New Virginia Majority Statement on House of Representatives Passing Build Back Better Act

November 19, 2021

Today the House of Representatives passed some of the Build Back Better Act. For Virginians, this means access to free preschool for working class families, the expansion of health care coverage, lower taxes, job creation and access to affordable housing.

This historic legislation would provide relief to Virginia families and make a tangible difference in the lives of everyday people. Expanding rental assistance, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and affordable child care are just a few tangible policies that will make strides to a more equitable place to live for all of us.

“The Build Back Better plan is the biggest investment in the American people since the New Deal. Not only will it lift up Americans from all walks of life, it also includes the largest effort to combat climate change in American history, ensuring that we do our part as global citizens to protect our planet for future generations,” said Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority.

Next, the bill will move on to the Senate, where Congress has a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Americans. The American people have waited long enough. With the support of Senator Warner and Senator Kaine, we hope for the speedy passage of the Build Back Better plan.

Contact: Debra Freeman, [email protected] 


New Virginia Majority 2021 Election Statement

The results from this election show us that we have critical work ahead to continue to build on the progress we have made over the past few years. The issues that are important to working class communities of color are not tied to a specific candidate or party, but rather to ensuring that Virginia is equitable, fair, and inclusive.

We must continue to fight for opportunity and equity for all Virginians, and ensure that the commonwealth is a welcoming place for all of us. The work is more critical than ever to secure paid family and medical leave, quality health care, a living wage, and much more. 

Our communities - working people, people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, young people, and more -- know what’s at stake. Since January, New Virginia Majority staff and volunteers made over 830,000 phone calls and 500,000 knocks to reach as many voters as possible. 

“We cannot afford to move backward -- we have to keep pushing forward,” said Sue Taylor, a canvasser in Virginia Beach who personally knocked on over 3200 doors. “We will continue to hit these streets and knock doors and reach as many people as possible."

We are committed to continuing to organize, engage, and build power in our communities, and will continue to work towards a state that values all of us. We win when we show communities what’s at stake, and when we provide a bold vision forward with key policies that will improve people’s lives.


New Virginia Majority Statement on The Build Back Better Agenda

September 23, 2021

Our country is facing multiple, severe crises.  The COVID-19 Delta variant is running rampant in our communities, the economic recovery from the pandemic isn’t reaching everyone while people try to find reliable, safe childcare and jobs that allow hardworking people to both work safely and be compensated fairly. Our democracy is hanging on by the smallest of threads, our climate is not only changing but is heading towards more natural disasters, immigrants can’t get ahead no matter how hard they work, and hardworking families struggle to make ends meet.

However there is some hope. Congress has made substantial progress in crafting legislation that offers real solutions and can put us on a path to a thriving future. Among the provisions of the Build Back Better Plan that are currently under negotiation includes: providing health care to Americans who need it, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and adding hearing, dental and vision coverage to Medicare, including care policies like paid family and medical leave and investments in childcare and services for seniors and adults with disabilities, putting the country on a path to 100 percent clean energy, building a million new units of affordable housing,and providing a pathway to citizenship for millions of people. These measures would help support families all across the country in real ways.

These proposals have wide support among the American people, and would be paid for by reforming the tax code so that the highest income earners and richest corporations pay their fair share. Middle class and working Americans are already paying enough. When we invest in the foundations of our communities, we all thrive. 

This plan makes transformational investments in our future, while also reforming our tax code by leveling the playing field for working families and small businesses. It’s time for Congress to pass the Build Back Better plan, including the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, and remind Americans that it is capable of responding to the challenges of our time.


Contact: Debra Freeman, [email protected] 


New Virginia Majority Announces Second Round of Endorsements

Today, New Virginia Majority announced a second round of endorsements for the 2021 electoral cycle, including House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (House District 41), Del. Candi King (House District 2), Del. Wendy Gooditis (House District 10), Del. Danica Roem (House District 13), Del. Elizabeth Guzman (House District 31), Del. Mark Sickles (House District 43), Del. Paul Krizek (House District 44), Del. Lashrecse Aird (House District 63), Del. Jeff Bourne (House District 71), Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (House District 72), Del. Jay Jones (House District 89), Del. Mike Mullin (House District 93), and Del. Shelly Simonds (House District 94) as they seek reelection in the House of Delegates.

We have made generational progress in Virginia these past several years not only because Black and brown voters have turned out in record numbers, but because they have also organized around issues that most directly impact their lives. As a result, we can see the progress that can be made when working class communities of color come together, organize and vote. In order to continue our transformational progress, it is imperative that we elect candidates who have a history of engaging with our communities. 

“Every single Virginia voter has the potential to make a tremendous difference in Virginia’s future, and New Virginia Majority will ensure they’re ready to cast their votes toward equity and progress,” said Maya Castillo, political director of New Virginia Majority.

This year, New Virginia Majority plans on investing $3.2 million on direct voter outreach, mobilizing and education for Black, Latinx and AAPI voters, to ensure their voices and votes are counted. 

"New Virginia Majority's support for additional candidates is strongly tied to our commitment to mobilize our communities and electing leaders who are committed to living in a just Virginia," said Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority.

Earlier this year, NVM endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor, Hala Ayala for lieutenant governor, Mark Herring for attorney general, Del. Alex Askew (House District 85), Del, Dan Helmer (House District 40), Del. Rodney Willett (House District 73), Del. Kelly Convirs Fowler (House District 21), and Del. Kathy Tran (House District 42), as well as several candidates seeking to serve in the House of Delegates for the first time, including Michelle Maldonado (House District 50), Briana Sewell (House District 51), Katie Sponsler (House District 66), and Debra Gardner (House District 27) for House of Delegates.

We look forward to working to get our endorsed candidates elected, and will continue to work with other organizations to ensure a more just Virginia for all of us.


New Virginia Majority Announces Slate of Endorsements

 

Today, New Virginia Majority announced a first round of endorsements for the 2021 electoral cycle, including endorsements for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and House of Delegates. Endorsements include Terry McAuliffe for governor, Hala Ayala for lieutenant governor, Mark Herring for attorney general. The endorsements for the House of Delegates are Alex Askew (House District 85), Dan Helmer (House District 40), Rodney Willett (House District 73), Kelly Convirs Fowler (House District 21), and Kathy Tran (House District 42), and the challengers that are endorsed are Michelle Maldonado (House District 50), Briana Sewell (House District 51), Katie Sponsler (House District 66), and Debra Gardner (House District 27).

Virginia is leading the South, and the nation, on many fronts, including the expansion of voting rights, significant changes to our criminal legal system, and ensuring all Virginians can live free from discrimination as we work toward a Virginia that values all of us. However, there is still work to do to ensure the protection of these accomplishments and to continue to build a more inclusive state that continues to transform the lives of working class communities of color through policy victories. 

This year, New Virginia Majority plans on investing $3.2 million on direct voter outreach, mobilizing and education for Black, Latinx and AAPI voters, to ensure their voices and votes are counted. 

​​”Change doesn’t happen on its own. We have made generational progress in Virginia these past several years not only because Black and brown voters have turned out in record numbers, but because they have also organized around issues that most directly impact their lives. As a result, we are seeing firsthand the progress that can be made when working class communities of color come together, organize and vote. To continue our transformational progress, it is imperative that we elect candidates who have a history of engaging with our communities. We are excited to work alongside our community members and partners to elect champions and allies who will fight with us to keep Virginia moving forward,” said Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority.

We look forward to working to get our endorsed candidates elected, and will work with other organizations to ensure a more just Virginia for all of us.

 

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Ramin Fatehi Primary Victory

New Virginia Majority congratulates Ramin Fatehi on his victory tonight in the Democratic primary for Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney. We have seen how Commonwealth's Attorneys serve a crucial role in reducing Virginia's dependence on incarceration and minimizing racial disparities in the criminal legal system. Ramin Fatehi is best positioned to serve justice, improve transparency, and make our community safer as a Commonwealth’s Attorney. 

“NVM’s strategy is field first - and that is how we win legislative victories and elections. We talk with voters one by one at their doors and on the phone, inviting them into a process that has often neglected them. This is how we transform and grow our electorate into one that is truly representative of the diverse communities who call Virginia home,” said Maya Castillo, political director for NVM. 

We are looking forward to supporting him in November. If elected, we are confident that he will continue to enact and expand upon the reforms that Virginians expect from their elected officials.


Statement on Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial

Earlier today, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges in the murder of George Floyd, and this moment is full of mixed emotions -- relief, anger, and sadness, to name a few. While the verdict delivers accountability, a racist criminal and policing system remains intact. George Floyd should still be alive today. His life should not have been taken from him in the first place, nor the lives of countless Black people who have died at the hands of police. 

Just in the past six months in Virginia, Ellis ‘Buck’ Frye, Xzavier Hill, Donald Hairston, and Donovan Lynch faced the same execution at the hands of law enforcement. There was no opportunity for due process -- they were all presumed guilty and given a death sentence. How many hashtags with someone’s name attached can we put on our social media before we decide enough is enough?  

Certainly, elected officials need to pass laws to hold police officers accountable to these heinous acts. But we cannot sit on the sidelines and wait for legislators to pass bills -- we elected them to work for us, and they need to know where we stand. Taxpayer dollars need to go towards effective and meaningful change. Investing in mental health resources, housing and education, as well as ending qualified immunity and addressing the root causes of the criminalization of marginalized communities are better solutions, not putting more police officers on the street or buying military grade equipment for police departments.  

Last summer, thousands of outraged Virginians marched in the street to protest against the countless lynchings of Black Americans, and we cannot allow their deaths to be in vain. Our work does not stop here; until there is a meaningful overhaul of our criminal legal system and law enforcement, our communities will continue to march in the streets and through the halls of power to demand change and justice for all of us.


New Virginia Majority Applauds Governor Northam’s Efforts Towards Voting Rights Restoration

New Virginia Majority Applauds Governor Northam’s Efforts Towards Voting Rights Restoration

The right to vote and to choose our leaders is a fundamental foundation of this country, and today we applaud Governor Ralph Northam for making strides to ensure that more people who have been caught up in our criminal legal system are eligible to have their rights restored. Today, an additional 69,000 formerly incarcerated Virginians are now eligible to vote.

New Virginia Majority and organizers across the Commonwealth have worked to encourage our elected officials to pass a constitutional amendment that will properly support the formerly incarcerated for over a decade, and the Virginia legislature made the first steps to change Virginia’s constitution by passing SJ 272 and HJ 555. 

“Governor Northam’s announcement today is a reflection of this country’s founding principles - a government of, for and by the people,” said Tram Nguyen, co-executive director. “Our democracy is strongest when we all have the opportunity to participate, and our communities are stronger and safer for it.”   

Now is the time to make sure that everyone has the right to vote and participate in democracy, regardless of their past mistakes or a deeply flawed legal system.


New Virginia Majority Endorses Ramin Fatehi for Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney

February 25, 2021

Today New Virginia Majority (NVM) announced its endorsement of Ramin Fatehi for Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney.

NVM has worked in communities of color across Virginia over more than a decade and we have seen how Commonwealth's Attorneys serve a crucial role in reducing Virginia's dependence on incarceration and in minimizing racial disparities in the criminal justice system. As a longtime member of the Norfolk community, Ramin Fatehi is best positioned to take on this role and remain accountable to his constituents.  

Ramin Fatehi, a Hampton Roads native, has served as a Virginia Supreme Court law clerk and a public defender, and is currently a Deputy Commonwealth Attorney in Norfolk. Fatehi has led the charge in Norfolk to decriminalize and legalize marijuana possession, abolish cash bail and the jury trial penalty, and to make the justice system honor the principle that Black Lives Matter.

“I am proud and humbled to have the support of New Virginia Majority, who has been working tirelessly to change Virginia for the better. From advocating for the restoration of the rights of returning citizens to expanding access to the ballot box and to ensuring that all Virginians are treated with justice and dignity, New Virginia Majority has led the way. I look forward to working together to make Norfolk and Virginia a fairer, safer, and more just place,” said Fatehi.

NVM political director Maya Castillo said, "Ramin Fatehi will prioritize the needs of our community by working to end the criminalization of poverty and the cycles of loss that have historically pushed Virginians into the criminal justice system. We are excited to work to elect him as Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney." 

We look forward to working to get Ramin Fatehi elected and to continue to shape Virginia.

Contact: Deb Freeman, dfreem[email protected]


New Virginia Majority Endorses Jennifer McClellan for Governor of Virginia

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Today New Virginia Majority announced its endorsement of Jennifer McClellan for Governor of Virginia.

Virginia is leading the South, and the nation, on many fronts, including the expansion of voting rights, significant changes to our criminal legal system, and ensuring all Virginians can live free from discrimination. However, there are still strides that need to be made. Health care, education, racial equity, climate justice, a global pandemic, and more hang in the balance. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to choose a candidate that will continue to move on issues that will help all Virginians. 

We are seeing firsthand the progress that can be made when working-class, communities of color come together, organize, and vote,” said Tram Nguyen, New Virginia Majority co-executive director. “As a result, we have better policy outcomes that address our communities’ needs, in large part because we have elected leaders who reflect us and who understand our collective experiences. Senator McClellan is the right candidate for this moment. Her experience and steadfast leadership will build upon the progress already being made and result in more transformational change for all of us.”

Over the last decade, New Virginia Majority has expanded the electorate in Virginia to be more reflective of Virginia’s rich diversity, and because of our work, Black and brown voters have turned out in record numbers, giving voice to the most underrepresented among us. As Governor, Jennifer McClellan will work with our communities across the commonwealth, and engage Virginians to continue to drive policy changes that will improve all our lives. 

Senator McClellan has partnered with New Virginia Majority for years on several issues, including the School Equity and Staffing Act, working to eliminate the school to prison pipeline, and expanding health care access, most recently directing the state to explore options to extend health care access to undocumented children.

"New Virginia Majority has been a critical partner in the work to secure voting rights and workers’ rights  for all Virginians, and that's why I'm so proud to receive their endorsement for governor," said Sen. McClellan. "Together, we will continue to build a more equitable Commonwealth that breaks down barriers and engages every community in Virginia in rebuilding our economy. I'm thrilled to have their support as our campaign continues growing momentum." 

We look forward to working to get Senator McClellan elected, and working in tandem with allies to continue to shape Virginia into a state that values all people, no matter who we are, where we come from, where we live, or who we love.

Contact: Deb Freeman, [email protected]


Hoy la Nueva Mayoría de Virginia anunció que apoya a Jennifer Mcclellan para Gobernadora de Virginia.

Virginia está liderando el Sur, y la nación, en muchos frentes, incluyendo la expansión del derecho al voto, cambios significativos en nuestro sistema legal criminal, y asegurar que todos los Virginianos puedan vivir libres de discriminación. Sin embargo, todavía hay pasos que hay que hacer. La atención de la salud, la educación, la equidad racial, la justicia climática, una pandemia y más aún están en la balanza. Ahora, más que nunca, es imperativo elegir una candidata que siga avanzando en temas que ayudarán a todos los Virginianos.

"Estamos viendo de primera mano el progreso que se puede hacer cuando la las comunidades de clase trabajadora y de color se unen, se organizan y votan", dijo Tram Nguyen, codirectora ejecutiva de NVM. "Como resultado, obtenemos mejores resultados políticos que abordan las necesidades de nuestras comunidades, en gran parte porque tenemos líderes electos que nos reflejan y que entienden nuestras experiencias colectivas. La senadora McClellan es la candidata adecuada para este momento. Su experiencia y su firme liderazgo se basarán en el progreso que ya se está logrando y darán lugar a un cambio más transformacional para todos nosotros”.

Durante la última década, NVM ha expandido el electorado en Virginia para que refleje más la rica diversidad de Virginia, y debido a nuestro trabajo, los votantes de comunidades de color han participado en números récord, dando voz a los más subrepresentados entre nosotros. Como Gobernadora, Jennifer McClellan trabajará con nuestras comunidades en todo el estado y contratará a los Virginianos para que continúen conduciendo cambios de política que mejoren todas nuestras vidas.

La senadora McClellan se ha asociado con NVM durante años en varios temas, incluyendo la Ley de Equidad Escolar y de Personal, trabajando para eliminar el camino de escuela-a-prisión, y ampliando el acceso a la atención médica, más recientemente dirigiendo al estado a explorar opciones para extender el acceso a la atención médica a los niños indocumentados. 

"La Nueva Mayoría de Virginia ha sido un socio crítico en el trabajo para asegurar el derecho al voto y los derechos de los trabajadores para todos los Virginianos, y es por eso que estoy tan orgullosa de recibir su respaldo para gobernadora'', dijo la senadora McClellan. "Juntos, continuaremos construyendo un estado más equitativo que rompa las barreras e involucre a todas las comunidades de Virginia en la reconstrucción de nuestra economía. Estoy encantada de contar con su apoyo a medida que nuestra campaña sigue creciendo impulso".

Estamos emocionados de trabajar para que la senadora McClellan sea elegida, y trabajar en conjunto con aliados para seguir dando forma a Virginia en un estado que valora a todas las personas, sin importar quiénes somos, de dónde venimos, dónde vivimos o a quién amamos.


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