Many of you are now aware of a campaign
by the Richmond Police Officers Association
(RPOA) disclosing personal information
about my medical and financial history
prior to entering public office. While
I respect and work well with the Richmond
Police Department, certain members of
the RPOA have a long history of doing
the "dirty" campaigning in the last weeks
of the election. In 2008, you will recall
that they were responsible for the racist
hit piece against the Latino community.
Some years in my earlier life were extremely
challenging. I was the victim of multiple
crimes and experienced a host of personal
losses, including debilitating illnesses
and deaths within my family. My health
and personal finances suffered as a result.
But that is all in the past. I overcame
those challenges. I believe my past challenges
have strengthened me and made me a wiser
and more compassionate woman, leader,
and public servant.
It is not the adversity that one faces,
but how one emerges from that adversity
and overcomes one's challenges that defines
Those who oppose our program for positive
change in Richmond have decided to attack
me personally, in an attempt to distract
voters from the important issues and
decisions we face.
This kind of campaigning - attacking
with personal information - has damaged
our political process across the nation,
and has contributed to the cynicism and
powerlessness with which too many people
regard government. Good people are discouraged
from becoming active in public life.
But I know, with great certainty, that
Richmond voters will support candidates
on the basis of their values, ideas,
and vision. I know that you will look
at my record in office over the last
six years and judge me on the merits
of my consistent hard work and achievements.
I stand on my record as Mayor of Richmond.
For anyone in Richmond who has ever
struggled with adversity, I stand with
you and for you.
A Better Richmond is possible, and we
can build it together.