My mother graduated from Kennedy High School and my father Armstrong High in Richmond in the early 1980’s. They both worked multiple jobs over the years to make ends meet. Despite living paycheck to paycheck they always made sure I had what I needed even if sometimes they had to go without. I was also blessed to grow up with a large extended family who would give help and get help when necessary. Even though they were not political it was my parents and family’s example that led me to become a Democrat. They understood then, and later taught me, that you should lend a had if you can when you can.
While at VCU I started working at a consumer bankruptcy law firm and after graduation became a bankruptcy specialist. The firm’s mission was to help people with respect, understanding and a high level of service. During my time there I helped attorneys stop foreclosures, get repossessed vehicles returned, utilities reconnected, driver’s licences off suspension and much more. I prided myself with helping clients through the bureaucratic process of intake, filing, hearing, and discharge. I also participated in firm outreach which included volunteering with educational programs for young adults for best uses of credit, how to dispute and fix a credit report, household budgeting etc. I was even able to put some of my advocacy skills to use by lobbying the Virginia General Assembly several times in opposition to payday and title lenders, for fair housing practices and a host of other consumer protection issues. And when folks in the city couldn’t afford to get their taxes filed as required, I would direct them to the Treasurer’s office because I knew they would be treated with a high level of customer service.
I have been active with progressive advocacy and the Democratic Party for over 15 years. In that time I have knocked on over 10,000 doors and made even more phone calls for dozens Democratic and progressive candidates. I have served as a Democratic legislative aid in the VA General Assembly. In 2008 I saw the impossible happen, we elected a black president. In the following years I learned change is hard when there is strong opposition and even when folks mostly agree with you.
After the 2016 presidential election I was disheartened; but the Women’s March and other protests across the country have given me hope. President Obama, in his farewell speech said “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself.” I took his words to heart. Cities have to become important centers of resistance against national politics of hate and divisiveness. I believe that my unique background of Democratic activism, consumer protection advocacy and direct constituent services makes me the best candidate for City Treasurer. Together we can work to lift up our neighbors and end the cycle of poverty in Richmond.