Want to put names with faces of 2019 Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate candidates – and also who is a “champion” on various issues? See below for videos from Day #2 of the 2019 Virginia Women’s Summit, which was amazing by the way…and absolutely packed, not sure of the exact number but had to be like 500+. If that’s reflective of the amount of Democratic and women activists’ energy and enthusiasm out there, we actually could be in very good shape this November in the Virginia General Assembly elections!
Activist Ali Symons talked about environmental injustice and the urgent need for environmental protection/climate action (e.g., stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure, such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline). Symons then introduced environmental “champions” – Brent Finnegan (Dem nominee in HD26), Morgan Goodman (Dem nominee in HD55), Sally Hudson (Dem nominee in HD57), Gayle Johnson (Dem nominee in HD82), Del. Mark Keam (HD35), Jennifer Kitchen (Dem nominee in HD25) and Del. Sam Rasoul (HD11).
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Director Tarina Keene talked about the Republican assault on women’s reproductive health/freedom and the urgent need to fight back (“repeal and codify!”). Keene introduced reproductive health champions Del. Hala Ayala (HD51), Sen. Jennifer Boysko (SD33), Sheila Bynum-Coleman (Dem nominee in HD66), Sen. Barbara Favola (SD31), Del. Kathy Tran (HD42).
U.S. Air Force veteran and community advocate Shyamali Hauth and Erica Clayton (Postcards & Politics) talked about the need to ratify the ERA and to fight for LGBTQ equality. They introduced equality champions Francis Edwards (Dem nominee in HD99), Beverly Harrison (Dem nominee in HD15), Juanita Jo Matkins (Dem nominee in HD56), Del. Danica Roem (HD13), Del. Rip Sullivan (HD48), Mavis Taintor (Dem nominee in HD33), Del. Vivian Watts (HD39)
On criminal justice, Diann Smith (Peninsula Indivisible) said “the criminal justice system is one of those issues that repeatedly has me saying, wait what? Is that really true? In America? How can that be possible? But it is and it’s awful.” Criminal justice champions on stage were Del. Lee Carter (HD50), Joshua Cole (Dem nominee in HD28), Laura Galante (Dem nominee in HD18), Del. Charniele Herring (HD46), Christian Worth (Dem nominee in HD24), Suhas Subramanyam (Dem nominee in HD87)
On voting rights, Virginia Leadership Institute founder Krysta Jones talked about past heroes for voting rights and vowed that we will “move past anger to get the job done.” Voting rights champions on stage were Larry Barnett (Dem nominee in HD27), Del. John Bell (Dem nominee in SD13), Lindsey Dougherty (Dem nominee in HD52), Annette Hyde (Dem nominee in SD24), Del. Mark Sickles (HD23), Del. Marcus Simon (HD53), Ella Webster (Dem nominee in HD98), Sen. Jennifer McClellan (SD9).
On immigration, Liana Montecinos (United for Social Justice) talked about how undocumented immigrants are an integral part of our community, with over 1 million foreign-born people in Virginia and around 300,000 undocumented immigrants. She talked about trauma for children who suffer family separation and other challenges facing the undocumented immigrant community and how we can’t look away and do nothing about this situation. Immigration champions on stage were Del. Elizabeth Guzman (HD31), Del. Paul Krizek (HD44), Del. Ken Plum (HD36), Qasim Rashid (Dem nominee in SD28), Kevin Washington (Dem nominee in HD97).
On building a family-friendly economy, presenters were Briana Sewell and Tara Gibson of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. They talked about the need for access to paid family and medical leave, a living wage, affordable elder care, etc. Family-friendly economy champions on stage were Elizabeth Alcorn (Dem nominee in HD58), Del. Karrie Delaney (HD67), Jess Foster (Dem nominee in HD88), Phil Hernandez (Dem nominee in HD100), Stan Scott (Dem nominee in SD4), Jennifer Woofter (Dem nominee in HD22).
On education, Luisa Boyarski of the Georgetown Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership talked about the importance of investing in teachers, schools, technology, etc. Education champions on stage were Del. Kelly Fowler (HD21), Nancy Guy (Dem nominee in HD83, Karen Mallard (Dem nominee in HD34), Del. David Reid (HD32), Ronnie Ross (Dem nominee in SD27), Virginia Smith (Dem nominee in SD15).
On public safety, the presenter (Samyuktha Mahadevan, a cofounder of Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America) – asked the audience to raise their hands if they knew anyone who’d been impacted by gun violence, who has faced domestic abuse, who fears interaction with the police, who has a child in a school that has lockdown drills. The result? Almost everyone’s hands went up. Which is why, she argued, we need a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Public safety champions on stage were Dan Helmer (Dem nominee in HD40), Sen. Janet Howell (SD32), Del. Chris Hurst (HD12), Herb Jones (Dem nominee in SD3), Del. Kathleen Murphy (HD34), Missy Cotter Smasal (Dem nominee in SD8).
On healthcare, Kimberly Anne Tucker (2017 Dem nominee in HD81) talked about needing to take a “cocktail of medication to be able to walk with minimal pain.” She said “we are here because we are committed.” Tucker introduced the healthcare champions on stage: Sen. George Barker (SD39), Del. Wendy Gooditis (HD10), Flo Ketner (Dem nominee in SD19), Del. Alfonso Lopez (HD49), April Moore (Dem nominee in SD26), Ann Ridgeway (Dem nominee in HD30).
Added bonus: amazing drums by Batalá Washington. They are amazing!