We are now 53 days away from the election, and I am pounding the pavement every day to reach voters.
I've taken a leave of absence from work so that I can put my full attention on the campaign. My kids know not to expect me for dinner most nights. My parents have come in from out-of-state to help bridge the gap.
Y'all. This is hard.
What's also hard is the financial reality of this race. While MILLIONS of dollars are being poured into campaigns to help Democrats take control of the General Assembly, we (like most of the other candidates running in rural districts), are not receiving any direct financial support from the Democratic Party of Virginia or the House Democratic Caucus.
They have made a strategic decision to prioritize a handful of races they believe are most likely to win control of the state legislature. That's important.
But what's also important is that we support the Democrats running everywhere in the Commonwealth -- even (and especially) the tough races.
It's a chicken-and-egg problem. We can't run a competitive race without funding. And it's hard to get funding if you're not deemed a competitive race.
Help us end the cycle that keeps rural Virginia districts in Republican hands. We have a chance RIGHT NOW to show that we are here, we are serious, and we are worth fighting for.
Will you show your support by making a contribution of $10, $20, $50 or $100? The amount we raise this weekend will determine whether we can order a full run of yard signs (about $5,000), or whether we have to cut back to selected neighborhoods.
With much gratitude,
PS -- I want to share a friend's Facebook post below. On the hardest of days, I think about why I need to keep going. This sums it up better than I ever could. I hope it inspires you like it inspires me.
In thinking about immigration and all the abuses currently occurring; in thinking about child advocacy, and conversations around trauma, special education, foster care policy, and really any sort of advocacy ever--here are some things I've learned from the trenches, and from watching other people's fights:
Having conversations in public to publicize patterns occurring in private
Being shot down the first (few) time(s) you suggest a new idea or practice, and building that into your process
Gathering a little more information with each defeat or rejection about what you need to make your case compelling
Changing public perceptions slowly by talking out loud, in accessible ways, about an issue that people might not know about
Getting kicked in the teeth and eating dirt 9 times before you have a measurable success
Long, slow, and often discouraging or thankless work
But we persist:
Because those experiencing the problem may not know they are part of a bigger pattern, or might not know there is policy that should protect them, or may not have the knowledge or resources or safety to fight for themselves
Because the things that matter are worth fighting for
Because advocacy is never wasted, even when it looks like it
Because every time you ask for something that doesn't yet exist, it plants the seed that maybe it should
Because every defeat gives more information about motives and what evidence would be compelling for your next attempt
Because each time you talk about it publicly, you change the conversation around it, and shape public perception
Because staying silent is simply not an option