Our DMO of the Month is the Next Generation of Government
Municipal government serves as the farm team for the Democratic Party. When the next generation enters public office, they gain experience in community engagement and respect for serving their constituents. We begin the year with a young leader who exemplifies the next wave of Democratic office holders. Meet Jasmine Gore, Vice Mayor of Hopewell, Virginia, and DMO of the Month for January.
First elected in 2012 at age 26, Gore is one of the youngest to hold office in Hopewell. A college internship in the state General Assembly sparked an enthusiasm for legislation, and inspired a well-prepared run for City Council. She met with then Mayor Christina Luman-Bailey for guidance, and got involved with the Architecture Review Board and Economic Development Authority to learn first-hand how local government operates and interacts with the public.
Gore's campaign combated a lack of funds and perceptions of immaturity with a storm of local event appearances. She demonstrated that the best way to dispel public misconceptions is direct conversations with voters. In a time where many voters are ready for a change, Gore made her youth and fresh perspective an asset. She reinforced personal outreach with a strong online presence, and won endorsements from organizations such as VA NOW and the AFL-CIO. Her campaign is a model for how young people can successfully win local elections, and she speaks with organizations such as Emerge Virginia to inspire other Democratic women in the state to run for office.
Jasmine Gore uses her position as an opportunity to connect government with Hopewell's youth. Young voters often feel that their interests are underrepresented in public decisions, and a peer in office is a welcome sign of enfranchisement and progress. Partnering with other city organizations, Gore spearheaded a midnight basketball event to help combat youth violence. She also initiated a review into how youth activities are advertised, funded, and attended to examine how these programs might be improved. Having been recognized for her own leadership, Gore is just as enthusiastic showing off the accomplishments of the wider Hopewell community. She connects with residents on social media to promote the students, activists, and engaged citizens who work hard to put on local events and performances.
Civic development is a critical part of Jasmine Gore’s vision for Hopewell’s future. This includes a strategic plan for the city. Jasmine stressed the importance of public input in creating the strategic plan, and town halls and public surveys played a large role in its formation. She also worked to secure a gateway enhancement project for Interstate 295, and is looking to revamp the city’s website to make it more accessible for residents. Government exists in part to make life easier for citizens, and Jasmine Gore is rebuilding the public’s belief that their voices matter.
Hopewell's Vice Mayor is a case study in how young people can engage their communities, get elected, and bring the next generation of progress to our towns. Our DMO of the Month for January is a rising star in the Democratic Party, and we know that her hard work and fresh outlook will continue to enrich Hopewell.
Jasmine Gore majored in Biology and Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. Working full time at a DNA sequencing lab, she was recently appointed to the Board of Medicine by Governor McAuliffe. She serves on the Community and Economic Development committee of the Virginia Municipal League, and on the Board of National League of Cities. She is Deputy Director of Region 3 for the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Chosen as one of Style Weekly’s 40 under 40, Vice Mayor Gore was named the Democratic Party of Virginia’s Emerging Leader of the Year for 2014.