“I’ve spent my entire legal career working in areas that are critical to the future of Fairfax County – areas like land use, commercial real estate development, high tech and small business development, and nonprofit social services. As a law professor, my head has not been in the clouds but in the streets. I run what is essentially a small public interest law center within the law school, advising small businesses, tech start-ups, social enterprises, and nonprofits.”

I often tell my daughters that they are not growing up like I grew up. As a child, I experienced housing instability and food insecurity, just as many hardworking families do today in Fairfax County. When my father, a GED teacher, spoke up about the way his private employer extorted its students, he was fired and we were then evicted from our house. I would spend much of my fourth grade living in a single motel room with my parents and siblings. My mother was a special education teacher and I didn’t know that we were the working poor. My parents showered us with love and attention in the face of our circumstances.

At the end of fourth grade, we moved 500 miles away to be closer to extended family who could help us. My father attended vocational school and became a carpenter; my mother found a new, better teaching job. Still, I worked each summer in high school to contribute to our family’s finances.

My parents insisted on the importance of public education. They knew it was my siblings’ and my path to the middle class. They expected nothing less than an “A” from me. With the help of scholarships, federal loans, and a work-study job, I attended Harvard College, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, and then Yale Law School.

I’m running for Chairman of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors because there are two Fairfax Counties, divided by economic security and opportunity, and I want to close the gap. I have lived these two socio-economic realities and possess the experience, vision, and political courage to change the status quo and improve the lives of all Fairfax County residents.

I am committed to making sure that all of our communities, from Mount Vernon to Dranesville, benefit from the county’s economic growth. We are one of the wealthiest counties in the country but 8.7% of our children live in poverty. Under my leadership, Fairfax County can become the leader in the region for stemming the effects of income inequality — by investing in affordable and workforce housing, universal preschool, and economic growth that addresses the existential threat of climate change.

I’ve spent my legal career in areas that are critical to the future of Fairfax County – areas like land use, commercial real estate development, high tech and small business development, community economic development, and nonprofit social services. As a law professor at Georgetown Law, my head has not been in the clouds but in the streets. I run what is essentially a small public interest law firm within the law school, advising tech start-ups, social enterprises, small businesses, and nonprofits. I teach my students how to help these organizations launch and scale. Our work intentionally includes small businesses founded by marginalized community members, including low-income entrepreneurs, returning citizens, and survivors of domestic violence. We also represent social service nonprofits that are filling the human needs that government has chosen not to.

I also know land use and real estate — prior to teaching, I was a real estate attorney at a major law firm in New York City, and worked on the acquisition and development of large swaths of commercial real estate throughout the country.

I am proud to call Fairfax County my home. I have family across the Commonwealth, in Alexandria, Richmond, Spotsylvania, and Woodbridge. My daughters attend our local public school. My husband is a surgeon in private practice in northern Virginia.