I consider myself a life-long Virginian, however I was born premature to a marine family, at Camp Lejeune Military Base in North Carolina. Soon after my birth, I was placed in foster care due to lack of adequate care by my birth parents. After two years with a wonderful and caring foster family, my life changed forever when I was adopted by the most caring and loving family I could have ever wished for.
Being adopted by the Pudhorodsky family is the best thing that ever happened to me. Mary Jane and Greg Pudhorodsky were a military family as well. Shortly after being adopted my family moved to Hampton Roads for the last four years of my Dad's active duty military career in the Navy. I then attended the Miller School in Charlottesville, Virginia. At the Miller School I learned honor, dignity, respect and service to others. I also attended Old Dominion University and made friends that would last a lifetime.
This service to others I still consider important today; whether it is advocating for the underprivileged, or volunteering at the local homeless shelter. I am a true believer that, "I am my brothers keeper." That is one of the main reasons I have decided to run for The House of Delegates.
I have worked with special needs children in the Charlottesville City Public School System. This experience showed me the importance of providing a quality education for all young adults, no matter what zip code they live in or their family's financial status. After a year in the school system I worked in the Social Service Field as an HIV/AIDS Educator with the local AIDS Services Organization.
During this time, I recognized the fundamental right of healthcare for all of our citizens. I became an active member of the community and helped, through outreach and hard work, to increase the number of LGBT citizens being tested. I learned the importance of advocating for civil rights for all people no matter his/her race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
My strong stance on criminal justice reform comes from my own personal experience. I never truly understood the inequities that take place within the criminal justice system. The decisions I made in my mid to late twenties resulted in me facing the realities of the criminal justice system. I learned the hard way how the criminal justice system discriminates against undeserved communities. I saw the vast majority of those incarcerated were people of color. While the sentences they received were so disproportionate to the crime that was committed. This changed my views on how the criminal justice system was being run throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have strong opposition to capital punishment, the revocation of parole, the use of solitary confinement in our jails and prisons, proper medical and mental health treatment for those who are incarcerated, and treating everyone that is subject to the criminal justice system with dignity and respect. Upon my release I vowed to fight for those that needed to have a voice at the table.
Mike has been in a long term relationship with a member of the armed forces, and they enjoy traveling, and going to events throughout Hampton Roads.