Editor: I am an American, a Virginian, a strong mother and wife, and like many of you, a local farmer. I am an active and engaged member of my small community, an informed citizen, and a patriot. I am your neighbor, the volunteer at your kid’s school and a fellow small business owner. As all of these things, I can no longer stay silent about the events that have transpired since I awoke on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016.
On that day, I decided that I can no longer remain quiet, no longer a passive voter; instead I must become an active voice in our democracy. I chose to stand up for those who are being marginalized and discriminated against, to stand up to represent the multitudes of Americans who mourn the loss of respect for our fellow human beings and a civil discourse. Now, it is our responsibility to seize the opportunity to shape the debate together and decide what we all want our nation to look like rather than have this determined for us by a small portion of voters.
We need to find common decency in our country again. We need to stand up now and push for true American values like equality for all, a free and accepting society in which to pursue our own version of happiness, and the right to build our own American dream.
Many of you, like me, have never been politically active before, never attended a town hall or called your state delegate to voice an opinion, but now in the face of the loss of our nation’s morals, values, and integrity, we must all stand together and say no, not on our watch, and never be silent again.
Tia Walbridge, Round Hill