Speaker Profile: Gene Rossi, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor

14022151_227255054343649_6993543203457580017_nAs a United States prosecutor for close to thirty years, I fought to give voice to those who could not speak:  victims . . . those who lived in fear . . . the forgotten. As your Lieutenant Governor, I will continue this fight. I vow to be your strong voice for justice.

As a former career prosecutor, I have strong views on the criminal justice system. My views might surprise you. For instance, Virginia and the entire nation are in the throes of an opioid abuse epidemic. But being blindly “tough on crime” is not our answer. Instead, our justice system must be fair and compassionate to those caught up in this opioid crisis.  Similarly, we must be fair and compassionate to those who are trying their best to reenter our communities after confinement. And we must also give voice to those who cannot vote–but surely have earned that right after paying their dues to society.

In today’s Virginia, the Lieutenant Governor’s reach extends far beyond criminal justice.  We cannot ignore those who are striving hard to get jobs in a challenging economy—and those vital small Virginia businesses that are trying to create them. I will speak about ways to ease the burdens they both face. We are stewards of the environment and our neglect has economic and moral consequences. I will not let down future generations who will inherit this natural legacy. Our public educational system at all levels needs our support in order to improve—especially during the crucial early years. And Virginia can do much more in providing adequate health care to all. These are a few of the difficult battlegrounds on which I will always fight for you. Justice is not doing what is easy—it is doing what is right.

I recently left my dream job as a Justice Department prosecutor to run for Lieutenant Governor. Why?  Simply put, I love Virginia. I am also a former gubernatorial aide, a teacher, a husband, a father of three, a survivor of a life-threatening illness, and a volunteer youth basketball coach. Every one of these roles has given me insights into the issues that affect us all—and has fueled my deep passion for public service and my community.

Ever since my wife Diane and I moved to Alexandria nearly thirty years ago, I have worked tirelessly to make Virginia a better place to live, to work, and to raise our three children.  But along the way, I have also seen how systems can fail many of our most vulnerable citizens.  I will always be their voice.  We can make this great Commonwealth an even better place for all Virginians–regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, or economic status—by recognizing that we are in this together.  Virginia cannot advance unless we all do.  As your next Lieutenant Governor, I make you this one solemn promise as we move forward together:  I will be nobody’s voice but yours.

[Bio from generossi.com]

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