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Del. Alfonso Lopez Has Stood Up for Disability Rights. Vote for Him on June 11th!

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by Daniel Davis, Arlington

As a voter in the Virginia 49th House District, a strong progressive and a dedicated disability rights advocate, I write to share why I strongly support Alfonso Lopez for reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 and why you should support him too!

Delegate Lopez has a deep and steadfast commitment to social justice and to standing up for what is right, even when that entails facing formidable challenges and entrenched special interests. Many of you are aware of his dedicated advocacy for a Housing Trust Fund, Medicaid Expansion, Virginia’s version of the Dream Act and his support for Arlington’s Free Clinic. But were you aware that this past session he stood up for disability rights when legislation advocated by the financial services sector threatened to set a dangerous precedent? Delegate Lopez listened to constituents like myself, and Doris Ray, a longtime deaf-blind disability rights advocate in the 49th, when we called to his attention an alarming new bill, HB 2296, which would have limited the rights and recourse of individuals with disabilities to ensure that Credit Unions designed their websites to be accessible to people with disabilities under the Virginians with Disabilities Act.

Despite intense lobbying from the financial services industry, which swayed a large bipartisan majority in the Senate to support this legislation, Delegate Lopez took to heart our concerns that this bill would impose delays and restrictions on people with disabilities’ ability to bank with credit unions across the Commonwealth that no other group faces and could open the door to a wide range of attacks on the civil rights of Virginians with disabilities. As House Minority Whip, he joined leaders like Del. Patrick Hope in rallying  the large majority of the House Democratic caucus to oppose this special-interest bill. His caucus’ opposition was vital in securing the Governor’s proposal of a compromise amendment to – and ultimately a veto of – HR 2296.

Fellow voters of Virginia 49th House District, when you go to vote on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, I urge you to vote to nominate Alfonso Lopez to continue his capable and dedicated representation of us in the General Assembly. When you do so, you can rest assured that he will have his constituents’ backs, stand up for our concerns, and be our voice and vote against entrenched special interests in Richmond!