I’m Blaizen Buckshot Bloom and yes that’s been my name since birth. Simply put, I’m named after the NASCAR drivers Blaise Alexander & Buckshot Jones. I’ve called the Deep Creek borough of Chesapeake my home as long back as I can remember and am a proud graduate of Deep Creek High School right here in the heart of the 89th district. I was raised at home by my mother who is a Freight Auditor while my father, now a veteran, served during the War on Terror in the U.S. Navy.

Growing up I was instilled two important by my parents. The first was to follow my heart and stand up for what I know to be true inside regardless of the repercussions. The second was to be a freethinker and approach any shred of information with a healthy amount of skepticism especially for views that I otherwise would find agreeable. As political independents that leaned towards opposite sides of the political spectrum, I was instilled with the knowledge that democracy doesn’t have a blue or red tint and that both parties have their flaws.

In high school I became involved in our community first advocating against Domion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Southside Connector Project – massive pipelines that ran through our backyards and next to our schools to sell fracked gas abroad without any oversight into the project. I was one of few advocates that worked towards switching our local Elections from May to November and similarly opposed the unplanned suburban sprawl that replaced our rural farmlands with worsened flooding and overcrowded schools.

After high school I attended Old Dominion University on a full-ride scholarship thanks to federal, state, and institutional need-based aid & VA benefits. I continued to advocate in our community for the protection of our students of LGBTQIA+ & Trans experience while doing the same to on my university campus through writing new, inclusive policies. I was a founding member of the Rural Chesapeake Preservation Committee committed to a citizens referendum to develop a plan for sustainable development that would establish a Green Line to preserve our remaining farmlands.

I was proud in college to participate in policy research as part of my course requirements working under the Mitigation & Adaptation Research Institute (MARI) in partnership with the island-nation of Grenada to develop the base for a 50-year plan on how to tackle future sea level rise and extreme precipitation events. After completion I worked with the City of Norfolk on a plan to best utilize Inflation Reduction Act funding for Urban Forestry initiatives working alongside the Institute for Coastal Adaptation & Resilience (ICAR) to get community feedback from Norfolk’s southside. Both times utilizing a participatory approach that focused on listening to all stakeholders to develop the goals of the project that would inform the ultimate recommendations, an approach I will take to Richmond to ensure that people, not politics, dictate my policy priorities.

Now as a proud college graduate I’m excited that I get to put my education and experiences to work by serving the Citizens of Chesapeake as an appointed member of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board. I’m eager to serve as the Climate & Environmental Justice chair of the Chesapeake NAACP and serve as a part of such an influential organization towards the issue I am most passionate about. I’m appreciative at the opportunity to live my Dream by starting my own business in media production services with a longtime friend. I’m thrilled that I get to work a blue collar union job through local #285 of IATSE that has personally proven to me the benefits of a strong union. And I’m inspired by my chosen family that prove to me everyday that family is more than genetics but an act of continuous love and support through whatever endeavors you go through.