When I heard that Victoria Virasingh was running to represent Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, I was thrilled! Victoria and I met volunteering with Arlington Democrats, and I was immediately struck by how informed and compassionate she was when addressing the complex challenges facing her community amid an election during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a progressive challenger to a well-liked, wealthy incumbent, I knew that this race would be a tough one for Victoria. Why was I thrilled anyway?
The United States needs change. For far too long, older white men have been our country’s default leaders. Some of them have done a great job, and I’m thankful for their service and value their expertise. However, in our democracy, leaders are supposed to reflect the people they were elected to represent. Congress has made decent progress on this front recently, but if Victoria wins this race, she’ll shatter several remaining glass ceilings as the first Latina, Asian American, and woman to serve in this role. She’s the second woman to ever make it on the ballot for this race, and, if elected, she would also be the youngest to do so.
In many ways, I see myself in Victoria. We are both first-generation college students from low-income backgrounds who, for one reason or another, have been left out of what leadership largely looks like in our country. She’s running to change this, and I’m standing right beside her.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Just because she’s a woman of color doesn’t necessarily mean she’s the best candidate.” I agree, and her identity alone isn’t what will make her a fantastic Congresswoman. In addition to her diverse personal background, she brings professional experience from Congress, the tech industry, and education nonprofits to inform a robust, progressive, and pragmatic policy platform. She also holds impressive language skills, speaking English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian fluently, and is learning Amharic and American Sign Language (ASL). Her ability to relate and directly communicate with more people who live in her district situates her to be a highly effective Representative.
As a young woman who has spent years listening to, advising, and working alongside government executives, believe me when I say I AM SICK OF YOUNG WOMEN BEING UNDERESTIMATED. Victoria is ready to bring true leadership to VA-8 to shape a future that works for everyone.
Join her by voting early or on election day, Tuesday, June 21. To follow and support her campaign, visit victoriaforcongress.com.
By Summer White
Summer White Bio: Summer White is a long-time progressive policy advocate and a senior government consultant from Brookeville, Maryland. Her latest work focuses on the intersection of climate change, public health, and social justice. She has a B.A. in political science with a concentration in policy studies and has volunteered for Democratic campaigns across the United States at local, state, and national levels. She is an alumna of the Posse Foundation, recipient of the Greater Olney Civic Association’s Youth Contribution to the Community Award, and is a personal environmental sustainability coach.