Macdella Cooper Outlines Her Vision For County Ahead Of Senatorial Race
Monrovia – Macdella Cooper would be the first to acknowledge she does not have all the answers to Montserrado County’s problems, but in her quest for the seat vacated late Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, she’s aiming to give it her best shot. “I am running for the Montserrado Senatorial Seat because I recognized that Montserrado has some problems and I have some solutions,” she says over dinner recently to talk about her candidacy.
No one give her a chance when she sought the presidency in the 2017 elections and many see her quest a step below, for a chance to represent the county in the Senate as a long shot.
Going up against the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change’s candidate Paulita Cece Wie and the man considered the front-runner, the opposition Liberty Party’s Abraham Darius Dillon, Cooper says she has no fears going in. “I fear only God. I am concerned only that Montserrado citizens, myself included, receive the services we all deserve. I promise to work with all my might to deliver service and support to this county and its residents. It is my hope that the good citizens and voters see me and judge my record of support and service and determine my offer to work in their behalf for our success ahead.”
Running on her Own
Running on the Liberia Restoration Party ticket, Cooper secured 11, 645 votes in the 2017 presidential race, to finish an unexpected 8th out of a field of twenty candidates for 0.7 percent of the votes.
Now running for the Senate, she says she’s looking to offer new solutions to pressing dilemma. “I previously contested as a candidate to serve my fellow Liberians with proposed solutions to our many national challenges. I contest now to offer new solutions to our new challenges. To drop my small bucket of water on this calamity of our times. We have serious issues to overcome in our nation and in this county . Each and every district and community, every neighborhood and home face the reality of poverty every day and I will not rest in my desire to see us rise again. I have come to serve. God and the voters will decide my success in serving my people.”
Breaking away from the party platform, this time around, Cooper says she’s running as an independent. “My pledge is to serve the people of Montserrado and provide relief and expected results to their concerns and issues . I am not and will not serve or be beholden to party politics. I am an independent candidate seeking election to the Senate for Montserrado. I am and will be seeking to redress the concerns of this county ‘s residents and citizens . A party and its affiliated agenda will not overshadow my commitment to those who have placed their trust in my service.”
Cooper, 42, has spent much of her life as a career model, philanthropist and founder of the MacDella Cooper Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and women in Liberia.
‘No Redress for Women’
It is her drive to help others she says puts her in the right place and the right time to represent the county. “Montserrado is faced with some serious challenges at the moment…No jobs, a poor education and healthcare system; no redress for women and girls who are being sexually abused; no social intervention programs to address the disenfranchised and marginalized within our county. Rather than expanding and creating jobs, our economy is contracting and losing jobs. The current business environment is not very conducive to entrepreneurial expansion.”
On the state of the economy, the candidate laments the high unemployment and the risk the vulnerable society is posing to young girls and women. “Women and girls feel more unprotected again rape and abuse since anytime post the war. Market women find it increasingly impossible to feed their children and family’s; corruption or at least the perception of it has strangled many of our former international diplomatic collaborations. I ‘d like to press a giant reset button amongst our international partners and stakeholders . The rule of law must stop being a catch phrase, rather an achievable set of ideals, if we are to tackle impediments to our advance. Simple: we must, all of us in leadership, set the standard for honesty and then live according to its precepts.”
Cooper says she has a proven track record of development, support and assistance to those in need, and the successful establishment and operation of a privately-funded education center that provides free education, room and board plus medical care for orphaned children in Liberia. “I have never sought nor do I receive any government support toward the miracles of accomplishments the students at the MCF Academy are exhibiting. It is all a product of their hard work coupled with the environment of possibility that I have created for their growth. I intend to repeat this again and see the abilities and capabilities of our people, here in Montserrado, rise to the occasions.”
If given the chance to represent Montserrado in the Senate, Cooper says she intends to collaborate with her colleagues to pass meaningful bills that will be signed into law to protect the interests of women and girls against sexual and gender based violence and intimidation; to promote the economic revival of our neighborhood districts and county; to expand our job market so that our new and older graduates can find employment that they have trained for.
With limited role for women in the national legislature, Cooper hopes her election would change the dynamics. Currently there are only ten women in the national legislature, one, Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, in the Senate and nine in the lower house.
This is why Cooper says women need a similar-minded individual to look after and support their agenda. “A man just will not be able to because first and foremost he can never understand the travails of a woman. I am a woman, a daughter and a mother. I more than understand the plight of my fellow women. It is my intention to spend each day, as I have for most of my adult life, fighting to secure our place, as women, in a society that needs us but does not exhibit the requisite support nor appreciation for our many contributions and sacrifices.”
The candidate says she also intends to support the establishment of clinics and public schools in each district so that residents and their children in Montserrado can have access to the most basic of social services they need and deserve as citizens of this nation. The government, she says, has an elected obligation to provide for the common good for everyone and it would be her responsibility to deliver on that obligation. “My fellow Montserrado neighbors should judge me not by my words but on my deeds. My record on support to my community and this nation speaks for itself. Let that judge me.”
‘Montserrado First’ A Trend You Can Expect
For Cooper, judgment has always been an uphill struggle but the candidate says, her previous relationship to the current President, George Manneh Weah will in no way affect her ability to represent the county. “When elected, I intend to work with any individual and group or entity that will support service delivery and development to Montserrado residents. In actuality the current president will be invited to join my quest for women’s parity, gender equity and safety as well as economic revival for our citizenry . That is the trend you can expect from MacDella Cooper’s senate participation. Montserrado first.”
Despite her expression of intent to ably represent the people of Montserrado County, Cooper acknowledges a lot of those currently in the legislature and even those who previously served have let people down. “I intend to remind us all that our challenges are many yet we have that capacity to answer each and every one of them. In order for change to occur we must first recognize that change is necessary. It requires sober vigilance coupled with real integrity.”
Cooper says while the legislative branch of government has many fine members and supportive staff, it is clear that hoped-for needs are not being adequately addressed. This is why she says, her intention as the newest Senator on the block would be to continue the advancement of sober dialogue and promote extra -party inclusion of solutions and balance of powers adherence to keep at bay any who wish to continue looting our future and our children’s inheritance.
Cooper says she isn’t just running for seat at power but a chance to do right by the people of Montserrado. “Consider the totality of my work toward my fellow Liberians even when there was no obligation for me to do so. Rather, I chose to give. I choose now to continue giving. This is the mark of love. Giving with no expectation of return; I want to continue serving my people. I shall continue whether in government or out, I’m in it for Liberia. This land of liberty.”