THE WASHINGTON TIMES: ‘GOP women show their strength. It’s time to stand with them’

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Last month, Claudia Tenney of New York became the 31st GOP woman to be sworn into the 117th Congress. Ms. Tenney, like the other GOP women who flipped seats in 2020, exposed just how fragile Nancy Pelosi is as speaker. As more GOP women show their strength, Mrs. Pelosi cannot block the wave of Republican women set to overtake the House.

As a candidate for Congress in 2020, I understand the unique challenges conservative women face when they decide to run for office. But as the dust settles on the 2020 elections, one thing is clear: Republican women are a formidable force, with a strong brand from Maine to California. And with them, the Republican Party is well poised to win back the House in 2022.

Every day, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “The Squad” hold America hostage with their liberal outrage over our traditional values. Now, Republican women are standing up to them and for the average American — and it’s working.

In 2020, Republicans eroded th Democrats’ House majority to only seven seats. The GOP accomplished this by nearly tripling the number of Republican women in the House.

When the new freshman class came in, 44 of the 59 new members were Republican. Moreover, the vast majority of these new seats were won by women in very competitive swing districts. Eleven of the 15 seats that Republicans flipped in 2020 were taken by women.

We made these gains in the House because we had strong, smart and talented women step up. From Michelle Steele and Young Kim, to Maria Salazar and Yvette Herrell, these new congresswomen have brought a refreshing perspective to Congress.

And while GOP women are getting to work on the issues Americans care about, Mrs. Pelosi, Miss Ocasio-Cortez and The Squad continue to inflame partisan divisions, “cancel” those who oppose them and spend money they don’t have.

It’s business as usual for the Democrats.

But the 2020 elections showed that Americans want Congress to find solutions to the real challenges we face.

For the past year, we’ve seen Democrats respond to a national crisis by sticking their heads in the sand. Instead of supporting innovation in education, they’ve shut down schools. They’ve left millions of children behind, forced women out of the workforce and destroyed small businesses.

Mrs. Pelosi and the Democratic Party’s failed policies have widened the gap between Americans and reversed the progress made in recent years.

That is why so many Republican women stood up and ran in 2020. I know, because it was out of my frustration with business as usual in Washington that I decided to run.

As a single mother who built a global organization to defend human rights, I work hard to provide for my family. Every day, I have to find solutions to serious challenges. And when COVID-19 hit, like most Americans, I had to adapt.

When schools shut down, I juggled work while continuing to teach my daughter — because that’s what Americans do to provide for their families. Hard work and personal responsibility pay the bills, keep our families together and our children cared for; not the excuses and apathy that is coming out of Washington.

While Congress was abdicating its responsibilities, Americans were rolling up their sleeves to do what they needed to provide for their families.

Americans want to get back to work — and that means they need schools to reopen. But Democrats are letting special interest unions which only look out for themselves hold us and our children hostage to their demands.

In Washington, mediocrity and excuses prevail. They can’t pass a balanced budget, but they can squander our children’s future. Their ever-increasing regulations have burdened small businesses and hindered economic growth and innovation. They pay lip service to unity while shutting down dissenting voices.

I have spent much of my career defending human rights and fighting for the rights of the oppressed, and what we are seeing from the Democrats is more reflective of what I’ve seen in countries run by authoritarian regimes than the freedoms that are the hallmark and foundation of America.

But this won’t change while Nancy Pelosi and the Squad run the Capitol. And that’s why we need more strong, Republican women to replace them.

Political action groups like Maggie’s List, Winning for Women, and View PAC are helping conservative women run and have a voice in Congress.

But running for Congress as a conservative woman isn’t easy. Despite the gains made this year, Republican women remain extremely underrepresented in the GOP. Of the 122 women in Congress, 31, nearly a quarter, are Republican.

The Democratic Party’s assault on the average American has only served to inspire many more qualified women to run in 2022. And now, they won’t be alone. The new team of GOP women bring immense experience, diversity and unique perspectives to Washington. They are already fighting for common sense policies that will end the partisan gridlock to get things done.

As GOP women demonstrate their strength in Congress, it’s time we stand with them.

Tina Ramirez is the Virginia chair of Maggie’s List and was a candidate for Congress. She is the president of Hardwired Global, a human rights organization, and was the founding director of the bipartisan International Religious Freedom Caucus in Congress.  

THE WASHINGTON POST: ‘Opinion: The coronavirus shows that Virginians need real school choice’

Tina Ramirez lives in Chesterfield, Va. She is president of Hardwired Global, a human rights educational organization that trains teachers across the Middle East and Africa.

Virginia’s lawmakers are back in session, but they are ignoring the most pressing issue for parents: school reform.

Virginia students, who once carried backpacks and lunch pails every day, should carry their per-pupil funding, too. It’s an issue I’ve been fighting for and am honored to be working with Del. John J. McGuire III (R-Goochland) and others to make it a reality.

The commonwealth has a historic opportunity to meet the diverse educational needs of our children.

During the pandemic, nearly 400,000 Virginia students had no access to high-speed Internet, and 140,000 did not have a home computer. Without the ability to access online learning and their teachers, students are struggling to keep up — even if they were at grade level before.

Despite the commonwealth’s stellar academic reputation, wide achievement gaps exist for student groups that would benefit most from high-quality learning opportunities and improved outcomes.

Last year, more than a third of African American, Hispanic and lower-income students failed to pass the state’s exam in reading and math. In urban areas such as Richmond, more than half failed in reading and math. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic shut down classroom learning.

New research shows that the gap is widening among these groups and they may have lost as much as half of their academic progress during the lockdown.

But today’s lawmakers continue to push a one-size-fits-all approach to educationon our children. As parents, we know this doesn’t work.

Last month, local school boards hastily approved decisions dictating school closures and hybrid models for education despite parents’ objections. Where I live, the Chesterfield County school board overrode the wishes of 82 percent of parents asking for five-day in-person schooling, opting instead for a virtual learning model that has already failed our children.

As a single mother who, like most parents, has to work, I do not want my 5-year-old daughter staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day. Nor can I afford to stay home with her.

As a former teacher, I understand the value of education and made choices to prioritize that for my daughter. That’s why, last year, I exercised the most traditional form of “school choice” — I moved to a new neighborhood so that my daughter would be able to start kindergarten in one of the best school districts in the state.

Today, even that “choice” has been taken from parents who have sacrificed for their children.

Many lawmakers have forgotten that parents know best the specific needs of their children, and parents should be the ones making those decisions.

Meanwhile, too many families are defined by their Zip code and are stuck in schools that fail their children. Not all schools are good — no matter what the average test score says. Many “great” schools still leave behind too many of their students who might thrive in a different environment.

The affluent already have the option to send their kids to private schools. But the neediest students cannot seek options they cannot afford and are at risk of falling further behind.

Only when educational funds follow the student will parents have the ability to make the appropriate decisions for their children’s education.

Under Virginia’s equity funding model, the Standards of Quality (SOQ) dollars follow the student — into the school and district — to support their education.

Instead, the SOQ funds should follow the student directly to the accredited school or program of their parents’ choice. Similarly, lawmakers could authorize localities to allocate per-pupil funding to the parent to follow the student.

Imagine a “backpack” program that would give each child more than $10,000 to spend per school year. Their parents could choose what works for their child and make adjustments.

Currently, students have to jump through hoops just to switch schools within a district. And if the whole district’s options are inadequate, they are out of luck.

Imagine the possibilities for your child if you could search for the best school to meet their needs. Imagine what traditionally underfunded school districts could do to attract charter and private schools. As new schools compete for their dollars, their educational opportunities will increase.

Instead of further complicating the situation, the Virginia General Assembly should authorize localities to disperse state and local per-pupil education funds directly to the parents.

As an educator and parent, I know we can and should close the achievement gaps in Virginia’s schools if we let parents take charge of their children’s education.

Tina Ramirez Announces First Round of Local Endorsements

Midlothian, Virginia – Today, Tina Ramirez announces her first round of local endorsements from inside Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. These local elected officials, community leaders, and conservative activists represent the grassroots momentum that Tina Ramirez has experienced since announcing her run for Congress.

Endorsements:

Neil Spoonhower – Goochland County Board of Supervisors
Chris Winslow – Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors
Debbie Bailey – Chairman, Chesterfield County School Board
Kirk Twigg – Spotsylvania School Board
Carey Allen – Chesterfield Soil and Water District Director and Vice-Chair of the Chesterfield County Republican Committee
Chuck Fadus – Midlothian Magisterial District Chairman
Patrick Regan – Former Treasurer, Chesterfield County Republican Committee
Phil Scott – Candidate for Spotsylvania School Board
Jerry Baldwin – Former Past Chairman, Chesterfield County Republican Committee
Tammy Ridout – Former Candidate for Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors
Thomas Glessner – Spotsylvania County – President of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates
Dr. Ben Howerton – Henrico County – Chair of First Freedom Council

“I’m humbled and honored to have large local support from leaders across the district. Since the beginning of this race, I have made it a priority to run a campaign fueled by local resources and conservative activists inside the 7th Congressional District, not DC politicians and lobbyists,” said Tina Ramirez. “These endorsements show grassroots momentum that will ultimately lead to victory against Abigail Spanberger in the fall.”

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Tina Ramirez grew up in rural Powhatan County, Virginia. Tina has 20 years of experience as a public school teacher, foreign policy expert, and authority on international human rights law and religious freedom. Before starting Hardwired Global, Tina worked for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where she developed policy recommendations to protect persecuted communities in Sudan, Iraq, Turkey, Georgia, and Cuba. While working for the U.S. Congress, she founded the bi-partisan International Religious Freedom Caucus. Her intent and major accomplishment was re-directing U.S. policy so that religious freedom was prioritized when dealing with foreign governments. Tina has traveled to over 30 countries in the course of her work and has written and spoken extensively, including before the United Nations and the African Union, and testified before the U.S. Congress. Tina and her 4-year-old daughter, Abigail, live in the Richmond suburbs.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Prohibiting late-term abortions

How Virginia can defend human life and dignity

Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, claimed moderates, just blocked a federal ban on the killing of born-alive abortion survivors.

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse, was in direct response to recent remarks by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a trained pediatrician, who said of a baby born alive during an attempted abortion: “if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Note the intended “abortion” is called a “delivery” by the governor.

The ease and coldness of a physician, who correctly identifies the born child as an “infant” twice, suggesting state law should allow the murder of a born-alive baby is disturbing.

After New York state legalized late-term abortions, Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran followed suit with H.R. 2491. What is most shocking about these bills is their approval of the abortion of a fully formed baby right up until the moment of birth. Worse, in both Virginia and New York, their abortion rights extremism embraces infanticide — the killing of a born-alive baby during an abortion.

I can still remember meeting Norma McCorvey in 1995, when she first came out against the infamous decision named after her — Roe v. Wade. As a high school student, I was shocked to hear her describe partial-birth abortion, where babies are delivered feet first, then, before the head is delivered, the doctor would put a tube through the back of the baby’s neck. The baby’s brains would be sucked out, and then the child would be delivered, dead.

That is why young women, like me, supported a ban on partial-birth abortions — to save children who had a chance to survive outside the womb from the pain of being decapitated or murdered in the womb.