Supporting Tom Steyer

Published 8:30 pm Monday, February 24, 2020

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To the editor:

I’m a veteran, recovering from lupus, a single mother of three boys, a small business owner, and currently surviving homelessness, and if I can summarize in one sentence, I’m living the reasons and conditions that have inspired Tom Steyer to run for president.

This year, being a voter takes on another meaning. As a voter that’s a woman, a voter of color, a voter with a small business, a voter with three sons with brown skin like mine. I’m a voter who’s served her country, a voter who struggles with health care and homelessness due to lupus, I realize that like many voters, it’s easy to be included in sound bytes, even easier to be included in stump speeches, and inevitable to be left out of the solutions.

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I’m looking for solutions like the People Over Profits Economic Agenda. Tom believes in breaking the corporate stranglehold on government, investing in people and innovation. As a small business owner, that means something to me.

I’m looking for solutions that benefit my hometown of Hampton. We may not be a big city, but we have a big reason to look forward to Tom’s plan to invest an unprecedented $125 billion in federal resources to HBCUs like Hampton University, where graduates are having unprecedented success and influence all over Virginia and throughout our country.

I’m looking for solutions from a president I know sees me. Tom’s plan to address affordable housing means something to me, because he’s willing to address homelessness and the need to improve and increase the supply of affordable housing.

Politics may simply be politics. But when it’s your kids being thrown up against the wall, or four times more likely to be stopped or arrested, politics can be painful.

I’m grateful, and I’m genuinely appreciative of a candidate that has invested his own time, his own money, his own energy into communities that look like mine, in businesses that look like mine, in a changing climate that needs to be changed like mine.

We all want the best for our children, because that’s what they deserve. But for the last four years, the best has seemed a ways off. Mediocrity seems a fantasy, and instead we’ve been stuck with a juvenile approach to our country’s issues. As a mother and a veteran, I have a problem with temper tantrums, alternative facts, obstructing Congress, and abuse of power. Those are not the reasons I committed to serve my country.

That behavior is a distraction while homeless veterans are simply labeled as homeless, small businesses are simply labeled as small, communities of color are simply labeled for their color and our problems are simply labeled as our own.

Tom has made these problems his priority, before he asked for a vote, before he got on a debate stage, before he had to apologize for old ways of doing business, before he had learn to empathize with other communities. I choose Tom.

This letter was adapted from King’s speech from the Blue Commonwealth Gala as a surrogate for Steyer.

Nakisha Graves King