Blaizen Buckshot Bloom is a proud native of Chesapeake raised in Deep Creek before moving out to Western Branch. Growing up, Blaizen learned the most important thing in life is to build and serve your community. That’s why Blaizen has been a dedicated community organizer and advocate on a range of issues from fighting the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline, to pressuring the Chesapeake School Board to adopt a more inclusive policy for transgender students, and even the expansion of voting access through the movement to move local elections to November.

As a political independent, Blaizen chooses policies based on their experiences in research along with the latest discoveries instead of political agendas that seek to push forth the ideologies of a particular group without consideration for the actual scientific background of an issue. As part of the Mitigation & Adaptation Research Institute (MARI), Blaizen had the esteemed honor of working for the Planning & Development Authority (PDA) of Grenada, a small island nation in the South Caribbean, on how the nation can establish a 50-year plan on how to prepare for future sea level rise and extreme precipitation events. Additionally, over the summer Blaizen will be working with the City of Norfolk’s Urban Forestry department on ensuring urban canopy access for all across the City whilst working with the Institute for Coastal Adaptation & Resilience (ICAR) on outreach to communities in South Norfolk to inform future planning priorities for the area.

Blaizen in Grenada with others from ODU’s MARI Program and members of Grenada’s government.

Between their work in conservation & adaptation research and their involvement in the community, Blaizen understands that the most important aspect to consider in legislating is ensuring participatory modeling, or otherwise listening to all stakeholder interests to create goals that align with all interested parties as closely as possible. From their membership in community organizations like the South Norfolk Civic League to collaborating on community projects that earned them the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Blaizen understands personally why all voices need to be at the table for decision-making.

Youth Involvement has always been an important consideration for Blaizen, especially in conservational issues. Throughout high school, Blaizen dedicated themselves to increasing youth engagement as a Founding Fellow of Civics Unplugged, an international organization dedicated to advancing democracy through youth engagement and leadership. This blossomed quickly into their time as Co-Founder & Co-Leader of Virginia’s chapter of State of the Students, a non-profit run by and for high school students to promote engagement between youth and their governmental officials.

Currently, Blaizen is entering their senior year at Old Dominion University majoring in Ocean & Earth Science, concentrating in Environmental Science, with minors in Political Science and Sustainability & Conservation Leadership. Blaizen continues to seek ways to bolster their knowledge and experience base to ensure that they are a capable leader to continue fighting for a brighter future for all Chesapeake residents so we truly can be a City where we can all live, work, and play.