By Eileen Cassidy Rivera, Former Alexandria City School Board member (File photo)
To the editor:
I had the enormous honor to serve in the first Clinton administration from 1993 until 2001. The experience of working in the Clinton administration was incomparable in my life and career.
I can’t imagine who I would be and what I would be doing today if it weren’t for the incredible opportunities I was afforded serving at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration and the Peace Corps.
I worked alongside some amazing people — many remain 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 Hillary Clinton when she served 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.
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 in 2006, while I was pregnant with my daughter, Carmen, and was elected to the Alexandria City School Board.
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-Gov. 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 now-U.S. Sen. 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 November 8 to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.