I sat down with someone and talked about my experience. But I was turned away shortly after. It was incredibly discouraging—a feeling so many of us have right now about employment offices. As it happened, the office's manager walked by while I was leaving. I figured I didn't have anything to lose, so I asked him for a job in the employment office itself.
There wasn't anyone who looked like me or had my background in that office. I thought hiring employees from all backgrounds is a great way to show the office would respect requests from people of all backgrounds.
The manager agreed, and he hired me.
Working in that office allowed me to help find people find the dignity that comes with honest work. I will never forget how one man chose to value me for the contribution I could make, especially when social dynamics clearly dictated otherwise.
I was struck by how many people of color in particular sought me out saying that they had previously not been matched with a job. I made sure they received fair treatment.
At a young age, I began to understand that a job gives people more than a paycheck. It provides stability and peace of mind. And it's so important that public servants are able to help people find that peace of mind through employment.
So many of us are struggling with unemployment now for reasons out of our control. But I urge you to keep the faith, believe there are caring public servants out there looking to do the right thing.
I believe that. That's why I'm running for Congress: to remind Washington to focus on public service. Thank you for your continued support of our campaign and our common goal.