My Mom, My Hero

My mom means everything to me. She and my dad gave me a home when I was just four months old, when they adopted me from my birth mother who was too young to give me everything I needed.

My parents instilled in me values of service to my country, of passion for my beliefs, and of the need to always stand up for my values. My father was a military officer, and when I was 19 I enlisted and still serve today in military intelligence. While my mom I’m sure would’ve preferred not to send her baby off to war, I credit her with giving me the strength and courage to stand up for what I believe in.

When I was in middle school my mom shared with me the stories of how she fought on the battlefield for justice during the civil rights movement. She was just 13 and put it all on the line to stand up for her values.

I’m proud that my mom is standing up once again to fight for all Virginians as she runs for the House of Delegates. Please honor her life of service to her community, her children, and the Commonwealth by supporting her on June 13th.

Together,

Zach Blanding

 

Tilly with her children Zach and Zeki in 2009. This is the day they saw Zach off to Afghanistan for the first time. Zach has been deployed three times, once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan, and continues to serve his country today.

 

Statement on Destructive Healthcare Bill

Yesterday the Republican Party, under the leadership of the Trump administration, proved to this country where their values truly lie when they voted to deny healthcare to 24 million people. I have been fighting all of my life on the battlefield for justice, standing up for those who have no voice – and I am running for the House of Delegates to continue that fight in Richmond.

It is shameful that in this country we do not have healthcare for every individual, and it is shameful that in Virginia Republicans yet again chose to deny 400,000 people affordable healthcare by not expanding Medicaid. Republicans down in Richmond are using the same playbook as Republicans in the U.S. House.

As a 13 year old I was arrested 17 times while fighting for basic human rights during the Civil Rights movement. We peacefully marched, protested, picketed and sat-in while advocating for fairness for all. As a young woman I knew never to stand down to a bully, never to let anyone intimidate me.

This healthcare fight is not a new battle for me. On January 31st I was arrested for the 18th time in my life on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Along with 100 union members, doctors, and people impacted by Obamacare, I once again protested to make my voice heard to our Republican leaders. After sharing stories of how the ACA saved lives, protected children, and provided for families across our country and Commonwealth, I lead my fellow demonstrators in song as we were escorted to jail.

To deny those who need access to healthcare the most is amoral. For years I have been advocating, lobbying, and petitioning my representatives in Richmond to do the right thing and pass Medicaid expansion. I am heartbroken for those individuals who will continue to suffer because of the lack of compassion by those who are supposed to lead the way. I am more determined than ever to continue the fight I started as a 13-year-old girl in South Carolina.

As I continue on this journey, I ask for you to join me in our fight to preserve the basic human rights we all deserve. My primary is on June 13th, and with your support I will help bring change to Richmond.

— Tilly Blanding

Candidate for Delegate, District 42