Attica Scott

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Attica Scott

Attica Scott (nee Woodson) is a Louisville Kentucky political activist. In 2016 she was a candidate for Kentucky State representative.




Scott was introduced to activism at a young age, and is a longtime community organizer. “When I was four years old, my family moved to Los Angeles because [my parents] wanted to get involved with the Black Panther Party,” she told Teen Vogue. They never actually joined but remained in solidarity.

Attica Scott am named after the prison in upstate New York where months before her birth there was a historic prisoner uprising. [1]

“Then I went to a historically black college, and by the nature of most HBCUs, you become politicized by being on the campus. Learning about my history as an African-American, and the history of my people rebelling, really seeded itself in me.”

In 2010, Scott decided to run for the Jefferson County Public School Board in Louisville, KY. She placed second in the five-way race, but Scott wasn’t discouraged. Shortly after that, she was elected to the Louisville Metro Council, where she served for three years, but lost her reelection bid in 2015. Building on her passion to serve, Scott persevered, and in 2016, challenged the state legislative incumbent in her district. In the Democratic primary, Scott defeated Tom Riner, a moderate, establishment Democrat who had held the seat for more than three decades, effectively guaranteeing herself a win in the general election with no Republican challenger.[2]


Representative Scott serves Kentucky House District 41 where she is on the Education; Local Government; and Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committees; and State Government and Transportation Work Group during the interim session. She volunteered as an English immersion teacher in Taining County, Fujian Province, China in July 2015.

In 2010, Representative Scott graduated from the first class of Emerge Kentucky and was recognized as a Connector by Leadership Louisville. She was awarded the 2011 national “Woman of Vision” Award by the Ms. Foundation for Women. Representative Scott was a featured Daughter of Greatness at the Muhammad Ali Center in January 2013. In 2014, she helped pass pivotal legislation on Louisville Metro Council including a Ban the Box ordinance and the historic minimum wage ordinance, as well as a resolution to restore voting rights to Kentuckians.

In 2017, Representative Scott was named to Essence Magazine’s list of #Woke100 women, became a Rise to Run Trailblazer and began serving on the Emerge Kentucky Board of Advisors.

Representative Scott provided leadership to a number of non-profit Board of Directors including Building Hope Kentucky, Women’s Network Commonwealth Institute for Policy Issues and Civic Engagement Board of Fellows, La Casita Center, Highlander Research and Education Center “We Shall Overcome” Fund Advisory Board, New Directions Housing Corporation, Restorative Justice Louisville, National Organizers Alliance, Community Development Corporation at Greater Friendship Baptist Church, Hispanic/Latino Coalition of Louisville, and more.

Representative Scott is a certified anti-racism trainer through Crossroads Ministry and the Commission on Religion in Appalachia.[3]

Anti-racism trainer

State Representative Attica Scott February 28, 2018.

In the early 2000s, I became a certified anti-racism trainer through Crossroads Ministry and the Commission on Religion in Appalachia. Thank you, Transylvania University, for hosting this workshop that gets me back to my roots.[4]

Highlander connection

On June 11-13 2009, Highlander Research and Education Center brought together a team of 16 African American, immigrant and refugee organizers, community leaders, popular educators, artists and cultural organizers to develop three educational tools that help people understand globalization and migration in the context of race.

In 2008, Highlander organized a delegation of 12 activists, popular educators and artists to attend the International Conference of Racism and Globalization, a gathering for people of color organized by Agricultural Missions and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund and held in Chicago. Highlander drew from this delegation, as well as participants from our Southern Strategy sessions, and our immigration, cultural organizing and youth work to bring together a race and globalization working group to develop these tools.

The working session participants were: Tomas Aguilar from Colectivo Flatlander, Austin, TX, Malik Browne and Vassie Browne from Storytree, Etowah, AL Jona Kasoanga from Greensboro, NC, Roxanne Lawson from Washigton, DC, Ann Lennon from the American Friends Service Committee, Greensboro, NC, Ana Mercado, from Blocks Together, Chicago, Chioma Oruh from Washington, DC, Colin Rajah from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Oakland, CA, Tonio Verzone, from Washington, DC, Attica Scott from Kentucky Jobs with Justice, 13 year old Advocate Scott from Louisville, KY, and Jamil Smith from the United Methodist Church, New York.

The gathering was facilitated by staff members Tufara Waller Muhammad and Monica Hernandez and Board Chair Maurice Turner.

The group worked on developing three popular education tools that integrate art and culture as a way to bring communities together and to jumpstart a dialogue around race and globalization. They include:

A series of 3 workshops on the impact of globalization on food sovereignty around the world An Interactive Listening Party to challenge individuals to envision themselves a global actors and activists making change and to help generate community discussion about how to frame their organizing work within the global level. [5]

Pushback Network

As at April 12, 2010, the following served on the Pushback Network Steering Committee:[6]

Lunch and Learn

John Yarmuth, Attica Scott, Lunch and Learn

Metro Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott’s proposed ordinance to raise the minimum wage in Jefferson County received its first committee hearing Sept. 2014, bringing with it a fuller debate from its supporters and opponents.

The same day, Kentucky Jobs with Justice hosted a discussion of the minimum wage at Old Louisville coffee shop Smokey’s Bean, Lunch and Learn, featuring Scott and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd. Citing gridlock in Congress and Frankfort stalling legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, Yarmuth argued the best option left to immediately help workers making a sub-living wage in Louisville is action at the council level. Responding to skepticism from some council members — including Democrats — that paying more than $7.25 an hour will hurt businesses, Yarmuth said taxpayers already are subsidizing low-wage businesses because workers must rely on government assistance to survive.

“If your business model requires you to pay people less than a living wage, then you shouldn’t be in business,” said Yarmuth.[7]

Women for Attica Scott

Attica Scott, March 2, 2016


It is #WomensHistoryMonth and a growing list of powerful women are hosting a campaign fundraiser for me next week. You, too, can add your name to this list by contacting Dr. Lauren Heberle.

Thank you to the women below who signed on in advance:

Lane Adams... See More — with Ellen Yonts Suetholz, Shameka Parrish-Wright, Dolores Delahanty, Allison Smith, Lauren Heberle, Carla Wallace, Carol Norton, Alcalde MG, Nisha Gupta, Dolores Delahanty, Rachel Mendoza-Newton, Dawn Jenkins, Tina Ward-Pugh, Khalilah Veneable Collins and Denise Heberle.

United Muslim Relief

State Representative Attica Scott July 6, 2017.


Muhammad Ali Center with United Muslim Relief chapter presidents and staff from across the country discussing advocacy and public policy.

Carl Braden Memorial Center

State Representative Attica Scott October 28, 2017.


Celebrating the good and important work of Kentucky Jobs with Justice with my colleague and friend, State Representative Joni Jenkins. — attending an event at Carl Braden Memorial Center.

Run for Governor?

In July 2018, it was announced that Scott was seriously considering a run in the 2019 gubernatorial race. “I began to hear people talking about running [for governor], and they weren’t even having conversations with their black colleagues about being their running mates. It was like we didn’t exist to them, yet we were in the same political party. So, I said, you know what? I’ll think about running for governor. And I will go across Kentucky and listen to folks about whether or not they think this is something I should do.”

In a state as deeply red as Kentucky, some might write off Scott as too liberal to even be considered electable, but she disagrees. “We’re at a time where voters are demanding something else,” she says. “Voters are demanding someone who has a backbone.”[8]