Photo Credit: Hillary Clinton Campaign Facebook Page

As a young kid, I used to love exploring a valley behind our family’s house. It was a place my imagination could run as wild as all the animals that made their habitat there. But eventually, someone made plans to develop the valley. I had to do something, I had to speak up.

So at the age of 11, I asked my parents to take me to City Hall so I could make my case for preserving the open space of the animals in the valley. It was my first real taste of civic life. I understood then what it means to be a citizen, to engage my community, and fight for what I believe in.

I was drawn to the Democratic party because, in it, I found people like me — people who believed in civic responsibility and the need for all of us to pull together and make progress. I found a family willing to accept all walks of life and perspectives.

To me, being a Democrat most of all means championing the issues that affect those that do not have a powerful voice in our political system. It’s about people who struggle to work long hours and then come home to the most important job of raising their kids right so they might have the opportunity to go to college and earn a good living. It’s about benefiting from our great diversity as a nation and the belief that, out of many, we are one.

We face a stark choice in this election, one that I believe history will remember as a turning point for our country.

On one hand, we have the potential of a President Donald J. Trump, a man who was born on third base and thinks he hit a grand slam. A man who promises to deport immigrant families and ban an entire religion from America. And a man who I believe will cause irreparable harm to our nation and the world with his reckless beliefs and lack of desire to learn the complicated ways of our political system.

On the other hand, we have Hillary Clinton. Hillary is a tireless advocate for working people, for children, for anyone without a voice. She has devoted her life to public service and served joyfully, even as she’s forced to weather endless criticism and scrutiny. She has the toughness and encyclopedic knowledge of policy that any president needs to navigate the United States of America through a perilous world.

And she has picked a wonderful partner in Tim Kaine, a progressive champion, former Governor and Mayor, and terrific human being.

I believe Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are the right choice to lead our country.

I also know many of you supported or continue to support Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders is an honorable man of principle who has consistently advocated for policies to level the playing field for working people. I’m sure he will continue to strengthen our party and push us forward with progressive policies that open doors of opportunity for everyone.

But whether you supported Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the primary, now is the time to come together, roll up our sleeves, and make sure Donald Trump never becomes our president.

For my part, I’m going to be on the ground going door to door, trying to help Democrats up and down the ticket. I need you with me. Please sign up to volunteer, or if that doesn’t work for you, make a contribution to our campaign and help us identify other supporters.

Now is the time for action. I hope you will stand together with all of us committed to progressive ideals.