Who am I?
Richard Cabellos is a candidate for the 50th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Richard is the son of immigrants who came to the US 50 years ago in search of a better life . His parents started off at low skilled minimum wage jobs and through hard work and determination became independent small business owners; a true American success story. This upbringing made Richard the man he is today, hard working and committed to making his community a better place.
Richard was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend college at Virginia Commonwealth University though he graduated with a large amount of debt as many students do today. After college, to pay off his student loans, Richard held three jobs including as a stock person and waiting tables instilling in him an appreciation for a hard days work. Having always been interested in politics Richard then applied for and received a position as a campaign Field Organizer. During his time as a Field Organizer he gained experience working on a wide range of issues with diverse populations across the country. After his time as an organizer Richard began working in local non-profits, specifically on the issues of immigration reform and workers rights. During this time he was able to help families on their path to citizenship. This would prove to be one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. Richard currently lives in Manassas, VA where he serves as the Director of the Southgate Community Center in nearby Reston, VA. Richard oversees a large number of programs designed for a wide array of individuals including youth and teen afterschool programs, ESL classes, tutoring services, youth sports leagues, classes for adults with special needs and more. The center serves many low income families and acts as a community hub. He has been married to his wife Yolanda for 5 years and they are the proud parents of a three year old son.
Over the course of his career Richard has received the following awards and appointments:
-2004 Graduate of the Sorenson Institute’s Political Leaders Program
Richard was twice appointed to the Governors Virginia Latino Advisory Committee which served to convey the needs of the rapidly expanding Latino community in Virginia to the Governor. Richard also received the Outstanding Performance Award from the Fairfax County Park Authority for developing a series of multicultural programs that celebrated cultural diversity and expanded cultural awareness. The program was created in 2006 and is still in existence today. Most recently Richard received the A. Heath Onthank award from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for advancing and improving public service in Fairfax County. He received this award for revamping the community center's outreach efforts which greatly increased diversity at the center and brought in many grant based programs.
Why am I running?
I am running because I have seen what this country has to offer and I want to make sure others have the same opportunities that I have had. 50 years ago my father who is from Peru and my mother who is from Honduras came to this great country. Through lots of sacrifice, hard work and determination they were able to capture the American dream and become small business owners. Today, I see many families in my district struggling to get by the same way my parents did years ago. We can offer Virginians a brighter future but it is going to take determination and a willingness to work together.
I believe that we must make investments now to secure a bright future for Virginia. We must invest in education to make sure that our kids can compete in a challenging job market. We must invest in the new green economy by supporting renewable energy sources like wind and solar power which can be built right here in Virginia. We must invest in our infrastructure so that we can attract new jobs and keep our reputation as one of the best states in the nation in which to do business. Finally, we must invest our future by ensuring that Virginia is a place that is welcoming to all people regardless of our differences. We can accomplish these things and more by working hard and working together.
I am running for this seat because I believe that big changes are possible. I will bring a different perspective to Richmond and I promise to work with anybody, from either party, who is serious about addressing the problems Virginia is facing today.
My number one priority if I am elected will be education. First, we must make early childhood education a top priority. Sending kids to school better prepared to learn is a recipe for success. Second, we can improve the quality of our schools by keeping the great teachers we already have while attracting the best teachers in the country. We can only do this, however, if we are willing to pay teachers a fair wage so I will fight to raise teacher salaries. Third, a college education or trade school/training program should be available and affordable for any Virginia student looking to better themselves. I promise, if elected, to fight my hardest for these education priorities that are necessary if we are to continue moving Virginia forward.
My second priority, if elected, will be fighting for fair wages. Many people in my community have jobs but are unable to support their families despite sometimes working more than 60 hours a week. Quite simply this should not be the case and Virginia can do better. Raising the minimum wage will improve our local economy by increasing the purchasing power of those who spend money in their communities, open doorways to new opportunities such as home ownership and college education and will drastically improve the lives of a segment of the Virginia population that is so often overlooked. As the Director of a Community Center that serves a diverse though distinctly low income area I see everyday the effect that raising the minimum wage would have on my community. I cannot imagine serving my community without fighting for this cause and promise to do so.
My DFA Values
My campaign will embody the values of Community, Security and Liberty by:
Community- I firmly believe that every child should have access to a high quality education and that high quality education is a necessity for community advancement. I believe that all people should be treated equally regardless of their differences. I am a firm believer in uniting communities rather than dividing them and have a track record of doing so in my work for Fairfax County. In my personal life not only is my family diverse with Latino, African-American and Native American influences but I actively seek new opportunities to enhance my understanding of other cultures. I am committed to running a campaign that is open and accessible to all people and will strive to reach out to every member of my community.
Security- Virginia has the potential to be a leader in green energy but we aren't taking advantage of the opportunity. Federal grants have gone to other states because Virginia did not bother to apply. This lacks common sense and is not something we can continue to do. From wind power to solar and more we have the opportunity to not only reduce our use of fossil fuels, which put us in the position of having our vital energy supply affected by governments or groups overseas, but also to improve our environment and create high quality new jobs in the growing green economy. The bottom line is, this is something I believe every Virginian can get behind and I will strongly advocate for in my campaign.
Liberty- All people should be treated the same regardless of their differences and nobody should be treated like a second class citizen. My campaign, like my district, will be inclusive and diverse.
I believe strongly in the Fourth Amendment. Additionally, when crafting legislation we must ensure that the rights and privacy of law abiding Virginians are protected at all times.
My Campaign is People Powered!
Our campaign strategy revolves around grassroots outreach to turn out as many new and infrequent voters as possible. We are planning to knock on thousands of doors and make tens of thousands of phone calls over the course of the campaign. Already, we are receiving positive responses from voters. We have reached out to many grassroots groups specifically to get their input on how best to build a coalition to get voters to the polls. All of our donors are small dollar donors. We do not have the corporate backing that our opponent does which makes grassroots fundraising and advocacy the key to victory.