The following is by Irina Khanin, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, a child advocate attorney “who grew up in an authoritarian country — where personal freedoms were severely limited and political dissent could lead to financial and personal devastation” and who “is deeply concerned about preserving our constitutional rights.” Khanin is running in the special election for House of Delegates in HD29 (Frederick County, Winchester, Warren County), which is a “red” district that would be far better served by Khanin than by her Republican opponent. Good luck tomorrow!
Here it is, my final pitch for tomorrow’s election:
We need to work together – all of us — to make a better district, and I’m not just the candidate who will make this happen – I’m also the only candidate with an interest in making this happen.
All the progress we have made in the past decade as a district has been despite the delegate elected to represent us. Our delegates here have left us standing still. We have, in essence, been entering the 21st century with one hand tied behind our back. It’s time for that to end. It’s time for our government to work with and for us.
My opponent has run a campaign exploiting national issues to make you hate each other. Trust me, I get it. This has been the strategy that has won this district for a decade. Weaponize the suspicion we have toward each other in the darkest recesses of our souls and turn us against one another.
But there’s no honor in that, and certainly no progress. I am not willing to be that candidate, and it’s not the representative I intend to be. The division isn’t making us better people – it’s making us worse. Signs are stolen in each cycle. Social media is filled with endless invective against the “other side.” People are even refusing to wear masks because endangering public health has become an ideological stance.
It also hasn’t made our district better. Our healthcare infrastructure lags – lags – behind the rest of Northern Virginia. Our kids must often use fast-food restaurant wifi to get good service. Many of us spend our lives on the road because our jobs are all in other communities.
The reason for these problems is clear: politicians have exploited our differences to keep our eye off the ball. Why concern yourself with your quality of life when you’re committed to casting a wary eye at your neighbor’s yard signs? This division has kept us weak, angry, and unable to fight for the improved lives we could lead if only we would demand better from our government with one voice.
We have to get past this. If you elect me tomorrow, I will do everything I can to make sure that we do.
So that’s what’s at stake: More division, more hatred, more neighbors against neighbors… or a genuine attempt to create better lives for all of us.
Let’s make progress. Let’s solve our problems together. Let’s work toward making a better Frederick, Warren, and Winchester by creating more and better jobs, providing funding for mental health and addiction services, and bringing us the broadband access we need to be full participants in 21st-century society and economy.
Let’s be neighbors again.
God bless all of you, and God bless America.