By Amanda Pohl
My name is Amanda Pohl and I am a candidate in the 11th Senatorial District, seeking the Democratic nomination. I am a strong supporter of equal rights for all people. I’m joined by the 81% of Virginians who support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and 24 senators who came together across the aisle to pass the resolution this week. As her constituent, I am concerned that my current state senator, elected to represent me and all constituents in her district, would ignore the interests of Virginians in the 11th District and across the commonwealth.
I could refute Senator Chase’s recent anti-Equal Rights Amendment op-ed point by point, but this work has already been done by VA Ratify ERA. Every one of her points has already been debunked as false and yet she continues to stay on message to score political points with her friends while neglecting the needs of her constituents.
We need a change in this senate seat come November. As a mom of two daughters, I want those two daughters to have identical treatment under the law. The promise of equality is something America was founded on, yet struggles to live up to even today. This is the 400th anniversary of when the first English and African women arrived in Virginia. It’s time for us to be on the right side of history and end discrimination on the basis of sex.
We all know that women have made some incredible strides without an ERA, but that doesn’t make the ERA irrelevant. We accomplished what we did in spite of discrimination, harassment, and worse. Our job, as the generation in leadership roles, is to lighten that burden for our children. I don’t want my daughters to face the same kind of obstacles I did to get to where I am. It is a shame our current senator is content with this status quo.
This is not the first time our senator has been out of touch with the people of the district. She voted against Medicaid expansion, refused to end conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth, and has done nothing in her nearly four-year term to better equip our public schools to educate all students regardless of where they live, what they look like, or what their ability. One school district she represents had to hold a paper drive last year for copy paper because they couldn’t afford it in their budget. This is appalling. Our teachers and our schools and our students deserve better. Our community deserves better.
We need to look to the future of our community and our entire district. In that future, no one dies because they can’t afford to see a doctor, everyone has access to high quality public education, and our local economy builds the middle class and protects our natural resources with increased green jobs. These are all things we can accomplish, but you need a different Amanda for that.
Amanda Pohl is a state senate candidate in the 11th District. You can learn more about her at www.pohlforvirginia.com.
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