Shamaine Daniels arrived in America in a moment of crisis.
She left Venezuela as a teenager with her family in 1991, amid a wave of violent protest against government corruption and abuses from law enforcement — and shortly before a failed coup attempt in the South American nation.
“While we were middle-class and for the most part had a good life, there was also a lot of instability,” remembers Daniels, now 43. “My parents eventually made the choice to pursue a better life for me and my brothers in Philadelphia.”
In the decades since, Daniels pursued the American dream, earning a law degree from the University of Cincinnati, rising to prominence as a nationally recognized immigration attorney and, ultimately, finding her voice in local politics.
Now, America is itself at a crossroads and so is Daniels.
In November, the Democrat who’s served three terms as a Harrisburg city council member will face off against incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, the York County Republican who’s among the most prominent figures involved in challenging the 2020 election.
“I have a record of solving problems,” Daniels said, in a recent interview, “and I think that’s what voters are interested in this fall.”