Letter to Pennsylvania

“More is thy due than more than all can pay.”

America is a land of promise and new beginnings, a beacon for the rest of the world. Arriving with nothing but a suitcase of dreams, my family and I have spent seventeen years in beloved Pennsylvania. I became the woman I am today, walking its soothing slopes and reading beneath its gentle trees. That America welcomed us with nurturing arms is a debt that I can never fully repay, though my bid to serve you is the first step on a lifelong journey: to revive that “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

What does it say about who we are as a nation that the highest bidder so often prevails? We don’t elect our leaders to fundraise all day or to be sucked into the vortex of the perpetual campaign. We don’t elect them to serve special interests at your expense or to strategically posture in front of the hungry camera lens. Nor do we send them to Washington so they can grow rich in office, scaling the ladders of power. Rather, we seek leaders with integrity, moderation, and unwavering confidence, knowing that compromise is necessary in a democracy but unbending ideology is not. Herein lies the difference between a stateswoman and a politician.

I refuse to give up on our country and ask you to join me today as we breathe fresh life into the great American promise. Know that I am always by your side and that I’ll never be so engulfed by the responsibilities of office or so jaded by political realities that I’ll lose sight of why I’m there in the first place: for you and for you alone. Forever I’ll try for you and me.

Abigail Adams once said, “It is not in the still calm of life … that great characters are formed. Great necessities call out great virtues.” I’m thankful that life has not been easy and that I’ve struggled for my American dream. Just as a tree can only grow as tall as its roots, so the measure of my ability is the measure of the challenges that I’ve overcome. Today the foundation beneath our glistening American dream is in disrepair, as too many flail in vain against circumstances beyond their control. Will the women, young people, and working class families of our great commonwealth finally have a voice in the hallowed corridors of Congress, a leader with immense heart and courage, or are we going to hurtle down the familiar path of selfish gridlock and unimaginative leadership? We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for. So take my hand.