To the Editor:

We need change in Richmond. I believe that change is voting Juanita Jo Matkins into office.  

Living in the richest country in the world, we should all have the opportunity to become prosperous.  That’s not what we have right now. The evidence of this is the vast disparity between the billionaire class and the many who work more than one job and still can’t afford the basics. Something is not working and it’s not because people are lazy.

 It’s because a lack of education, especially in early childhood, can prevent a person from obtaining the necessary tools to succeed.  It’s because poor health and medical emergencies can destroy a family’s savings and cause them to lose their home. It’s because too many jobs do not pay a living wage. The children suffer the most and the cycle continues.

Having to choose between medicine, food and housing puts a person in a situation none of these proud billionaires (who claim to have made it on their own) would be able to extricate themselves from. 

And yet some members of the House of Delegates and Senate voted last winter against bills designed to alleviate this situation, both in the areas of health care and education. Instead they voted for House Bills 1027 and 2260 and Senate Bill 1674, all of which undermine health insurance by allowing insurance companies to insure healthier people separately. Those healthy people aren’t always going to be so healthy.  Then what?

 These members also voted against expanding access to pre-k education, where inequality starts, as well as against providing additional funding to low-income school districts in order to close achievement gaps. (House Bill 1700-136 #3h and #10h) 

We need a delegate who believes we can all prosper if we have access to the tools.  Vote for Juanita Jo Matkins.  She has been in the trenches.  Having taught school for 20 years in Louisa County, she has seen promise die in young minds for lack of needed supports. She knows what would have prevented these tragedies. She will work for solutions to these problems and move us toward a society that works for all of us. 

Sara Macel