By Kellen Squire
Two years ago, you let me stand with you during my run for the House of Delegates, and together, we built a grassroots movement that caused the Virginia GOP to spend almost $500,000 to fight us off. That support was key in ensuring wins in every corner of the Commonwealth, where fifteen races were decided by a razor thin margin of less than 5%- and now, 400,000 working Virginia families have access to health insurance because of it.
That was you. Your support, for our race and the others across the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2017, enabled us to improve the lives of every single Virginian. It was a stunning example of the amazing power the Netroots has in pushing our country forward.
But there is still so much work left to do to build a Virginia that works for everyone.
That’s why I’m going to ask you to let me stand with you once again, because I am running for Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We’re now in a once-in-a-generation election cycle, a transformative time that will be more consequential than any in the past 50 years in Virginia. I believe the decisions being made in the next few years will determine the next hundred. The challenges ahead must be addressed if the Commonwealth is to continue forging a path forward for its people.
I know what the results will be if we’re not prepared to face those challenges. As a nurse, there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t feel the impact of a government that doesn’t work for its people. The consequences real people face because of issues that have not been adequately prepared for by politicians in Richmond. They don’t do enough, they don’t know enough, and they think that it’s okay to sacrifice your future for short-term results.
We need someone to run for lieutenant governor who is willing to use the bully pulpit to fight unapologetically for working Virginia families. Who’ll push relentlessly for the forward-thinking, progressive policies that will see us through any challenge ahead. Who will go to every holler and hill, every school and farmhouse, every zip code, and listen to the people- not just wait for their turn to talk, to spit out a meticulously focus-grouped soundbite, but listen. Really listen. Then take those concerns to Richmond and fight to fix them, once and for all.
That’s exactly what I intend to do.
I love my job in the emergency department, helping my community in its times of need, but I know that we can’t just be constantly “pulling people out of the river” – we need to go upstream and see who is pushing them in. And I believe that state level government is where I have the chance to make the biggest impact.
So I’m running for lieutenant governor, because we cannot wait to make that impact any longer. Instead, I will prove that lieutenant governor is more than just a stopping point for political insiders on their way up the ladder, that no office should be out of reach for any Virginian willing to fight hard enough to get there. But that means we have to start now.
It also means we have to start by looking at 2019, and the legislative elections that will determine the control of the House of Delegates and Senate for the next two to four years. We can keep up our run of statewide victories and still be stymied in fighting for everyday Virginians if we don’t have a legislature that’s willing to put in the hard work.
Which is why I’m going to tell you something here that no other politician would dare to tell you in their announcement email… but, then again, I’m not like any other politician.
If we want to ensure that communities across the Commonwealth have stability in an increasingly unstable time, then the House of Delegates and Senate must be priorities this fall.
Give your support to Sheila Bynum-Coleman, the mother of a gun violence survivor and a child with special needs, who is taking the fight to the man responsible for listening to the NRA and adjourning the Virginia House of Delegates after only ninety minutes’ debate on gun violence.
Let Missy Cotter-Smasal know you have her back. A mom and veteran from Virginia Beach, she started a petition to make sure the kids in her community had safer schools, and then organized thousands of other concerned parents to make sure it got done.
Stand beside Buta Biberaj, who is leading the charge for criminal justice reform statewide by pushing to make Loudoun County a model in what fixing inequities in everything from cash bail to the school-to-prison pipeline looks like.
The true hallmark of a leader is whether they can train and equip people to succeed- and I intend to do just that.
If you believe in an economy that gives everyone a chance at a good job, in an education system that lifts every child up to their full potential, in protecting a woman’s right to choose, in a Green New Deal, in protecting the civil rights of every person regardless, in tearing down institutionalized racism, in improving government responsiveness, and in the importance of elected leaders that listen to and care about their constituents- then I want you to stand with me in supporting these candidates, to reclaim the House of Delegates, State Senate, and local offices across the Commonwealth- and then charge relentlessly forward with to 2020 and 2021.
Join us, and let’s bring progress to Virginia- together.
Kellen Squire, RN