Daily Press (Sunday)

Women of color are ascendant in Virginia politics

- By Yanet Limon-Amado Guest Columnist Yanet Limon-Amado, of Richmond, is the Virginia state director at Care in Action, working on behalf of more than 2 million domestic workers across America. In June, Care in Action announced #CareWins to ensure that car

When I joined Care in Action, I carried my childhood memories, working alongside my mother in homes that weren’t ours, cleaning for a living. I saw firsthand the toll this work took on her — the long hours, the physical strain and the unfair treatment. It wasn’t just her struggle; it was ours. As a Dreamer, I’m familiar with the sidelines of democracy and stand with those disenfranc­hised in fighting for a voice for those like us in Virginia.

This year’s election wasn’t just a political race but a milestone for us at Care in Action and everyone who’s ever felt overlooked by those in power. We’ve shown that when you invest in women of color — when you listen to, trust and lead with us — we don’t just win elections; we transform communitie­s.

Our hard work and strategy in Virginia have spoken volumes, and the result is that a historic number of women of color will sit in the General Assembly. We’re ensuring that the halls of power echo with the voices of those who’ve been ignored for too long.

As Virginia’s political landscape evolves, so does our resolve to create an inclusive state that upholds the values of care and

community as pillars of democracy.

Our endorsed candidates won because we believed in the untapped potential of our communitie­s. These women, many of whom share background­s similar to mine and my mother’s, are now in positions to enact the changes we’ve longed to see.

In a world where politics often feels distant and transactio­nal, we’re building something different in Virginia — even in the face of historic GOP funding. Our approach was hands-on, heart-led and unyielding­ly hopeful.

We’ve pushed Latino voter turnout, not by sheer luck but through a deliberate effort to include those who’ve been disenfranc­hised.

Our strategy was simple yet revolution­ary: Invest in those who are consistent­ly undervalue­d. We put nearly a million dollars and countless hours of passionate advocacy into Virginia to campaign and ignite a transforma­tion. Our bilingual canvassing team not only met the moment, they owned it. From worn-out shoe leather to more than a half a million calls, our team worked tirelessly and, most importantl­y, we listened.

It’s personal. My story of invisibili­ty and yearning for change mirrors the collective experience of domestic workers who work in the shadows of acknowledg­ment. I’ve seen my mother brave a world that frequently overlooks her worth. But our narrative is transformi­ng.

Take Jovana’s story, for instance. A domestic worker who dedicated years to cleaning homes and caring for children, she recently became a U.S. citizen after a long battle for her status. Voting for the first time, Jovana exemplifie­d the triumph of hope and participat­ion. So, when I talk about the change we’re building, it’s not abstract — it’s the story of my life, my mother’s life, Jovana’s life and the lives of all the domestic workers and caregivers who make Virginia’s homes and economy thrive.

We, the caregivers, domestic workers and their daughters, the Black and brown women who have for too long borne the brunt of society’s neglect, are now crafting the future with our own hands.

Our efforts go beyond elections. They’re about honoring every person’s labor, shaping a Virginia that stands up for families, values the work of those who care for its children and disabled and aging loved ones, and cleans its homes, sustaining Virginian’s day-to-day life.

I’m proud to be part of a movement where my youth and status are not a barrier but a testament to the vibrancy and potential of our mission. We’re not waiting for change — we’re orchestrat­ing it.

 ?? STAFF FILE ?? Del. Marcia “Cia” Price speaks to the crowd during a post-election gathering at Burger Theory in Newport News in 2021. Price was among the victorious candidates endorsed by Care in Action this year.
STAFF FILE Del. Marcia “Cia” Price speaks to the crowd during a post-election gathering at Burger Theory in Newport News in 2021. Price was among the victorious candidates endorsed by Care in Action this year.

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