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Mace & Crown | December 14, 2017

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Lieutenant Gubernatorial Candidate Visits Campus

Justin L.C. Ross | Contributing Writer

Gene Rossi, currently running for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, spoke to a crowd of Monarchs gathered in Webb Center hosted by the ODU Democrats on April 26. He discussed major issues facing the people of Virginia, such as health care, education and criminal justice reform.

Along with his opponents Susan Platt and Justin Fairfax, Rossi is currently campaigning for the June 13 Democratic primary in order to be the party nominee for November’s election.

The event itself was organized by the Vice President of the ODU Democrats, Logan Kapil, who said, “Getting educated on the issues facing each of us as individuals and collectively as a community is paramount to the betterment of our society for everyone. The need for each Monarch as an individual, but also as a member of the community, has the responsibility to research the issues at hand from credible sources and speak out on the issues.”

In addition, the President of the ODU Democrats, Duke Hawkins said “…to get involved in all forms of government, especially local. The only way to improve the current situation is through compassion, love, and understanding.”

Rossi spoke with clarity, focus and passion on the major issues facing the people of Virginia today. As a candidate, he expressed a will to fight and be a voice for those who cannot defend themselves.

A lifelong democrat whose passion is protecting people, Rossi has 27 years of experience as a prosecutor where he won 110 trials and countless legal battles for the community.

Rossi was diagnosed with Amyloidosis, an incredibly rare disease that affects only one out of every one million people, and thereby had to undergo extensive treatment; however, this contributed to his continued fighting spirit.

“My first paycheck was for $1.92, working at $.25 an hour at my father’s lumber mill, and I remember my disappointment at such a low paycheck, but I will always remember my father’s response to me, ‘Gene, I promised you a paycheck. I didn’t promise you how much.’” At this job, Rossi learned three components that would serve him well throughout his later life: hard work, appreciation and loyalty.

Positivity and energy that emanated from Rossi as he outlined the problems many Virginians have today. According to him, the need for medicare expansion has never been greater for our commonwealth.

“The countless Virginians who depend on this system are without a voice, and I have and will continue to be their voice.”

Rossi continued with the fact that the federal government is currently offering the commonwealth of Virginia $8.4 million in aid to expand medicare, all the Republican-dominated house has to do is accept it.

Another set of policies that were spoken on were the educational system, the need for financial aid reform and the allowance of additional lenient rates and open communication between lender and borrower.

In addition, Rossi’s stance on voter registration was moderate. As Rossi noted, “It is unbelievable that in the state of Virginia, a theft of $400 is considered a felony. This is something that is normally reserved at the federal level for thefts of over $1,000. However, here in the commonwealth, one poor decision could lead to a felony charge and a subsequent blight on that person’s record for life, not to mention the fact that this individual would then lose their right to vote.”