(Every month, the HDC newsletter features a Two Cents Column. This month, we are sharing the Two Cents of our two House Candidates: Morgan Goodman from the 55th District, and Kevin Washington from the 97th District. These are two great exciting candidates. We think you’ll like their Two Cents.)

Winning your Race

By Kevin Washington

I am pleased and truly honored to have the opportunity to represent you as your candidate for delegate for the 97th District. During the past few months, I have been able to meet residents from all walks of life, various professions, diverse ethnicities, and a wide range of socioeconomic status.

This election is about providing these many people a voice. Protecting Virginians with common-sense gun legislation, funding early childhood education, providing access to rural broadband facilities and so much more is on the line this November.

The 97th District, which encompasses much of Hanover east of U.S. 301, is an area ripe for change. It might seem to some as an opportunity of a lifetime, but an opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity. At a time when the opposition is looking to silence your voice and disenfranchise voters, you must fight harder than ever. With the 30-day mark quickly approaching, we must be diligent and determined to create an environment where everyone is valued.

This is your race! This is your chance to effect change. This is your chance to have your voices heard. This is your chance for both equity and equality. I have committed to fighting as hard as I can, and I am determined to leave it all on the field! Together, as a team, we will win.

It will absolutely take each and every one of us running this race together. November 5 is about your voice being heard. It is about having a representative in the General Assembly who will be an extension of you. We are in the final leg of this race. Do not weary or grow tired. Call someone and tell them to stay motivated. Pick up someone up and take them canvassing. Get a couple of friends together and phone bank. You have exactly what it takes to win your race. You are exactly what the 97th District needs. You are the change that everyone has so patiently been waiting for. This election is about winning your race.

Team, I am calling the play: From now until November 5, commit to telling five people every day that Kevin Washington is running for House of Delegates in the 97th District. When you are at work, a church, a gas station, a grocery store, a fast-food joint — everywhere you go — explain why you are voting and encourage them to do the same. Just find five people a day and tell them. Tell them why this is their race. Run YOUR RACE and watch the amazing results.

Proud Democrat

by Morgan Goodman

Somebody asked me the other day when I knew I was a Democrat, and I will admit that I didn’t have an “aha” moment about that. It has always been the party that my belief system lined up with. My moral compass has pointed me to the party that wants to help people, regardless of their gender, race, religion, nationality, or who they love. I am proud to be a Democrat. I am proud to fight for environmental protection, equal rights, and an economy that works for everyone, not just an elite few. And I am proud to run for House of Delegates as a Democrat in a “red” district.

With everything that has been happening in the news, including the Republican call for citizens who aren’t happy to just leave the country, I did have an “aha” moment that came to mind. I remember the moment I decided that it was more important to stand up and fight for the change you believe in than to give up because you don’t like the way things are.

I was in college and having a conversation with another student, a friend of mine, who wasn’t happy about the state of the government and the degradation of our environment and trampling of our human rights. He said he wanted to move to Europe after college to get away from a system that he believed too broken to fix. And that’s when it happened, at that moment I realized that I didn’t have it in me to turn my back on the problems we faced, but stand up and fight to make this country better.

Criticizing the United States and acknowledging the problems we face does not make us un-American and it does not mean we love this country less. I am running for office because I love where I live AND because I think it could be better. I love the school my kids go to and all of the staff, but I also know that teachers deserve fair pay and the school infrastructure needs investment. Virginia has always been my home and I love it, but it isn’t perfect. We have a long way to go towards equal rights, a fair electoral system, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, and so many other issues that voters tell me at their doors. That’s why I am running for office, because I love this commonwealth and I love this country, and I want to make it a better place. We need legislators that will listen, and if they are out of touch then they need to be out of office.

Don’t listen to the calls saying you should leave if you aren’t happy with the status quo. If you don’t feel represented and you don’t like the way things are then stand up, speak up, and show up on Election Day.