Who am I?
Hello, I am Traci Dippert and I am running for the 30th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates that is currently held by Ed Scott. This district includes the counties of Orange, Madison and the lower two-thirds of Culpeper. I am in my 16th year of teaching and am currently the elementary music teacher at Rappahannock County Publics Schools. Previously I taught in Culpeper County where I reside, and in upstate New York.
I grew up in the same small town in upstate New York as both my parents and my grandparents who have recently celebrated their 44th and 68th year anniversaries, respectively. It is from them that I learned dedication, hard work and loyalty. Growing up I played sports and was active in the local Methodist Church, where I found my love for music. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, later receiving a Master’s Degree in General Education.
Why am I running?
My interest in politics has been a natural progression. I was inspired to become active during the 2008 election cycle of Barak Obama where I emerged as a leader. In early 2009, I joined the local Democratic Committee and became the sub-committee chair of community service. During that year I voiced interest in running for chair, was encouraged by others and was ultimately elected.
As chair for over three years, I have amassed a following of sorts. They have encouraged me to run and I have actually been inspired by them. Knowing these amazing people stand with me and are working just as hard as I am is both exhilarating and humbling.
I have chosen to run for this office first and foremost because our current delegate is a disgrace. He is a 10 year incumbent and over the last few sessions has strayed from the common sense values of this district lacking the strength to stand against the leadership of his party as they continue to move to the right.
Last year, he voted in favor of the transvaginal probe and the personhood bill attacking both women’s rights and reproductive rights. Additionally, his vote to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the general fund to pay for transportation was a slap in the face to education, first responders and law enforcement.
This year, he voted in favor of further restricting voter rights, unnecessarily grading schools A through F and state takeover of failing schools. I have chosen to run for this office to give people a choice as he has never had a Democratic challenger and I believe the time is now for change. I know I can better represent the people of the 30th district.
Of course equal rights, especially those of women will be at the top of my agenda. Halting the Virginia assembly's attack on the rights of Virginians to further their own agenda must be a priority.
Also at the top of my agenda would be getting education in Virginia back on track would be the other goal for my first year in office. We need to repeal labeling schools A through F as it is counterproductive, misleading and detrimental to children, staff and communities. Our current classification of struggling schools, adopted just last year, appropriately describes the ongoing efforts to improve schools by using the words “Priority, Focus and Improvement Plan” without such negative overtones. In addition, addressing the salaries of teachers in Virginia in regards to the national average is an important part of ensuring success for students, teachers, communities and the commonwealth. We must be competitive in recruiting and retaining quality teachers to teach the future of Virginia.
I would like to focus on restoring reasonable voting requirements, not the recent solution looking for a problem legislation. I would also push for outright early voting in Virginia, not the current absentee in person with a reason as well as extending voting hours.
My DFA Values
This campaign is rooted in the progressive movemet in America and is the motivating factor. We are undertaking the unseating of a 10 year incumbent who has always been condsidered a safe seat becuase he has never had democratic opposition before.
This campaign is a result of the moving of the several communities in our district. It is they who comprise it because of their concern for their families futures. This campaign seeks to further the education of their children to better prepare them and fight for a legislature that does force us to choose between those who built Virginia and those who will build its future.
We are fighting to bring quality jobs to Virginia without sacrificing our environment to do so, and aiding workers be better prepared for jobs. Ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care is essential to this plan in order to ensure everyone has a fair chance to succeed.
This advancement produces our security. By finding alternative energy resources we make our communities safer, create new jobs, and weaken those who expoit our dependence upon their resources. All of these must be combined with the protection of our constitutional freedoms which are under right wing attack with common sense. One person's right must not endanger or oppress another's rights. Where one sector of the poulation is unfree all of the population is unfree. true liberty is the sum total of all of these values working together for all and not a self-perpetuated elite group.
My Campaign is People Powered!
The campaign has grown out of the people-powered campaign in our district of President Obama. It is these people who encouiraged me to run and are the power that is driving the campaign through enormous support. It is they that are aiding the staff it its acomplishments with data entry, office coverage, answering phones etc.
The numbers demonstrate that it will take 12,500 votes to win this election. 18,000 people for President Obama in this same district. We are creating a field operations unit that will identify these voters, persuade others that are unsure and get them to the polls in November. The goal is to get 12 out of 18 Obama voters out to do it again in November, all done by a corp of 200 experienced volunteers already signed up to walk streets and make calls, ready to begin in June As our media approach to this, we will be hiring a pollster to identify issues and target groups. With this we will employ a direct voter approach of direct mail to these particular groups. The people of Virginia is what will turn it from red to purple to blue at all levels.