About Mimi Penhale
Hi, my name is Mimi Penhale and I am running for Alabama House District 49. I really passionate about this opportunity to serve this district, so let me tell you a little about myself. I grew on a bison farm in Troy, Alabama, so I am no stranger to long days and hard work.
I graduated from Charles Henderson High School in 2006, and I went to Troy University where I got my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2010. While at Troy, I got involved with the Student Government Association, where I served as Vice President of Legislative Affairs and the President of the House of Representatives. This experience fostered my interest in politics, so following graduation, I became an intern for Senator Cam Ward at the Alabama Statehouse. When I finished my internship, I wished to my interest of politics into my background in health sciences, so I received a Masters in Public Health in Healthcare Organization and Policy at UAB in 2013.
For the last nine years I have been serving as the Legislative Director for the Shelby County Legislative Delegation. During this time, I have worked day in and day out with April Weaver and Cam Ward, as well as nine other members of the legislature. I am the person who handles all their issues for their local governments, schools, libraries, businesses and citizens; for their entire districts, not just those in Shelby County. In this district, I have worked with local government to address needs within the county, whether it be funding issues, local laws, or legislation that would adversely affect their counties and cities. I have walked the halls of every school in this district and helped those schools obtain community service grants. I have also helped every library in this district obtain grants. I have worked with groups like, the Bibb and Shelby County Education Foundations, Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Mountain State Park, the University of Montevallo, local and county law enforcement, and local non-profit organizations to help them gain support, funding, and meetings that will help their programs succeed. On a daily basis, I work with constituents who have gotten lost in the bureaucracy of state government, and help them navigate the all too frustrating barriers to success, set up by faulty departmental processes.
In my position, I have been able to work with the business community, to bridge the gap between the public and private sector. For eight years, I have served as Vice-Chair of the Shelby County Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Work Group. In this position, I have worked with the business leaders in our community to address state legislation. This relationship has allowed me to better understand how policy can both positively or negatively effect the business community. This relationship has given our business leaders direct access to their legislators, which allows their voices to be heard.
I say all of this to let you know that I am no outsider when it comes to this district. I have been doing what we as citizens hope every person who goes off to represent us in our government would do: Listen.
I know that citizens in some parts of the district need better access to healthcare. I know there is great need for dialysis centers, maternity care, and ABA therapies for children with special needs. I want to see better opportunities for our schools. There are students in this area who still don’t have access to high speed broadband internet and schools that need more resources for basic programs, like special education. Infrastructure is a huge issue for residents and businesses in this district. Some of our communities are struggling with growing pains, while others have roads and bridges that have not been updated in years. If we address these issues, I believe we will really be able to provide better opportunities for economic development and residents in this area.
Let me leave you with this, it I my belief that as a conservative representative, it is my job to be the voice of the people. I want to work with you to make sure that the legislation that we pass makes their lives better, not worse; and make their jobs easier, not harder.