Ross Mittiga was raised by working-class people in rural Florida and has seen first-hand the pressures put on most families. The fear of losing a job, going without healthcare, having hours cut, coming up short on the bills. Growing up, there wasn’t much money for the extras, but he was able to attend college on a full scholarship.
While there, Ross became passionate about progressive politics. He volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008, leading a contingent of students from Florida to South Carolina to knock on doors and get out the vote. In 2015 and 2016, he became involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign, working to push progressive values that prioritize working people and environmental stewardship.
Over the last five years, he and his wife have become regulars at climate change and social justice protests around Virginia and in D.C.—something he will continue to do as a legislator. In his view, speaking out is imperative to creating change.
In his work as a teacher and researcher at the University of Virginia, he focuses on the political and ethical challenges posed by global climate change. He believes that academics have a responsibility to serve the public good, and for him there is no higher calling than empowering young people to serve their communities. Ross’ personal research enables him to expose how climate policies affect vulnerable groups. He intends to bring this measured, methodical approach to the Virginia General Assembly.