Each week, I sit down to write you a letter and tell you a little bit about what's happening in my life, what I'm seeing on the campaign trail, and why I'm fighting to make things better.
Today, I want to talk about the kids in our community.
We have a surge of new kids coming into foster care, stretching our social workers to the breaking point.
We have kids eating out of dumpsters, and property managers stonewalling efforts to bring them food.
We have kids with diagnosed special needs who are not getting the support services they are legally-mandated to receive.
We have kids that are on the verge of adulthood, who have never lived in a stable home for more than a year at a time.
These are not abstract cases -- these are specific examples brought to my attention over the last week. (I can't say more because of privacy concerns.)
It's so easy to think that politics is a game, that it doesn't really matter. But our elected officials make (or don't make) the laws that impact us in every important way:
Do we invest in our social workers, so that they have the skills and training to deal with the situations they witness every day?
Do we raise the minimum wage, so that parents working 40 hours a week are able to make ends meet, get adequate rest, and spend time raising their children?
Do we hold slumlords accountable, so that families have access to safe, affordable housing that meets the required regulations and codes?
Do we prioritize mental healthcare, recognizing that families need more than just physical well-being to thrive, and that for too long we're overlooked the generational effects of stress and trauma?
Do we fund our public schools and hire enough psychologists, special education teachers, social workers and guidance counselors, so that teachers can focus on teaching?
Where is our current Delegate on these issues? Where are the tough calls she's made in favor of our kids? In the 20 years she's been in elected office, where is her leadership?
It's time for change.
If you believe there are no "other people's kids" -- that we must fight for all of them, then please help us today. Support our campaign with a contribution of $10, $20, $50 or $100.
It's going to take each and every one of us to overcome the political inertia in our District. But together, we can win.