It’s time for District 15 to be well-represented in our Virginia Legislature. I will always put the good of our people over party politics.
My Virginia roots go back to a signer of the Declaration of Independence and two presidents, so you could say the calling to public service runs in my blood. While I feel a deep connection to the past, the challenges of modern life have required me to face the future with a combination of courage, ingenuity, creativity and determination.
My story may sound familiar. I was raised in a traditional nuclear family, so I was blindsided by a sudden divorce and the accompanying stress and financial anxiety of raising two small children alone. My family went from giving assistance to needing assistance, and that is a hard and humbling transition for any family to make. We struggled through job loss, near-bankruptcy caused by the Great Recession, lack of health care coverage, and life-threatening illness, but we never gave up. We never stopped believing that together, with the support of our community, our family could triumph. I want every family in the 15th District to know that if they elect me to the House of Delegates, they will have an advocate who understands their struggles working tirelessly on their behalf so that they may triumph, too.
Supporting Children and Families
When my closest childhood friend committed suicide, my life reached another turning point. I realized the difference that mental health counseling makes, and utilizing my degree in developmental psychology, I pursued a career in health education with a focus on teenagers. I’ve seen firsthand the life-changing impact that quality education and unconditional support and care can have on at-risk youth and young adults. I’ve seen education change lives. I’ve also seen the damage that pain, fear, addiction and poverty can inflict on families, and the critical difference that strong community support systems can make. As your Delegate, I will fight to make sure your children get the quality public education they deserve. I will protect your right to affordable health care coverage, fight to expand access to life-saving mental health resources, and provide much-needed support for families struggling with the consequences of addiction.
Fighting for Equal Rights
Last summer, the world shifted beneath me again and set my feet on the path of this campaign. I had always assumed that women’s equality was constitutionally protected. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was never ratified, and that this year Virginia had the opportunity to be the 38th and final state required to make that happen. This discovery spurred me to join a nonpartisan, grassroots movement to compel the General Assembly to ratify the ERA, which has the support of 81% of Virginians. I cannot convey to you the shock I felt as I watched Delegate Todd Gilbert cavalierly block this popular effort. He literally prevented more than 160 million American women from gaining constitutionally-guaranteed equal rights. I knew then that someone had to bring his long tenure to an end. I looked around and realized that someone would be me. If you elect me to the House of Delegates, I will fight to enshrine equality for all in our Constitution.
The Road Ahead
Todd Gilbert has not faced a general election challenger in ten years, a fact which has allowed him to amass more than a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funding from big money donors, corporations, special interests, and PACs like Dominion Energy, LoanMax, big telecom, and big tobacco. In the past, potential challengers may have been intimidated by his questionable political tactics and his piles of corporate cash, but after all I’ve been through in my life, after all the challenges I’ve faced and the obstacles I’ve overcome, there is very little left that can intimidate me. Let me take that fearlessness and put it to work for you and your family in Richmond. Vote for me on November 5. Together we can change lives and make history.