When the candidate gets sick...

For the last four days, I've been sick.

I'm the kind of sick where it hurts to move, I can't breathe properly, and people shrink back when they see my blotchy face. I've gone through a 6-pack of Kleenex and have resorted to blowing my noise in toilet paper that I've liberated from the bathroom.

It's just a head cold, but I feel like death is at the doorstep. I know you've been there too.

But as awful as I feel, you know what I haven't been worried about?

  • Losing my job

  • Not being able to pay my bills

  • Being evicted from my home

Why? Because, unlike 41 percent of Virginia workers, I have access to paid sick leave.

While I sit on the couch, surrounded by cough drop wrappers and empty soup bowls, I know that my job will be there on Monday, when I'm back on my feet.

There are 1.2 million workers in Virginia who can't say the same -- and that's something we need to fix.

Paid family leave is something that's been killed in the Republican-held General Assembly for the last two years. It's time to elect leaders who will fight for change.

Of course, along with blowing my nose every two minutes, I've also managed to lose my voice. That means I haven't been able to call donors directly to ask for help with the final six weeks of campaign expenses.

Can you help me catch up by making an online contribution of $10, $20, $50 or $100? My vocal cords will thank you!

Make Your Donation Now

With much gratitude,

PS -- Below, I've copied and pasted the Facebook message I shared on Tuesday night. But what's most important is what happened next. More than a dozen people reached out to me privately behind the scenes, offering to bring soup, watch my kids, drop off more cold medicine, pick up school supplies and dog food, and--above all--reminding me that it takes a village. It does, indeed, and I'm grateful to each and every one of you!

It's been a hell of an evening.

To all the moms who work a full day and then come home to one kid explaining why lunch detention was not really his fault, one kid dying of embarrassment because you are 15 minutes late to the after-school activity pickup line, and another kid with an ear infection that requires an immediate three hour trip to the walk-in clinic (only to discover they are out of the special ear drop medication): I SEE YOU.

When you only have energy to hit the McDonald's drive-through for dinner. When you are fighting your own cold virus, but can't slow down because your kid needs three bottles of liquid glue for science class tomorrow. When you finally get home at 9pm and realize there is no more dog food in the house and wonder if it's okay to feed them leftover tacos from the fridge. I SEE YOU.

I'm fighting for our families, so that an unexpected trip to the walk-in clinic doesn't mean you can't pay your electricity bill. I'm fighting for our schools so that teachers have classroom funding that covers basic supplies.

I'm fighting because some days are tough. And we need leaders who get it.

10,709 more people with health insurance -- that's big news

Last year, Virginia became the latest state to expand Medicaid insurance access. Now, six months into the enrollment period, we're starting to see data come in -- and the news is great for our area.

How great? According to a recent study, 280,000 people have signed up across Virginia, including 10,709 from our area. Here's how that breaks down:

  • 2,397 people in Campbell County

  • 3,771 people in Lynchburg City

  • 2,445 people in Bedford County

  • 2,096 people in Franklin County

That's 10,709 people who can now see a doctor when they are sick, without waiting for it to become an urgent situation requiring a trip to the emergency room.

And because the federal government pays virtually all of the costs of expanding Medicaid, Virginia is now benefiting from a $1.1 Billion injection of federal dollars into our economy.

Add that to the $510 million in expected GDP growth and 3,600 new jobs as a result of better access to healthcare, and we have a win-win situation that's great for the entire Commonwealth.

My opponent (and our current delegate) was vocally against expanding Medicaid, going so far as to predict: "This is a turning point for Virginia."

I hope so.

In this election, we have the opportunity to make Medicaid expansion the first step in a much larger healthcare reckoning: one that includes a comprehensive approach to the opioid crisis, bolstering gaps in our mental healthcare workforce, and addressing rural healthcare access disparities.

My opponent has taken $206,272 from healthcare companies and their executives, and another $62,100 from insurance companies. It's clear where her priorities are.

It's also clear that only one of us is going to fight for affordable access to healthcare that meets the needs in our community.

Please consider supporting our campaign with a contribution of $10, $20, $50or $100.

Make Your Donation Now

If you have already donated to this campaign, thank you! We do a little dance every time a new contribution arrives. That said, would you consider kicking in another few dollars this week?

The end of June is our next financial reporting deadline and we would love to show a wave of grassroots support. Whether you are a new donor or a stalwart cheerleader with a recurring monthly donation, it's going to take all of us to flip this seat.

Toward our collective good health,
Jennifer Woofter

PS: curious about the economic impacts of expanding Medicaid? See all the statistics here.