To the Editor:
I had the enormous honor to serve in the (first) Clinton Administration in 1993-2001. The experience of working in the Clinton Administration was incomparable in my life and career. I can’t imagine who I’d be and what I’d be doing today if it weren’t for the incredible opportunities I was afforded serving at the Commerce Department, Small Business Administration and the Peace Corps. I worked alongside some amazing people — many are my closest friends today — and together, we helped shape international trade policy, promoted U.S. exports, increased the number of small businesses competing in the global marketplace and communicated the importance of becoming a global citizen and serving our country as a Peace Corps volunteer.
During those years, I was incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Secretary Clinton when she served our country as First Lady. I traveled with her to places like Paris where I co-led a delegation of 50 women government officials and business leaders to a Women’s Business Summit at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Mrs. Clinton was the keynote speaker and I was struck by her ability to articulate the importance of supporting more women to serve in leadership positions in business and government. I also traveled with her to Montevideo, Uruguay where she “wowed” the audience at an annual meeting of the Vital Voices Global Partnership. She spoke passionately about women’s economic empowerment, human rights and political and public leadership. Her passion led me to run for office which I did in 2006, while I was pregnant with my daughter, Carmen, and was elected to the School Board of Alexandria City Public Schools. During my tenure, I fought and advocated for our Latino community and to ensure all children have a quality education and are afforded opportunities to go on and achieve great things. I also had the enormous honor of introducing then Governor Tim Kaine, now our Democratic nominee for vice president, at an event celebrating public education in Alexandria. It was an honor I’ll never forget.
Now, we have the opportunity to support Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine to become the next President and Vice President of the United States. I am convinced Hillary Clinton is the right leader at the right time for our country. I also want my children, especially my daughter, to know that girls can do anything, even become President of the United States.
Let’s do everything we can between now and Nov. 8 to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
Eileen Cassidy Rivera
Former School Board member, Alexandria City Public Schools