Valerie Longhurst, State Representative and Nicole Poore, State Senator ~ Delaware ~ Why I serve

We the people

The preamble to the United States Constitution begins with those words.  Written in the summer of 1787, it became law in 1788 and then finally ratified by Rhode Island in 1790.  This document, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, became the foundation of our great nation.  It was the 26th Amendment that gave us the right to vote.  And VOTE is what all of us should be “prepared” to do on Tuesday of next week.

And who exactly are we voting for?  The folks seeking elected positions do so for a multitude of reasons.  To make a difference. A job.  Notoriety. Power.  To SERVE their state or community. 

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have breakfast with two of our amazing, elected officials in Delaware.  It gave us the opportunity to chat, with no agenda, and get to know each other better.  During the conversation, I asked one simple question:  Why do you serve?

Representative Valerie Longhurst, House Majority Leader (RD15)

“My pathway to public service began as I was supporting and advocating for my young daughter who was battling Alopecia.  Serving in various volunteer groups and on the National Alopecia Areata Foundation allowed me to give back to my community in new ways, and that led me to contact my state representative.  Unfortunately, I realized quickly that my state representative was unresponsive, and if I was struggling with this, I knew that other residents must be too.  I answered the call to serve and decided to be the leader that I wanted to see in my government.

Since being sworn in back in 2004, my favorite part of my job has always been constituent services.  Making a meaningful difference in the lives of my fellow citizens by finding solutions to their biggest problem and connecting them with the services they need is incredibly rewarding, and in some cases, has led to legislation that benefits all Delawareans.  Along the way, I’ve moved into a leadership position, and have been able to champion transformational measures that level the playing field for women, economically empower our small businesses and the most vulnerable in society, provide our children with better mental health supports, and allow Delawareans in every part of the state to have access to clean water.

Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to fighting for equality and better opportunities for historically marginalized communities.  Most recently, I have been focused on elevating the conversation about mental wellness and breaking the stigma around mental health, and these efforts are already paying dividends.  Thanks to the legislation that we have passed over the last few years, our students are finally able to access mental health professionals and resources within their schools, and Delaware is now a nationally recognized leader in mental health policy.”

Senator Nicole Poore (SD12)

“Deciding to run for office was not something I had pre-planned for years. However, after 25 years in the healthcare industry, I understood that taking care of people — whatever their needs are — was just something that came naturally to me. My middle-class upbringing taught me that hard work puts food on the table, and that community involvement promotes lifelong relationships. I utilized what my parents taught me and put it to good use.  

Ever since I was first sworn in as a state senator back in 2013, I have had the privilege of serving my district as an advocate for working families, as a liaison with other state agencies, and as a problem solver who is willing to work with anyone to get the job done. In nearly a decade, I have cast my vote on thousands of pieces of legislation to improve the lives of everyday people — ranging from access to health care and mental health resources, to enhancing laws that protect women and children, and investing much-needed resources into our state’s roads, bridges, schools, and parks. 

Despite all my professional experience, the one thing that shapes my service as a legislator more than anything else is being a mother. Just as I would do anything to make the world a better place for my own kids to grow up, I am also fighting for the future of all Delaware’s children. It is my responsibility as a public servant to act in the best interest of our next generation.”

I am extremely appreciative to these two ladies for their leadership, their friendship and their desire to serve.