Mia McLeod was born and raised in South Carolina.
A product of our state’s public school system along the infamous “Corridor of Shame,” she has dedicated her life to creating a better education system.
With the love, support and guidance of her parents, Mia was able to get a quality education…something she believes every child deserves, regardless of where they happen to live or the resources their families may or may not have.
Her parents instilled in her the belief that children can’t control the circumstances into which they are born, but we can control the manner in which we educate our children. Every day, she fights to create a better quality of life for children across South Carolina.
She loves and fully supports Richland School District Two, and has been actively involved in and with the school district since her sons first enrolled at Rice Creek Elementary, and later Kelly Mill Middle and Ridge View High Schools.
While attending the University of South Carolina, Mia served as a Page at the State House and began learning our legislative process. Upon graduating from USC, she worked in the private sector gaining a different perspective as to how our government connects to and impacts South Carolina’s business climate and economic development opportunities.
Her thirst to learn more and “connect the dots” led her to enroll in the University of South Carolina School of Law. After graduating law school, Mia chose to advocate for those who needed a voice in government, but didn’t have one. Her legal education and business training prepared her to advocate for critical issues facing our state.
In 1997, when South Carolina was number one in the nation for domestic violence homicides, Mia successfully launched a statewide initiative for Attorney General Charlie Condon, that developed multidisciplinary protocols, curricula and training for law enforcement, solicitors and judges when investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating cases of violence against women.
Mia was later appointed Director of the State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA) by Governor Jim Hodges and recognized by the Nat’l Crime Victim Compensation Program for creating satellite offices in rural, underserved SC counties to help broaden services, outreach and access to crime victims. Her innovative management practices brought national attention to our multi-million dollar Crime Victim’s Compensation Program, which became a model for other states.
Since then, Mia has worked in and through state government, advocating for important issues like public education, economic development, road and infrastructure improvements, affordable healthcare access, pro-small business initiatives, tougher domestic violence laws, common sense gun reforms, better race relations and more diversity and inclusion. She’s a strong voice, working alongside Republicans and Democrats alike to help move South Carolina forward.
Prior to her service in the SC House, Mia served on the SC Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and actively participated on the Chamber’s small business, education, public relations and diversity committees.
An avid writer, Mia has consistently communicated with her constituents through her bold, no-nonsense e-blasts that give subscribers a candid view of what’s really happening (and what’s not) at the State House. She believes that it’s important for voters to understand the issues and what’s going on behind the scenes.
That way, the “power” is in the hands of the people to elect legislators who truly represent their interests and to hold those legislators accountable. Her communications have become increasingly popular, as citizens across South Carolina grow more frustrated than ever with “politics as usual.”
Never one to shy away from the tough issues, Mia has fought for the people of House District 79 and as a Senator will continue to be an agent of progressive change, so that our entire state begins to move forward in a better direction. That’s why she’s running for Senate District 22.
Mia was recently highlighted in Governing Magazine as a woman leader who is among a small, select group of elected women across the country to participate in Governing Women’s Inaugural Leadership Class. She has earned the distinction of “Liberty Fellow,” affiliated with the Aspen Global Leadership Network, New Deal Leader, SC Education Policy Fellow and SC Diversity Fellow, affiliated with the Riley Institute at Furman University. Mia serves on the House’s Medical, Military & Municipal Affairs and Legislative Oversight Committees, as well as the Joint Citizens & Legislative Committee on Children.
She’s the first woman to represent House District 79 and the only Democrat elected to the House in 2010 in a “swing” district. A resident of Northeast Columbia, Mia proudly represents House District 79 (Richland County) and recently filed as a candidate for Senate District 22 (Richland and Kershaw Counties).