As I enter the final year of my first term in the House of Delegates, I’ve given a great deal of thought about how best to continue representing the needs of the people of the 11th district, fighting for the issues most important to them and to me. I really appreciate and have been humbled by the encouragement and support of so many individuals and organizations, and I have carefully considered all of their suggestions about how I can be most effective.
I love serving in the House of Delegates. I am very proud to have been successful in sponsoring and, with the support of my colleagues, enacting legislation to expand the accessibility of contraception, protect vulnerable older adults, expand access to healthy food, create a statewide standard for how rape kits are handled by law enforcement, address sexual assault on campus, and a number of other bills that have become law.
Serving as a Delegate is my full-time career, unlike others who divide their time between endeavors. I take my job seriously as an advocate for the community and see an essential part of my role as fighting to make government work better for it. Whether it’s helping constituents navigate state agencies, fighting for working families, making college more affordable and accessible, or advocating for the equitable treatment of women, what makes me passionate about this work is the ability to get the wheels of government to move a bit faster and smoother and to enact policies that will make a real difference in my constituents’ lives. I also see my role as being an advocate for people who live on the margins of our community or who may not have a strong voice in the public arena – the homeless, children, and the disenfranchised, for example.
I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past few months considering how best to serve. After much soul-searching and honest reflection, I’ve concluded that I can best accomplish our shared goals and serve my constituents’ interests by continuing the work we have begun – by seeking reelection to the House of Delegates. I am focusing on the important work in the upcoming General Assembly, including overriding the Governor’s veto of the Earned Sick Leave bill and gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15. I look forward to digging into the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, that will take a once-in-more–than-a-decade look at how our public schools are funded, as a member of the Appropriations Committee. And, in the House, I’m blessed to have terrific role models and mentors as colleagues. At the same time, I’m looking forward to being on the campaign trail to personally listen to the issues and concerns important to my constituents.
The 11th district has been my home since I was 7 years old. It’s where I was raised and where my husband and I raised our family. Serving full-time as a Delegate allows me to be in the community every day, meeting with constituents, visiting businesses and non-profit organizations, schools, advocates and others. As long as I have lived and worked in this community, there are still more people whose needs must be met; there is more to learn and do every day.
This is not “my” seat in the House of Delegates – it’s up to my constituents to decide who can best represent them. Every four years the voters decide whether the current public servants have earned the right to stay on. Our job is to let you know what we’ve been doing (hopefully you have a good sense because you’ve been getting my email updates – if not, sign up at www.shellyhettleman.com), to earn your trust, and to make the case for why we should be re-elected. Just like four years ago, I can only serve the 11th District with your help and support – which I hope I have earned.
In the days and months ahead, we will organize volunteers. We will phone voters, knock on doors, attend fairs and festivals and meet voters. We’ll reach into every part of the 11th district and discuss the important work that remains to be done. And we will need a lot of help. Please consider making a contribution here and volunteering here. Please follow me on Twitter @shellyhettleman and on Facebook facebook.com/shellyhettlemanfordelegate. The June 26, 2018 primary will be here before we know it.
I look forward to seeing you and hearing from you in the days and months ahead as we prepare for the upcoming session and on the 2018 campaign trail. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.