back-door corporate lobbyists. We put all our faith and effort into everyday people, families, and communities not only in South Carolina but around the Country.
Nathaniel 2020 is a movement that brings South Carolinians together to champion the needs of working families in the south. Together, we will create a nation of dignified healthcare, tuition-free higher education, quality employment, and justice for all—and we’re saying NO to corporate money.
In order for us to put everyday South Carolinians first, we have to take on the power and corrupting influence of big money. There’s just no way around it.
Our movement is 100% people-funded.
My name is Lawrence Deshawn Nathaniel, I was born in Long Island, NY on July 28th, 1993. I was raised by two working-class guardians, my grandmother who was a housekeeper and a nurse from Denmark, SC and my mother from Brooklyn, NY — my mother was a fast-food cook and a manager at the local Movie Gallery and 1st generation College Student earning her Masters Degree at Clafin University.
From an early age, I grew up with a deep understanding of income inequality., The state of New York public schools and low-income communities in the early 90s sent my mother on a search for a better opportunity. My family ended up homeless or living in a shotgun house with no more than one basic bedroom.
As a result, much of my early life was spent in transit between my tight-knit extended family in Fayetteville, NC, and Bamberg, SC to my daily student life. It was clear to me, even then, that the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny. The 1-hour and 20-minute drive to Columbia represented a vastly different quality of available schooling, economic opportunity, and health outcomes.
As the markets crashed in 2008, my mother lost her primary source of income in the middle of the recession. As the financial reality caught up to my family, we moved to Orangeburg, SC where I was pushed into an overcrowded school system under the McKinney-Vento Act, in which children who are homeless have special rights which are guaranteed by a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. They can usually stay in the same school if they move, they can start school without records, and more.
I moved to West Columbia/Cayce in 2011 and I began to pursue work in the areas that had impacted his own family growing up: education and community organizing. As a Community Director, I worked with my local church to expand their skill-sets in community leadership and social design. We also piloted projects to help improve communities in the Cayce and help build out a plan to bring CLEAN WATER to Denmark, SC.
My Life experiences put me on the other side of laws and policy, as I went from seeing economic outcomes to having first-hand experiences with families struggling to maintain a home, healthcare, and education. This experience has given me a much deeper understanding of how policies impact our families beyond the white papers.
It’s one thing to write healthcare policy—it’s an entirely other matter to have to deal with healthcare, housing, and education systems ourselves.
I got involved in the process and went on to volunteer for Obama's 2012 Campaign, in 2016 I started working as a Community Organizer and for a short time apart of the Advance Staff for Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign.
In 2017 I launched a national organization called "People Demand Action" which gives ordinary people the right tools to organizers.
I have walked the neighborhoods, I see our poor communities are getting poorer, and the American promise has been threatened once more by the people at the top and our enemies abroad.
Without a doubt, our political system has been and continues to be dominated by corporate money and lobbying. As your representative, I will put everyday South Carolinians first, we have to take on the power and corrupting influence of big money. There’s just no way around it.
It’s time we start fighting back against hate, fear, and division because as long as we turn a blind eye to the pain of those suffering under its oppression, we can never move forward as one people.
It is time we stop lining the pockets of prison owners over providing basic defense for the people who live in them. We no longer want to live in a country where the money is more important than humanity or where criminality is confused with mental health.
With this election, we can build the movement by electing more progressive into the halls of Congress.