While nurses account for one out of every forty voters in the United States, they are often nowhere to be found in the corridors of power in our country. Considering the role nurses play on the front lines of the issues facing everyday folks across the country — from healthcare, to the opioid crisis, and even to institutional poverty and racism. This is a sad state of affairs. As a nurse myself, I can tell you from experience that our entire job is advocating for the best interests of the folks we serve — and doing that against all odds. So, seeing nurses in public office has a deeply personal meaning for me.
My friend Dawn Adams won her seat last fall in Richmond, Virginia, by the barest of margins – about three hundred votes. And she did it with the best “bang for the buck” of any campaign in Virginia, spending the least amount per vote of ANY winning race. She ran a back-to-basics, no frills campaign; one of the more amazing combinations of campaign discipline AND wearing her heart on her sleeve that I’ve ever seen.
The first time I met Dawn, at a candidate training in Richmond, she told us all the story about the struggles she faced coming out to her family; the discrimination she and her partner have dealt with over the past fifteen years they’ve been together… and then she made everyone in the room break into tears as she pledged that as long as she was in Richmond, she’d do everything in her power to make sure nobody had to go through what she did.
So I suppose it’s not surprising in the least that the Virginia GOP has become completely unhinged in their attempts to go after Dawn. A lesbian nurse beat their favorite son, someone the Democratic Party had only bothered to challenge once in ten years?! With almost no money?! In a race even the DPVA insinuated was unwinnable?! Oh, man. Unhinged doesn’t even begin to describe their breakdown.
They didn’t wait a single day after Dawn was elected to go after her. Though Dawn is on the front lines of the healthcare crisis here in Virginia (which exists at all thanks to an intransigent Republican legislature who cared more about thumbing their nose at President Obama than the health of their constituents), the GOP House leadership went out of their way to make sure she wasn’t in any committee or steering group even tangentially related to healthcare.
And it wasn’t just health care; oh, no, that would’ve been too subtle by half. You see, Dawn’s work as a nurse practitioner is caring for patients who have developmental disabilities; making sure that they and their caregivers have health information, preventative services (such as mobility assessments), can access equipment repair/maintenance, dental care, etc, etc. So the (Republican) folks in the Virginia General Assembly made sure she wasn’t allowed near any committees having to do with education, or special needs, or any of the other related areas she has first-hand experience in.
Nope. They put her on the Guns and Militia subcommittee. Don’t tell me you can’t see their smug little faces now, chortling to one another jovially, “We’ll put her on the GUNS subcommittee, and then we’ll jab it in her eye when she runs again in 2019!” Consequently, too, the Republicans gave Dawn ZERO wins on her bills.
Oh, but that’s not all! They’ve been relentlessly attacking her personally, too – the VA GOP’s most recent ditty sneering about her “cushy” job as a nurse practitioner, from their Twitter account. Yup! You read that right. Not only do they kneecap our citizens’ ability to access affordable healthcare in their own communities, they also attack the very folks doing their level best to PROVIDE that care nonetheless, those nurses with their cushy jobs. Hey, in the age of Trump, as long as you’re attacking someone with a “D” in front of their name, anything you do is a-okay, amirite?
The people of the Commonwealth of Virginia deserve better. And the people of the 68th district can count themselves as extremely lucky to have better with Dawn Adams as their legislator.
Want to keep the Virginia GOP screaming with impotent rage, as they get outfoxed at every turn, no matter how much money they spend? Donate to Dawn today. Every single dollar Dawn raises goes a long way towards powering Dawn’s advocacy for each and every one of her constituents – and she has a track record of success to prove it!
Let’s keep showing the GOP the power of the Netroots, and what we can accomplish as we bring progress, together!