Published On: Tue, Aug 9th, 2016

TRANSCRIPT: Tim Kaine accepts VP nomination, running with Hillary Clinton

And in 1970, a Republican governor of Virginia, Linwood Holton, believed exactly the same thing.  He integrated Virginia’s public schools after the state had fought for 16 years after Brown v. Board to keep them segregated. Now, in 1970 in Virginia, that took political courage.  And then he and his wife went even further.  They enrolled their own kids, including their daughter Anne, in integrated schools, and it sent a strong signal to the people of Virginia that their governor wasn’t going to back down, wasn’t going to take half steps, or wasn’t going to make rules for others that he wouldn’t follow for himself.

So many years later, that young girl Anne went to Princeton, went to Harvard Law School, guided by her experience as a youngster in the first generation of integrated Virginia schools, and one day in a study group she met this kind of nerdy guy who had been off teaching kids in Honduras. Anne and I got married 32 years ago at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in the Highland Park neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. That is the parish that we still belong today.  Hey, Saint E’s folks, I hope you’re watching.  We will be there at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Marrying Anne was and remains the best decision of my life. And it – am I right?  Am I right? And it turns out she actually learned negotiation a lot better than I did in law school, which is how a Kansas City kid ended up in Virginia. So Anne and I settled down, we started a family, and we sent out kids – we sent our kids to those same public schools that her father had opened up to everybody – including one school that I helped build when I was mayor that our school board named the Linwood Holton Elementary School. How cool was it to see our three kids head out the door with their backpacks on to walk to a neighborhood school named after their Civil Rights hero grandfather.

Lin’s example helped inspire me to work as a civil rights lawyer representing people who had been turned away from housing either because of the color of their skin or because they were an American with a disability.  And this was my civil rights work for 17 years.  I brought dozens of lawsuits when I was in private practice battling banks, landlords, real estate firms, insurance companies, and even local governments that had treated people unfairly. In 1998 I won a historic verdict against a national insurance company because they had been redlining minority neighborhoods, treating them unfairly in the issuance of homeowners insurance.  At the time I won that case it was the biggest jury verdict ever in a civil rights case in American history.  I like to fight for right. I like to fight for right.

And I found myself going to city council meetings in Richmond to raise the issues that I was dealing with every day on behalf of my clients, but I was frustrated at the division and infighting.  So in 1994 I did something that seemed even crazier than what I’m doing now. I decided to run for local office.  Man, I was so scared the day I announced, but I wanted to help my city and my community.  I knocked on every door in my district.  I won my first race beating an incumbent by 94 votes – the first of many nail-biters and squeakers I’ve had since then.  And as I’ve often said, if I’m good at anything in public life, it’s good because I started at the local level listening to people, learning about their lives, and trying to find consensus to solve problems.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



At the Movies

Pin It