STATE SENATE CANDIDATE FOR THE 10TH DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA.
I am running for State Senate in Virginia's 10th District.
For far too long, Virginia has been wrought with politicians who prioritize their personal interests over the interests of everyday families, political gridlock in our General Assembly, and systemic inequities in our system. I believe we can do better. I am running for State Senate because it’s time for a change.
Like many of you, my vision for the future is inspired by my family and our history. My grandfather was raised in North Carolina, born into a working class family. He dreamed of going to college and law school. That never happened. Instead, he enlisted in MacArthur’s army and went on to fight in the Pacific. Three years later he returned home, became a carpenter, went to school on the G.I. bill, married my grandmother, and established his position in the middle-class of America.
He understood the importance of democracy and instilled in me the duties and responsibilities we hold as citizens. He taught me to love the history and culture of a nation which was founded on the principle of self-government and the belief that “all people are created equal.”
However, as a nation, we have not always upheld this fundamental creed. At many times in our history, it has taken the efforts of individuals to ensure we reach our highest potential. From Selma to Stonewall, it has taken tremendous courage, resolve, and conviction to secure this basic principle: that the liberties granted to all Americans under our Constitution apply to everyone. My grandfather inspired me to be a part of this progress, and encouraged me to dedicate my life to the service of others.
I spent my freshman year of college working with an organization to civically engage students in local government. I traveled to inner-city schools and taught kids about the importance of democratic participation. As a class, we lobbied members of the state legislature to pass a bill aimed at improving youth relationships with local police. We wanted to try and prevent the tragedies that we see in our country far too often.
Afterwards, I immediately went to work for an environmental non-profit organization called Kiss The Ground. I became a community organizer with the Zero Waste Coalition to help pass a monumental piece of environmental legislation. From there, I went on to become a ranking member on a Legislative and Political Affairs Committee. I worked with an LGBT organization to fight for equal protection under the law. I also became Development Director for my local chapter of Camp Kesem, which is a non-profit organization that provides a week-long summer camp to kids whose parents are suffering from cancer. We raised over $30,000 dollars and put on our first camp this past August.
Throughout my life, I’ve learned what it takes to lead. It takes dedication, patience, respect, diligence, and above all, it takes a willingness to listen. It takes all of us. “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
I know what it means to serve. I know what it means to get things done. And I know that for Virginia’s 10th district, it’s time for a change. It’s time for a government that works for everyone. It’s time for progress.