by Mariam Fikre
I first found out about Tom Perriello almost a decade ago, during the debate over healthcare reform. I was so impressed by how he stayed true to his convictions and voted for the Affordable Care Act, even as a first-term Congressman from a Republican district. Tom had the courage to follow his principles, even if it meant losing his seat. When Tom lost his re-election bid, he said that if the worst thing that happened was him losing his seat, then it was all worth it. At that moment I knew that was not the end of Tom’s political career but rather the beginning. His political courage and integrity to do right above all else was and still is inspiring.
I believe now more than ever that integrity and courage need to be a requirement for political office. As the mother of three young children, I know that if Tom is elected governor, he will have the integrity and courage to live up to his promise of making Virginia a more inclusive state that provides children of all races and backgrounds with equal opportunity to succeed in life. Moreover, I appreciate that Tom has led the conversation on the issues that directly or indirectly impacts all our communities and should matter to all of us, from closing the school to prison pipeline to ending the wage gap.
Just as generations before have fought and died to make life better for all of us, we owe them and future generations to do the same. This moment in history is calling on all of us to rise up to our civic duty and work together to make life better for all of us and we are very fortunate to have a great candidate like Tom who exemplifies the qualities we need to help us achieve that.
This election is not just about the next four years, but the next generation. Each of us is entrusted with the duty and obligation to decide what the future will look like for our children and our children’s children. When so much is at stake, none of us can afford to sit out elections or gamble to elect the wrong candidate who is not up for the task.
On June 13th, I will proudly cast my vote for Tom Perriello. I know he is the bold and progressive candidate we need to keep Virginia moving forward united. If you care about our state and our future is important to you, I urge you to vote for him too so we can all win.
Resident of Alexandria, VA