Q: Why have you decided to run for Congress against Virgil Goode in Virginia’s 5th District?If some of this sounds familiar, Tom's themes echo some of Tim Kaine's thoughts on public service and justice during his campaign for Governor.
A: I have felt a call to service from an early age, and was raised to believe that from those to whom much is given, much is expected. The question I’ve faced since graduating college is how can I make the biggest difference and answer this call. Like many Gen-Xers, I originally saw the nonprofit sector as the most innovative and effective way to make a contribution. I moved to West Africa to do whatever I could to end the atrocities in Sierra Leone and then became heavily involved in the diplomatic showdown that forced the dictator Charles Taylor from power in Liberia. Since then, I have also worked in Afghanistan and Darfur, and what I witness time and time again is that the moral challenges of our time all have solutions. What we lack is the political will to solve them.
I feel like this is the right time to turn to the root causes of these dire problems, and believe that new political leadership must be part of that. Our country is hungry for new leaders who want to get things done, who are more interested in producing results than playing partisan politics. I am running for Congress because I believe politics can, and should, be a place to make our neighbors’ lives better. I just see it as community service by other means.
Q: How has your faith tradition helped shaped your political and social views?
A: I grew up in a church that preached the social justice message of the Gospels and called me to the teaching of Mathew 25. Sunday was a time that we heard about poverty, torture, and war and our moral obligation to care for and love our neighbor. My political views and my efforts to live a life of service were shaped by the prophetic call in Micah to serve the least among us and to “do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” As a Catholic, I know I will always fall short of this aspiration, but it remains my guiding light. - Faithfully Liberal's interview with Tom Periello
Tom is just one more of the more and better Democrats we have the opportunity to elect to Congress from Virginia in November.