Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall’s speech this morning at the 2023 VA Women’s Summit was really great. Check out the video and some highlights, below.
- “We’re gonna have a conversation this morning about the words “I can’t” and then the words ‘they better believe.’ Let’s do that.”
- “Over the past couple of years, I have heard the wrong people saying the words ‘I can’t’. I have heard us saying the words ‘I can’t’ much too much. I have heard us saying things like, ‘I can’t believe they wrote back Roe v Wade’. ‘I cannot believe my daughter has less rights than her grandmother had’. Haven’t you heard people say that kind of stuff. ‘I can’t believe they’re messing with our voting rights…I can’t believe they’re banning books…I can’t believe in the purposeful dismanteling of voting’ – really, you can’t believe that?…’I cannot believe the attacks on our LGBTQ sisters, brothers and community’. Haven’t you heard that? ‘I can’t believe that’. ‘I can’t believe they stopped affirmative action but left in place legacy admissions, I can’t believe that, I’m so so shocked at that’. ‘I can’t believe that Black Americans are still incarcerated at 5 times the rate of their White brothers and sisters, I can’t believe that’. ‘I can’t believe that in American history, only 411 women have ever served in the Congress in both houses – I cannot believe’. ‘I can’t believe that Clarence Thomas wants to take away contraception.’ Quite frankly, I can’t believe Clarence Thomas. ‘I can’t believe in the purposeful rewriting of history, I can’t believe that’. But the thing I keep hearing most and we’ve got to work on this, ‘I can’t believe they will vote for Donald Trump again’.”
- “I need you all to know something – your disbelief, your ‘can’t believe’ will leave you immobilized. You can’t function when you can’t believe. They want you to say you can’t believe. Your can’t believe leaves you stuck. Your can’t believe leaves you deactivated. I need some different words to come up from us. I need us to start saying these words – ‘they better believe, they better believe’.”
- “I want to hear this – ‘they better believe we will fight for our reproductive rights …They better believe that we will stand up for our LGBTQ community every single time…They better believe we will fight the censorship of books…They better believe we believe in telling the whole American story, because all of it has to be told – the good, the bad, the ugly. They better believe that we will fight for a justice system that works for every single American and not just some…They better believe we won’t just show up every four years, but we will show up every single year. We will show up for the president’s race, for the governor’s race, for supervisor, for school board, for Commonealth’s Attorney, we will show up every single year, for dog catcher…They better believe that we support our unions, we support our working brothers and sisters…They better believe that we believe in equality and equity and diversity and inclusion. We know the word equity is not a bad word…They better believe that we will register people to vote. And they better believe something else, they better believe that we know the election day in Virginia is 108 days from now and we will be there.”
- “And for me, they better believe that I still have a crew….We are the crew…and will be there…every single time…When the crew votes, we win!”