Dear Friend,

As you may know, I have announced my candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in California's 9th Congressional District, the place where I was born and raised. I am running because I believe the people of this district deserve a seat at the table and a voice in American politics.

Many of the most decent, charitable people in the world call this district home. Sadly, Congress has breached the public trust and fallen short of our most basic expectations. Spending money we don't have on programs we don't need defies common sense. That vote trading and wasteful earmark spending happen so regularly doesn't make these practices right. The consequences of Washington's failures are evident throughout the district. Here in San Joaquin County, the unemployment rate is nearly twice the nation's average. Jobs are so scarce that young adults originally from the Central Valley often have no option to return home. It is imperative that we rebuild the economy in order to sustain this community we love. Fortunately, we do not confront this task empty-handed: our abundant agricultural industry and proximity to the innovative Silicon Valley point the way to future job growth. We must create an atmosphere that fosters small businesses and shelters them from the burdens of frivolous litigation and onerous regulation.

As a former member of the California State Board of Education, I recognize that public schools are the great equalizer of any free society. Educational opportunity is not merely a matter of social equity; it is also the best investment we can make in a prosperous future for America. Only by receiving a rigorous, comprehensive education will our students be able to fill the jobs of the 21st century and compete on the global economic scene.

Our founding fathers endowed us with a brilliant system of representative government. Power ultimately rests on the consent of the governed. As such, citizens are given the chance to exercise accountability through the ballot box and other means. This election is about reviving the American Dream, the same one my immigrant parents embraced decades ago in San Joaquin County, where they are now physicians and farmers. Public service is a noble calling and certainly no stranger to me. Moving forward, I pledge to run as a candidate for the people, by the people and of the people from my native Congressional District.

Very truly yours,

Ricky Gill