This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I implore you: The Civil Rights Movement is NOT over. We still have systematic economic, institutional, and cultural inequities, de facto segregation, gentrification, the cradle-to-prison pipeline, women’s inequality, climate injustice, and more.
My son got in the way a bit so I took two separate clips totaling 6 minutes.
I am running as a Democrat for Congress in Florida’s 6th district as Ambassador Soderberg did in 2018, focused on the climate crisis, healthcare, education, and equity, including fair taxation and stopping giveaways to the wealthy and corporations.
Nancy is amazing and far better qualified, but she does not want to run again and I believe Michael Waltz should not be allowed to just waltz into a 2nd term without giving him a fight. He is anti-abortion whereas I support women’s rights and access to abortion and contraceptives.
I am 2 months older than AOC was when she ran, and am younger than all present members of Congress. I have a Ph.D. in Education from University of Central Florida where I focused on measuring and suggesting ways to improve the financial knowledge of future teachers, and am a teacher educator who has taught nearly 300 students at UCF about technology and pedagogy.
This is the first 10 minutes of Congresswoman Val Demings’s speech on Friday, January 17, 2020 at the 2nd annual Mary McLeod Bethune gala at The Center at Deltona in Deltona, Florida. She was previously the Orlando Chief of Police and is 1 of 7 U.S. House impeachment managers for Donald Trump’s trial in the U.S. Senate. She flew in from Washington, D.C. the same day to be able to speak to us. Unfortunately I was at the back, but the audio is good.
Although I am aware that members of Congress are not required to be natural-born citizens, I want to be transparent and get out in front of any questions about my place of birth that might arise during my campaign. My mother emigrated from China not long before my birth, but I am a natural-born citizen of the United States as evidenced by my birth certificate below. For privacy, I have redacted several elements, although I may make a complete copy available to journalists upon request if needed to verify the veracity of this document. Although this birth certificate only shows that I was born in Volusia County (the entirety of which is included within Florida’s 6th Congressional district), my exact place of birth was Halifax Hospital (now known as Halifax Health Medical Center).
In addition, some may question the origin of my name. First, my grandmother named my father Richard after Ricky Nelson, not knowing Nelson’s actual name was Ricky, not Richard. Second, my father gave me his first and last name but a different middle name: Xichao, after my grandfather in China (pronounced “see chow” as in I see food and I eat it). Third, the last name, Thripp, is pronounced like the number “three,” and originates from the fact that my father disliked his family and his original last name, which was Parrish. He looked for a new last name and chose the name Thripp after coming across it in a book at the Ormond Beach library in 1985, and was successful in petitioning a judge to allow him to change his last name as shown in this court document from January 22, 1986 (which can be independently verified by public records request):
Thripp is often mispronounced and misspelled as Tripp. I was born in 1991 as a natural-born Thripp with no court petition required. From 2010 to 2016 I went by Richard Parrish on Facebook for privacy and due to disliking the Thripp name, but I returned to using Richard Thripp as my name on Facebook on my 25th birthday on August 17, 2016, which was subsequent to completing my Applied Learning and Instruction M.A. and several days before beginning my Education Ph.D. program that I completed in December 2019.
Here is my candidate introduction speech at the 2nd annual Mary McLeod Bethune gala at The Center at Deltona on January 17, 2020, at which Congresswoman Val Demings (D, FL-10) and Representative Anna V. Eskamani (D, FL HD 47) also spoke! I am running as a Democrat for Florida’s 6th district which includes Volusia and Flagler counties as well as parts of St. Johns and Lake counties (Daytona Beach, Deltona, Palm Coast, Bunnell, New Smryna Beach, Edgewater, etc.).
Good evening everyone. My name is Richard Thripp, and I’m running for the Democratic nomination for United States House of Representatives in the 6th district [of Florida]. Hopefully we’ll give Michael Waltz real competition. He had a great competitor last time and we know it’s a difficult district, but remember that we’ve got to get young people involved in politics. We have to raise important issues. And, most importantly, the climate crisis. Our children and grandchildren will look back on us, and they’ll say either that we made a change—it looks very late at this time, but there’s still time to make a change—or that we let the world go down in flames.
I’m a teacher educator at the University of Central Florida, and I have just completed my Ph.D. in Education last month. I’m 28 years old, and my wife Kristy’s in the audience, and we have a 10-month-old baby boy at home. He’s got 4 teeth coming in all at once, so he’s really unhappy right now. Anyway, you’ll be seeing a lot—I don’t know if you’ve seen me online, but people have—but I’m coming out to clubs, and I’m coming out to caucuses and events.
As you know, just yesterday or the day before, Virginia passed the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s very historic. This amendment has been basically dormant since 1978. And tomorrow, we’ll be marching in Flagler Beach for women’s rights, and also, Ambassador Nancy Soderberg will be speaking there too. I know you’ve got the [Dr. Martin Luther King] breakfast here. We’ve got lots of stuff going on. But, I look forward to that, I look forward to campaigning, and to raising important issues for this district, for Florida, for the entire country, and for the planet.
Thanks to my wife Kristy for recording this video.