For the last four years I’ve been a co-partner #CripTheVote which is an online movement encouraging the political participation of disabled people. Getting involved can mean voting, volunteering, attending a public meeting, or running for office. Learning about the issues counts too. Today’s episode features a conversation with Amanda Siebe, a disabled candidate who ran for a Congressional House seat representing District one in Oregon. Please note that Amanda and I spoke last year before the recent May primary. Unfortunately Amanda was not elected as the candidate for the Demcratic general election but you will hear about her experiences running for office, her platform, and why political change and representation is so important.
Amanda Siebe was raised in Beaverton, OR where she lived with her parents and three siblings. She attended Jesuit High School in Portland, OR and was a recipient of the President’s Award for Community Service. After high school, Amanda attended Western Oregon University (WOU) where she studied International Relations, Spanish, and Sociology, focusing on Community Organizing and Immigration. In 2009, Amanda was awarded WOU’s Saul Alinsky Community Organizing Award for her work with the Monmouth-Independence Tenants Union. Amanda volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts, and was a volunteer EMT at Polk County Fire District No. 1. In 2012, Amanda was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), following a work-related injury. Since her diagnosis, she has become a relentless advocate for chronic pain, patients, and disability rights.
Amanda has dedicated her life to improving her community and tries to teach her son, Keagan, to do the same. Since high school, she has been marching for police reform, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, government reform, women’s rights, and more. In 2016, she traveled to Standing Rock to stand with the Water Protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline. In her free time, Amanda tutors and mentors local kids from ages 10 to 18, helping with homework, and teaching them to be better and demand more from our government. For her, there’s no battle too big or fight too hard to take on. Now, she’s determined to take the fight for equality and justice to Congress.
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Alice Wong, Writer, Audio Producer, Host
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
Music, “Wind chimes 1,” by giddster, August 21, 2018.