Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Winning In Virginia-- THIS November... Meet Flo Ketner


Flo Ketner is a Berniecrat running for the Virginia state Senate in an election that will be decided by Virginia voters in about 3 months. The Democrats need to flip 2 Republican-held seats to win back the Senate. The 19th district, south of Roanoke, consists of Salem City (12% of the voters) plus parts of 7 counties-- Franklin (19%), Floyd (8%), Montgomery (12%), Bedford (3%), Carroll (6%), Wythe (7%) and Roanoke (34%). The incumbent is right-wing corporate shill David Suetterlein. It's not a district the Virginia Democratic Party contests-- which is why they don't care if a progressive like Ketner is a candidate. Generally, that's one of the only ways progressives win in Virginia. Conservative Democrats like Kaine, Northam, Warner and McAuliffe have all lost the district. Trump beat Hillary there 68-28%. None of them were talking to the needs of the people there. Flo is; she's one of the people there.

When I spoke with Flo last week I recognized her immediately as a dedicated progressive activist, committed to protecting her community and the environment and ameliorating and reversing the ravages of man-made Climate Change. "We need to end our fossil fuel consumption and focus on climate saving alternatives such as solar, wind, and hydropower," she told me within moments of the start of our discussion. "This," she said, "is also economical due to the significantly larger job market, more money to keep small businesses going, and protecting our tourism industry in the Appalachian Mountains." And she didn't stop there. "We are long overdue on passing the ERA and the Equality Act. These two do not affect our lives in negative ways, only beneficial ways for those who have been held back. As a member of Mom's Demand Action, we need stronger gun policies for the safety of our communities, children, families, and everyone around us," and that was before El Paso and Dayton.

Goal ThermometerFlo's mother died after a battle with drug abuse-- a painful experience that shaped the young girl's future. She was raised in poverty by a disabled grandmother. She hopes to bring that experience and the concerns about poverty and rural areas with her to the General Assembly in Richmond to ensure that the people in her district have "the same advancements and opportunities as those living in urban areas so we may acquire the skills needed to become successful in the New River Valley." She has pledged to fight for "last mile broadband connectivity and to ease the access to affordable healthcare, to stand against the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, address the opioid and drug epidemic head on, to work for better economic development to support the rights we deserve as citizens."

I asked her to pick one issue she talks with people in the district about when she knocks on doors, an issue that's important to them in which she feels she can make a difference in their lives. Please consider contributing to her very grassroots campaign by clicking on the 2019 state legislative thermometer above and contributing what you can.

Transportation Is a Priority
by Flo Ketner, candidate
Virginia state Senate district 19

I'm Flo Ketner and I am running for State Senate in Virginia. I want to replace the current incumbent not just in the legislature but on the transportation committee as well. Residents in this community continue to maintain their jobs and they pay their taxes, but they receive virtually no support from Richmond. This committee is integral to our economy and I want to make sure the legislators respect our needs. My incumbent poorly represents us because he doesn't know how to respect us himself.

Flooding has destroyed our roads and some have been poorly patched with a weaker filler. Sides of the roads are crumbling away slowly. Cars have to avoid the edges pushing them closer to the middle from both sides. Sink holes are destroying entire routes to schools and jobs. Pot holes are flattening tires, destroying suspensions, and causing accidents. People with little to no income are rendered unable to travel.

Our deep, rural areas have little to no public or mass transportation. People with no cars have to ask for a ride or remain unemployed. Elderly with no license have to rely on the good will of others to access medical care. Modern transportation funding needs to be addressed or an entire region will crumble away with our roads.

Tired of this neglect, I know it is time to for a new and dedicated senator on the Transportation Committee in our State Legislature. It is time to represent the respect we deserve as working members of this Commonwealth, capable of elevating the economy significantly. It is time we no longer have to fear what may happen while driving home from the grocery store or worrying why our children's buses are late returning them from school. I have experienced all of these fears and I don't want any other parent, motorist, or even pedestrian to experience this.

We need help and that help is past due. I intend to represent and prioritize the changes we need both here and across the entire Commonwealth so other rural, and even urban, areas aren't traveling in substandard conditions.

I am Flo Ketner and I am going to represent Senate District 19 on the Transportation Committee and in the Virginia State Legislature.

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