by Boyd Walker, Environmental Activist
It is almost time for new census numbers to come out and change the way we see our region. The 11th congressional district of Virginia has been represented by Gerry Connolly for the 10 years since the last census, when the district was 60% white and had far fewer immigrants then now. Now it is 50% people of color and %30 immigrants. We can see the changes in places like Herndon, Vienna and Fairfax city that are in the 11th district. That’s why I think it is time to elect someone who will better reflect the district and the change it has seen.
And this is not just because Zainab Mohsini is a refugee, originally from Afghanistan, who settled with her family in this area in the 2000’s. It is because her views on racial justice, police reform, reproductive rights, and a Green New Deal reflects the kind of representation that we need now in Congress. She worked her way through college and understands working people and will fight for them. This moment requires someone who understands intersectionality. To quote her website “Politicians must acknowledge that racism, classism and climate change are linked together.”
As a climate activist I see the absolute urgency of action. This means not just voting for resolutions but for the legislation that will make sure we reduce carbon in our atmosphere. We also must support candidates who do not take money from utility companies, and can look clearly at the problem. We can not have elected officials who play it safe and settle for incremental change. As Zainab says “We need to pass ambitious legislation that prepares our society for a better future.”
For those who say she is not ready, or she should run for a lower office or wait her turn, I say now is exactly the time when we need change, and we need it quickly. We need new people in Congress because the old ways of doing things are not moving things fast enough in the directions we need to go. We all know our government is not working for us, so now is exactly the time to elect someone who will.