By Beverly Gadson-Birch
Jade Simmons, a graduate of St. Andrew’s High School, has decided to enter the 2020 Presidential race as an unaffiliated independent. After graduating from high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Music (Piano) from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and a master’s degree from Rice University, Houston, Texas. Jade is the daughter of Civil Rights Activist Jerome Smalls and Loretta, a former Administrative Assistant to a dean at the Citadel. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Jahrell Simmons and they have two children. Jade is a world-renowned pianist and has performed with the Dallas Symphony in Meyerson Symphony Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Ravinia, New York’s Town Hall, Seattle’s Meany Hall and Detroit’s Institute of Art. She has performed at the White House and the Supreme Court. Jade’s career is multidimensional. In addition to her career as a classical pianist, she is in great demand as a speaker, coach, and author. She was named best keynote speaker of 2019 (Northstar Meetings) and again in 2020 (Big Speak). Jade travels the world speaking and performing for audiences spreading her trademark message of transformation and purpose translated in multiple languages.
Jade briefly considered becoming a lawyer. She did not believe the courtroom would satisfy her intense desire to help others, seek justice and effect changes. It was at this crossroad in her life, Jade decided politics would provide a clearer path forward to work on fundamental changes and unite “We, the People.”
Jade is in town collecting signatures on her petition to ensure a place on the ballot and on to becoming the first female President. Jade needs 10,000 signatures from South Carolina registered voters to be placed on the ballot. Jade said although there are long standing disparities between races, she will be a president for all people.
I asked Jade, why President? Why not Mayor or Governor? She responded, “the trajectory of politics in this country is determined from the top down; the current climate validates this is the time for responsible leadership at the top. It is time for a new voice and a new direction that is inclusive of all people.” She said she plans to steer America on a path to greater opportunities. Jade is focused and clear about her mission. When asked why she decided to enter the race, she responded to do something different, provide voters with more options, offer hope to the American people, improve the quality of life, provide opportunities for economic development and offer students a diversified and first class education.
When asked about her political background and platform, Jade excitedly responded – she wishes to put forth a completely new paradigm that addresses economics, affordable health care, homelessness, education and repairing relationships with US allies and foreign countries.
And how is Jade preparing herself for the complexities of the office? Jade said she is often asked that question. She said she is meeting and talking with advisors in advance, collaborating with chief decision makers and experts in their field and surrounding herself with the greatest communicators and negotiators ever, and creative persons with proven track records.
Jade is convinced that the next leader of this country must be completely non-partisan. Her vision for the American people is clear. There will not be a skewed agenda Jade is a mover and shaker which is evident by the many hats she wears. She launched a movement entitled, Operation Restoration 2020, to create the unity and restoration she believes many Americans are seeking. Her objectives include restoring integrity to the White House protecting the American people with emphasis on military preparedness and ensuring young people are prepared to meet the challenges of a highly competitive and technologically driven world.
Jade said in choosing the next President, it is important that “we know how our leaders will lead by looking at how they have lived.”