Amanda Makki Immigrated To The US In 1979. Now She’s Running For Congress
Amanda Makki experienced the American Dream firsthand.
Makki was born in Tehran. Only months after her birth, she and her family immigrated to the U.S. after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Now, Makki is running to be the Republican nominee in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Makki’s story and experience pursuing a new life in America with her immigrant family have been major influences on her platform and policy.
“My parents were 26 years old. I always like to say ‘they didn’t have two nickels to rub together,’” Makki said. “They were just glad to get out for their freedom.”
Makki labeled it a “miracle” that she and her parents were able to get to the U.S. swiftly after the beginning of the Iranian Revolution.
“My parents worked hard. My mother delivered yellow pages and she put my father through school. He ultimately became a surgeon. He’s a surgeon to this day.”
Makki emphasized, “The only thing that distinguishes you in America is really hard work. It’s not your pedigree, it’s not your last name — it’s your drive to work hard.”
“It just shows the hard work that I put in throughout my life is the hard work that I will put into this job of being a public servant,” Makki said when referencing her life experiences as an immigrant.
Makki discussed unemployment in relation to COVID-19 and how that has impacted her district. She pointed out that almost 50 percent of her district’s workforce is employed by a small business. It is also a tourism-based district, sitting right outside of Tampa.
“By and large, the workers here work for small businesses,” Makki said. “It certainly is something that I think is very important to focus on – what we do to get our economy back again.”
Healthcare is another policy concern Makki discussed.
“The out-of-pocket costs are what is making it very hard for small businesses,” Makki explained. “And even families that have to provide for themselves.”
Makki also expressed concern for transportation and the quality of her district’s roads.
“It feels like since I’ve been living here, every year it just gets worse and worse. It becomes a quality of life issue.”
On Memorial Day, Makki launched a “Veterans for Makki” campaign headed by Veteran Matt Tito, who served in the U.S. Marines for eight years. Makki praised former Republican Rep. Bill Young, who was essential in helping veterans in his district.
“We have to return to that. We have to return to making sure that veterans don’t feel neglected, that their issues are addressed,” Makki said.
Makki expressed her condolences for George Floyd’s family and is “saddened by the state of what’s happening” in the U.S. She also condemned the individuals causing destruction. (RELATED: Patel: The First Steps To Fixing America)
“No one should want to incite violence and it has become more than just violence,” Makki emphasized. “It’s going after our national treasures, burning them down, and that’s just something very heartbreaking for every American to see.”
The Florida primary election is scheduled for August 18.