We all have defining moments. They shape who we are, what we think, what we believe, and, more importantly, how we respond. While we have these defining moments, it is the role models and people in our lives who impact us the most. For me, it was my mother. She taught all seven of us the importance and power of faith, community, and perseverance in our purpose.
I was born in Brooklyn, NY to immigrant parents from Guyana, South America. They had to build a life from the ground up. As pressures mounted, divorce hit our family, and I left the only community I knew for a brand new life in Virginia. This transition opened my eyes to the complexity of cultures and the basic needs of the human heart. I had to grow up fast and embody the roles needed to help support a strong and deliberate single mother.
Those moments could have stopped me from building a design business and volunteering fifteen years with students, foster kids, and non-profits, but it did not. Instead, they presented a crossroad at which I had to choose to either continue building my vision or fight, so others can build their dreams. I've chosen the road that is as natural to me as breathing - to fight for others.
While volunteering with kids from hard places, I realized my purpose. I cannot see a declining community and just watch, doing nothing. It is my purpose to act and encourage others to do the same. Through watching my mother sew dresses and make shoes and hats for her customers as a child, and later following in her footsteps, I experienced firsthand the struggles that many small business owners face today.
In the America I know and love, anybody, regardless of their background or present circumstances can create a better life for themselves and their family. This nation is and has always been a nation of immigrants who have given life to the beautifully diverse society and economy we all enjoy that is made possible by individual freedoms and free market.
Nowadays, the government itself is too often the biggest obstacle to economic innovation and success. For too long, Washington, D.C. has limited success and opportunity by holding too much control over our own personal, academic, and economic successes.
A strong K-12 education is vital for the future success of every student. But sadly, far too many students in Virginiaâ€™s 4th Congressional District are stuck in failing schools, leaving them at a disadvantage applying for college and jobs later in life. Out of the 88 schools that were denied state accreditation this year, 30 of them are in the 4th Congressional District. And of those 30 unaccredited schools, 19 are located in Richmond. And that is unacceptable!
In order to keep the American Dream alive, it’s time to return that control back where it belongs: back to our local communities and families. And that is why I have decided to seek the Republican nomination for Virginiaâ's 4th Congressional District.
Throughout my campaign, I will focus on policies that will strengthen K-12 education by returning decision-making power back to families and local governments. We have a responsibility to ensure our students have access to a quality education that prepares them for success later in life. And by promoting school choice, alternative education, and apprenticeships, we can begin to address the opportunity gap within our failing education system.
As we prepare our students for success in the workforce, we must also create an economic environment that allows businesses to create jobs for our communities. Small businesses are the heart and soul of our local communities. Out of the 24,000 or so businesses in the 4th District, 98% of them employ less than 100 people. These small businesses employ over half of the 4th District’s entire workforce. So their struggles are our struggles. If they succeed, we all do.
The 4th District deserves a representative in Washington who will fight to empower our communities and our families to chart their own path in achieving the lives they’ve envisioned for their families. That is why I am running for Congress. And if the voters of the 4th District elect me to be their Congresswoman, I promise to fight for each and every one of you.