U.S. House Approves Federal Ashanti Alert Legislation
Ashanti Billie was a beautiful, young Black woman with a beaming smile. She was a hard worker. She would wake up before sunrise and head to the naval base and start her job. At night, she attended culinary classes at the Virginia Beach Art Institute. She had hopes and dreams and aspirations, and she was passionate about life and brought that positive energy to everyone who met her.
Mr. Speaker, 1 year ago today, early in the morning, I met with local constituents, Kimberly Wimbush and Michael Muhammad; the Billie family–parents, Tony and Brandy; and Dyotha Sweat from the NAACP.
Being military veterans themselves, the Billie family didn’t understand how this could happen. They were confused and very much worried. Their young daughter, Ashanti, was missing, abducted from the Little Creek naval base.
Mr. Speaker, I knew right then that fateful morning, in my gut and in my heart, that this family would soon receive some tragic news. I knew this family and these friends needed my help. My heart and my team’s hearts were with them.
Mr. Speaker, there are no words, no wishes, or no whispers that can bring back or ease the Billie family burden. But make no mistake about it, no amount of darkness can ever keep out a bright light.
I may have met with a shaken family that day, but on this day, they sit before us today, in this Chamber, strong, determined, and ready to solidify Ashanti’s legacy.
Today’s vote on Ashanti’s legacy will give law enforcement all across our great Nation a new tool to bring resources to bear to locate missing adults who may be in danger, and will, no doubt, save lives.
Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues’ support.