Natalie James, is the second youngest child of Charlotte James, an elementary school teacher of 34 years, and Roy James, an Insurance Broker, Community Advocate, and Pastor. Her parent's lives taught her the value of hard work, helping others, and having a servant's spirit.
As a kid, she spent her weekends helping her dad at their family store and Little Rock staple, Uncle T's. Across the street she watch McIntosh's memorial to the young people that fell victim to violent crime grow to an alarming rate. This image stuck with her over the years as she realized the memorial was not only a tribute to the fallen, but a testament to what happens when a society doesn't provide basic needs to its citizens. It wasn't just violence that expanded that memorial. It was lack of healthcare including mental health. It was lack of access to a basic education. It was lack of access to jobs that paid a living wage.
Natalie spent her formative years in Little Rock public schools and University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she saw first hand the discrepancies in public funding and how they affect the education of our young people even in the same school district. Not one to be deterred she found opportunities to expand her mind and fill in the gaps by involving herself in extracurricular activities like sports and student government.
In 2015, Natalie started her career as a Realtor and used her new occupation to drive her passion for helping families obtain stable and affordable homes. Using her space of influence to teach the importance financial stability in communities often left behind. She made it her mission to help Arkansans accomplish its first step in the American Dream.
In 2020, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. appointed Natalie to the City of Little Rock Land Bank Commission. The Land Bank's mission mandate is to find owners for blighted properties in Little Rock to improve neighborhoods and get them back on the tax rolls. These properties are often in neglected communities. It has been Natalie's pleasure helping bring these communities back.
In 2021, the President of the Little Rock Branch of the NAACP appointed James to serve as Chair of the Branch Political Action Committee. In this role, James repeatedly defended attacks on women's healthcare, voting rights, LGBTQ Arkansans, Small Business owners, criminal justice reform. As a champion for criminal justice reform, she led unsuccessful efforts during the Arkansas 93rd General Assembly to hold law enforcement officers accountable and to end qualified immunity in the wake of tragic police killings across the country.
She sought to make sense of it all.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense."
During the social unrest of the summer of 2020, She took an active role in bridging the gap of communication between communities of color, local police department, and local elected leaders. These events let her know that it was her time to serve & help others make sense of it all.
Natalie wants to take her commitment, dedication, grit, advocacy for justice and equality for all to the nations' capital. As our U.S. Senator, she will use her position to support values such as expanding access to affordable health care, advocating for a living wage, supporting legislation that ends big money in politics, move our nation forward on addressing the climate crisis, support legislation that will invest in our public education system, while restoring hope and trust in our government. We can make our society better so the memorial she saw as a child can be a thing of the past.