Gail McCann Beatty’s career in politics began at a very early age. Before turning 10, Beatty was working at polling places and canvassing neighborhoods with her father. By the age of 18, she was elected as a local Democratic committeewoman.
Since her election to the state House in 2010, she’s pursued a broad legislative agenda. One growing problem facing the state is the filing of false deeds. Beatty is working on requiring background checks for notaries and other measures aimed at curbing abuses. Another bill she recently filed would establish automatic voter registration in the state. Beatty also recently proposed legislation requiring the appointment of a special prosecutor for officer-involved shootings, a move she says would bolster public trust and help mitigate the kind of unrest that occurred in Ferguson, Mo.
To address these types of challenges, she says, lawmakers must understand all sides of an issue, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, or represent urban or rural constituencies. “You have to keep an open mind and be willing to work with people of all different backgrounds,” she says. Beatty adds that she plans to seek a final term in the House this year before exploring a run for a Senate seat or statewide office.