Tilly Blanding, Candidate for House District 42
Most people would describe me as a fighter. My entire life has been devoted to standing up for my core values in the face of adversity. As a young woman growing up in Jim Crow-era South Carolina, I learned early on how to fight back, organize, and lead by example. When I was 13 I began fully participating in the Civil Rights movement in Orangeburg, S.C., home to two Historically Black Colleges. With my parents blessing, I picketed storefronts, sat at the lunch counters, and marched with others fighting for basic human rights that were denied to them.
One day I was picketing the store front of a white-owned business that would not hire any black staff with two other young women. A white man in a car pulled up beside me, pulled out a gun, and pointed it right at me. The three of us took off to find help, and eventually made our way back to my parent’s home. It was there that I was given the choice to either stay home or go back out the next day. I choose neither, and declared to my parents that I would be returning to the picket line that very afternoon.
I am running for Delegate to fight for every single person across this district and the state. Those who know me well understand that I do not give up, especially in the face of injustice. As a social worker for Fairfax County, I saw those in need every day for almost 30 years. I will fight for the family without healthcare, for the children facing discrimination at school, for the family torn apart by our broken immigration system, for the working parents with two minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet, and for women who want autonomy over their own body and equal pay for equal work.
One thing that has been made very clear over my years as a community leader, engaged activist, and active participant in our politics is that Richmond is not working for every day Virginians. The Republicans have a super majority in the General Assembly that prevents common sense bills from being passed, and forces Democrats and our Governor to play defense.
We need fighters in Richmond who won’t back down to any bully, fighters who will face down the barrel of a gun and remain standing tall. In the next few months, I will ask for your prayers, your support, your volunteer hours and your donations. This is a fight for the future of our state and one that we are all in together.
I look forward to taking this journey with you.
Photo Credit Cameron Habashian, DCProStudio.