Delegate Amanda Batten is a Republican who represents the 96th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, and is an alumna of the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program.
“My takeaway from the Political Leaders Program is that regardless of where you live and your political ideology, you can always find common ground. If you seek those commonalities, you can establish a starting place from which to work and build stronger relationships.”
Delegate Batten has worked in the state government for a number of years, as staff for then Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment and Delegate Brenda Pogge, whose seat she filled after Pogge’s retirement. She currently serves on the Public Safety, Education, Rules, and Commerce and Energy committees.
From her PLP experience, Delegate Batten learned an incredible amount about Virginia and its diverse regions. She also had the opportunity to meet a range of people from stakeholders to industry leaders to interest groups. According to Batten, “If you work in politics or are active in your community, you can learn so much from the people you meet in PLP, and you can draw upon those experiences and their knowledge to make better decisions in whatever role you find yourself.”
In addition to gaining critical knowledge about Virginia, Delegate Batten gained valuable friendships. She still keeps in touch with her classmates through Facebook and said that she has developed “deep and abiding relationships” with them.
Her advice to future PLP classes is to have conversations rather than arguments with fellow classmates and to understand that sometimes it is better to be quiet and listen rather than to be outspoken. Silence is okay.