The newly redistricted HD07 in Reston/Fairfax is deep-“blue” (McAuliffe won it 69%-30% in 2021) and – with the retirement announcement of Del. Ken Plum (D), who has represented this area for decades – a totally open seat. Which means that Democratic voters in the district can focus exclusively on who they believe will make the best person to represent them in the House of Delegates. In my opinion, that’s clearly Shyamali Hauth, for reasons I’ll explain below. Before I get to that, let me just be clear that the other Democrats in this race (Fairfax County School Board member Karen Keys-Gamarra, Paul Berry, Mary Barthelson) are good people and progressives, so this is nothing against them; I simply think Hauth would do the best job. Here’s why.
First off, I was impressed with Hauth when I met her four years ago, when she was running for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in the Hunter Mill District. In the end, Walter Alcorn won that race, after which he clearly thought highly enough of Hauth to hire her to work for him – on Multimodal Transportation, Public Safety, Arts, Trails, Sidewalks and the Town of Vienna – which she then did until recently, when she stepped down to run for the open House of Delegates seat. Alcorn, by the way, has also endorsed Hauth in this primary.
- An immigrant from India with her family when she was young;
- “Served 10 years in both enlisted and officer ranks in the US Air Force, working in Construction Management and as an Executive Officer”;
- “Work[ed] for a B2B company in Japan teaching Business and English to executives”;
- “Testified before House and Senate committees and met with legislators on both sides of the aisle on a wide range of issues…lobbied as a Virginia resident on pay & wage equity, workers’ rights, reproductive care access, transgender rights, gun control, pedestrian & bicycle safety, transit access, clean energy, and the Equal Rights Amendment”;
- “In our community, I am on the boards of Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions and The Reston Chorale. I am also active with the NAACP and the American Association for University Women (AAUW). In the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC), I serve as the Co-Chair of the Veterans and Military Families Caucus and Co-Vice Chair of Diversity and Outreach.”
- “Regionally, I was elected as the 1st Vice Chair for the Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV) and am the Mid-Atlantic & Southern Regional Director for South Asians for America (SAFA).”
Next, regarding her positions on the issues, Hauth is a strong progressive and environmentalist:
- “Attainable and affordable housing is essential to building a thriving community.”
- “As the mom of a transgender nonbinary child, I know firsthand the real harm of these legislative attacks. I have been a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community; in particular the transgender community whose rights and very lives are under threat. It is not enough to hold harmful and ill-conceived legislation at bay. I will always stand strong and speak out for my LGBTQ+ family and friends.“
- “Climate change is the greatest threat to our future. In Virginia, we are already experiencing the effects of flooding, more frequent storms, rising sea levels, polluted soils and waterways, and climate migration. We are in a moment where action is imperative.”
- “We must move with purpose and intent to maintain and strengthen our public education system.”
- “Firearms are the number one cause of death for children. No child should have easy access to a gun. Mandating child proofing features, reducing magazine capacity, and eliminating weapons of war from our streets is a matter of public health. In addition, mandating microstamping and eliminating ghost guns will increase the safety of our communities.”
- “I stand with our Unions and their efforts to ensure home health care workers are paid and have benefits, transit workers have adequate pay and time off, and that all workers have the right to collective bargaining.”
- We need to make sure we have “mental health services and facilities within our district and across Virginia”
- “Our transportation system is in need of a comprehensive and innovative approach to reduce commute times and improve our air quality. A multifaceted transportation network is necessary to reduce our carbon footprint and improve traffic flow.”
Also, according to Hauth’s campaign manager, Hauth:
- Believes that “‘Right-to-Work’ is a misnomer and does not support our working families”;
- Argues that “Campaign finance reform needs to happen…power belongs with the people not corporations“;
- Pledges to “never to accept campaign contributions from either Dominion or Appalachian Power“;
- Believes that “our constituency deserves a full-time legislature that is compensated fairly, staffed and makes Virginia their full-time priority.”
- Says that “Ranked Choice Voting has been seen to have been effective around the country” and “supports its implementation here, utilizing best practices from around the country.”
In sum, I believe that Shyamali Hauth has the background, experience and values to make a superb delegate for HD07. I encourage everyone to check out her candidacy and to strongly consider supporting her!