My name is Jonathan Park and I’m a product of northern Virginia. My parents immigrated to the United States from South Korea in the 1970's for a shot at the American dream. They learned a new language, became American citizens, worked their way through college and started a family here in northern Virginia because of the strong public schools. My experiences at Centre Ridge, Liberty, and Centreville High allowed me to follow my passion by becoming a biology and chemistry teacher. Like most teachers, I loved my job, worked more than 40 hours per week, coached basketball on the weekends and found time to earn my Master’s degree. I also spent my own money on lab materials, had students walk into my classroom hungry and saw those same students, as American as you and I, be denied the opportunity to chase their dreams due to their undocumented status and their financial reality. My time in the classroom reaffirmed my belief that the United States is the greatest country in the world because of our students and that we can and should do more to look out for each other.
I believe America is about bringing families together and leading by example. That if you work hard, play by the rules and pay your fair share, anything is possible. But now more than ever, the American values I know are in jeopardy.
I don't believe in science, I understand it. I'm not a politician, I'm a patriot doing my part to keep the American dream alive so anyone with a belief in their potential and the greater good can achieve their dreams like I was able to.
There is nothing more American than democracy and democracy requires choice. As Americans all across the country head to the polls in a critical election year, our community also deserves that opportunity and that starts on June 12th in the Democratic primary. The choice is simple and lies with each and every voter in an open primary. New leadership or status quo politics? Medicare for all? Ban fracking and pipelines? I will not be lobbied and will always stand with justice and truth.
"I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept."
- Angela Davis