Donna Givens, chair of both the North & Central Baldwin Chambers of Commerce, who secured the Republican nomination for state House District 64 in a tightly contested primary this May, is one of those three women.
The daughter of a trucker, Givens previously worked for Baldwin County EMC and specialized in governmental affairs, economic development, and community service over a 47-year career. She retired from the cooperative last year.
“My job just fit my personality and fit my lifestyle, what I had grown up in,” Givens said. “I’ve just spent years serving the community, and I thought this was a way to serve the community at a higher level.”
With service on the boards of the South Baldwin Chamber and South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, Givens has also served on the zoning board for the county and on the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Advisory Council.
“Out of the five chambers in Baldwin County, I served on four of the chamber’s boards, and in the fifth chamber, I served on a committee,” Givens said. “I was very active.”
Givens said that running for the Legislature is something she has wanted to do for some time, having worked in Montgomery for Baldwin AMC in the year before her run for the state house. Winning the Republican nomination for District 64 by only 201 votes, Givens claimed victory against retired U.S. Department of Homeland Security special agent Angelo Fermo during the primary in May, later facing Libertarian candidate Jeff May in the November U.S. Midterm elections.
Infrastructure is the largest issue for voters in District 64, according to Givens, with the fear being that the county would outgrow its existing facilities and systems.
According to the most recent estimates from the U.S Census Bureau, the population of Baldwin County has grown by approximately 27 percent over the last ten years, from 182,265 to 231,767 residents, at the same time that neighboring Mobile County grew by only 0.4 percent, and each rural bordering counties saw decreases in population.
“People are concerned that we’re going to outgrow, which they feel like we have already started to outgrow our infrastructure that currently is in place,” Givens. “Infrastructure is what seems to be first and foremost, from the constituents that have reached out to me.”
Givens also listed workforce development, increasing access to broadband internet, and eduction as other priorities for her during the next regular legislative session.
“I look forward to serving; that’s my main goal is to be a servant to the people in my district, the entire county, and the state as well,” Givens said.
The regular legislative session of the Alabama State Legislature is expected to begin in early March next year.