New Virginia Majority announces 2019 Virginia Elections Endorsements

For Immediate Release
August 19, 2019
Contact: Maya Castillo, mcastillo@newvirginiamajority.org, (571) 699-3139.

New Virginia Majority Announces 2019 Virginia Elections Endorsements

RICHMOND – In their first round of endorsements, New Virginia Majority has endorsed the following
candidates for the 2019 Virginia State Elections -- individuals we believe are best positioned to push
the commonwealth forward with an agenda for the issues facing our community, including racial
justice, democracy, wages, redistricting, driver's licenses for all, access to health care and so much
more.
The endorsements for the Virginia State House are as follows:
Kelly Convirs Fowler, House District 21
Dan Helmer, House District 40
Sheila Bynum-Coleman, House District 66
Morgan Goodman, House District 55
Kathy Tran, House District 42
Elizabeth Guzman, House District 32
Hala Ayala, House District 51
Schuyler VanValkenburg, House District 72
Shelly Simonds, House District 94
Phil Hernandez, House District 100
The endorsements for the Virginia State Senate are as follows:
Amanda Pohl, Senate District 11
Debra Rodman, Senate District 12
John Bell, Senate District 13
Cheryl Turpin, Senate District 7
Ghazala Hashmi, Senate District 10
The endorsements for the Virginia Commonwealth Attorneys are as follows:
Scott Miles, Chesterfield County Commonwealth Attorney
Buta Biberaj, Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney
Steve Descano, Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Arlington County and the City of Falls Church Commonwealth Attorney
We look forward to working with these candidates as elected officials to build a Virginia that is
progressive and just.
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Statement by New Virginia Majority on Mass Shootings Across the Country

For Immediate Release
August 5, 2019
Contact: Stephanie Flores, sflores@newvirginiamajority.org, (201) 736-0511

 

Statement by New Virginia Majority on Mass Shootings Across the Country

We mourn with the families and communities of those murdered in El Paso, Dayton, Chicago, and in communities affected by daily gun violence across the country.

The problem of these violent acts isn’t only about guns. As a country, we are in the midst of mass killings of immigrants, brown and black people, poor people, LGBTQ people, women, and other vulnerable groups, exacerbated by a white supremacist President who routinely incites violence and hatred against our communities. This violence is part of a long and uninterrupted pattern of nativism, white supremacy and patriarchy in the U.S., and right here in Virginia.

It is impossible to separate hateful rhetoric from the mass shootings it inspires and the murderous policies it fuels -- policies that criminalize immigrants, people of color and all vulnerable people, that make and keep people sick, incarcerated, homeless, or isolated.

In the midst of this toxic culture, perpetuated from the highest levels of our government, it is our responsibility to fight bigoted rhetoric, culture, policies and practices wherever and whenever we come across them.

Our communities remain resilient and beautiful even as we grieve. And we will continue doing what we have always done — using this grief to fuel action to support and love one another, rebuild our communities, and dismantle systems that don’t prioritize the safety, health and protection of our communities.

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color, in immigrant communities, among LGBTQ people, women, youth, and progressives across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable.


Report: Amazon’s HQ2 will displace 10,000 LatinX and Working-Class VA residents.

Report: Amazon’s HQ2 will displace 10,000 LatinX and Working-Class VA residents.

The Arlandria Neighborhood will be the most impacted by Amazon’s new Headquarters. 

(Alexandria) A new report released today shows that Amazon’s plan to locate their HQ2 in Crystal City brought a 17% increase in area housing sales prices in a matter of months. The report predicts that this will displace up to 10,000 LatinX and working class residents in northern Virginia.

The community-based Tenants and Workers United - Inquilinos y Trabajadores Unidos conducted the Arlandria Income and Population Survey and Findings, a survey of tenant households nearby, to shed light upon the expected impact on housing within the community and to propose a solution to this impending issue. Those most likely to be forced from the area will be it’s long-term residents, coming primarily from the Latinx and immigrant communities.

"I have been part of this community for over 25 years and it is hard to watch our people suffer from skyrocketing costs of rent and displacement since Amazon's announcement " said Evelin Urrutia, Executive Director of Tenants and Workers United - Inquilinos y Trabajadores Unidos. "Amazon's arrival is a crisis for our working class communities. It is time for local and state officials to take action to protect the people they are supposed to represent."

“Virginia and Arlington are massively subsidizing Amazon, which will displace over 3,000 working class Latinx families from Arlandria. The local and state governments as well as private companies need at least five hundred million dollars to mitigate the damage and preserve housing for the working poor,” said Jon Liss, New Virginia Majority’s co-executive director. “Local officials have publicly supported ‘workforce housing’ yet the study shows these efforts will only further displace current communities, and are more likely to support white, home-owning residents in higher income brackets.”

Tenants and Workers United’s analysis makes clear that current solutions from Virginia’s elected officials ignore the impending gentrification of an entire neighborhood.


New Virginia Majority Congratulates Endorsed Candidates on Victories

 

For Immediate Release
June 11, 2019

New Virginia Majority congratulates endorsed candidates on their primary victories

 

We congratulate all three of our endorsed candidates on their victories tonight. New Virginia Majority endorsed Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Arlington and Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney, Steve Descano for Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Ghazala Hashmi for State Senate District 10. We are proud to have backed candidates that raised the bar for what it means to be a  progressive Democrat in Virginia.

This was New Virginia Majority’s first year endorsing candidates for Commonwealth’s Attorney. We chose to endorse candidates in this race because 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 justice system. We believe Parisa Tafti and Steve Descano are best positioned to serve justice, improve transparency, and make our community safer as Commonwealth’s Attorneys.

We are extremely excited for Ghazala Hashmi’s primary victory this evening and her potential to become the first Muslim-American woman to serve on Virginia’s State Senate. Senate District 10 covers Powhatan County and parts of Richmond and Chesterfield County, is home to Virginians of many races, religions, ethnicities, and abilities and Ghazala is committed to recognizing and serving all of us.

Maya Castillo, Political Director, New Virginia Majority

Thank you to all of the volunteers and canvassers who knocked on thousands of doors and made calls. We thank these candidates for having the courage to run on a bold platform that reflects the needs in our communities. This is a turning point in Virginia. We are excited to continue to support these candidates into the General Election for a Virginia where all of us can thrive.

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable


New Virginia Majority Announces Endorsement of Ghazala Hashmi for Virginia's 10th Senate District

New Virginia Majority (NVM) proudly endorses Dr. Ghazala Hashmi for Virginia State Senate District 10 (SD10). Ghazala spent 17 years as a professor and administrator in the Virginia Community College System and nearly 30 years living in Chesterfield. She is a fierce advocate for increasing access to quality, affordable public education and health care who continuously shows up for students and working families. If elected, Ghazala could make history as Virginia’s first Muslim-American woman to serve on our state legislature. We believe she will continue to strengthen our communities and push Virginia forward in the State Senate.

Tram Nguyen, Co-Executive Director, New Virginia Majority

Ghazala is a fierce advocate for inclusive and equitable policy solutions. Her lived experience as a South Asian American woman, an immigrant, and a Muslim-American will bring more reflective representation to our State Senate. SD10, which covers Powhatan County and parts of Richmond and Chesterfield County, is home to Virginians of many races, religions, ethnicities, and abilities and Ghazala  is committed to recognizing and serving all of us. I currently reside in this district and I am eager to join New Virginia Majority in spreading the word about Ghazala throughout the district.

Ghazala Hashmi, candidate for Virginia State Senate

I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement of New Virginia Majority. The work that they do to build up traditionally marginalized communities is incredibly important to the progress of our state, and I am proud to stand with them in this pursuit. I am running for State Senate because the people of the 10th District need a representative who will fight for better schools, higher wages, and equal rights for all Virginians.

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable.


New Virginia Majority Statement on Passage of Budget Amendment Package

For Immediate Release
April 3, 2019

Contact: Jasmine Leeward, jleeward@newvirginiamajority.org, (804) 250-6514 (call or text)

Tram Nguyen, Co-Executive Director, New Virginia Majority:

Our state budget is a moral document that lays bare our priorities and underscores who and what we value. The General Assembly has adopted a budget package that includes an additional $4 million for affordable housing and an end to driver’s license suspensions due to unpaid court fines and fees. Over 600,000 Virginians will no longer have to worry about whether they can get to work, school or other activities just because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees.

While we applaud these victories for affordable housing and driver's license access, we are disappointed by the Senate vote to reject $1.5 million in critical funding for Census outreach. This would have been a modest move toward ensuring a fair and accurate Census count, particularly among people of color and other hard to count communities. An inaccurate count risks millions in adequate funding for things like neighborhood schools, health centers, and other community programs.

We celebrate what we've won, but continue the fight to make sure our communities are resourced and represented in the halls of government -- from here in Richmond to Washington, D.C., and all over Virginia

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable


New Virginia Majority Announces Commonwealth's Attorney Endorsements of Parisa Dehghani-Tafti and Steve Descano

New Virginia Majority (NVM) proudly endorses Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church and Steve Descano for Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Parisa has nearly twenty years of experience in the criminal justice system.  She has a demonstrated commitment to fighting for reforms, including working to prevent wrongful convictions, such as making it easier to challenge coerced confessions and to obtain DNA testing to prove innocence, and challenging the use of junk science.

Steve has shown his commitment to engaging with every corner of the county, making sure everyone's voice is heard, rooting out overly punitive and inconsistent practices, especially where we see racial disparities, are aligned with the communities we serve. We are excited to spread the word about these campaigns throughout the community.

This is New Virginia Majority’s first year endorsing candidates for Commonwealth’s Attorney. Over the past decade as we have worked in communities of color across Virginia, 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 justice system. We believe Parisa is best positioned to serve justice, improve transparency, and make our community safer as Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, candidate for Fall’s Church and Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney:

"I am honored to have New Virginia Majority's endorsement. NVM has been at the front lines of the fight for criminal justice reform, working at the grassroots level.  I look forward to joining with NVM in working to stem the tide of mass incarceration, to bring accountability to local government, and to build a criminal justice system that both makes us safe and treats all parties fairly and humanely."  

Steve Descano, candidate for Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney:

"It is time that our criminal justice system reflects our values, stops disproportionately affecting communities of color and supports the unique issues facing our immigrant neighbors. I am honored to have the endorsement of New Virginia Majority, and I look forward to working closely with them to create a more community-focused, equality-driven criminal justice system in Fairfax County as Commonwealth's Attorney."

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable.

 


New Virginia Majority condemns Attorney General Mark Herring performance of Blackface, calls for renewed commitment to racial justice

For Immediate Release

February 7, 2019

Contact: Jasmine Leeward, jleeward@newvirginiamajority.org  

 

New Virginia Majority condemns Attorney General Mark Herring performance of Blackface, calls for renewed commitment to racial justice

New Virginia Majority is disappointed to learn that Attorney General Mark Herring has engaged in the hurtful, racist performance of blackface. As Virginia commemorates the 400th year of when enslaved African were first brought to Jamestown, it is especially painful to Black people who elected him and view him as a champion. 

Jamaa Bickley King, Board President, New Virginia Majority

As the grandson of civil rights attorney Oliver Hill, I know the importance of leading with integrity-- not just through rhetoric, but by action. I’ve watched Attorney General Herring defend Virginia’s communities of color through his advocacy on removing Jim Crow relics that permanently strip the right to vote from people with felonies. I have seen him defend immigrant families, whether in court against the Muslim travel ban or standing with DACA recipients in the fight for tuition equity. While we condemn his past actions, I believe Attorney General Herring understands now that the color of our skin is not a costume, our struggles are not a performance, and the horrors that we have endured on this land are worthy of more respect than a late night college party. He has been honest about his racist behavior and now he must recommit to dismantling the racist systems that we continue to face in Virginia. 

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable


New Virginia Majority Board Calls for Gov. Northam’s Immediate Resignation

For Immediate Release

Feb. 1, 2019

New Virginia Majority Board Calls for Gov. Northam’s Immediate Resignation

New Virginia Majority’s Board of Directors tonight voted to call for Gov. Ralph Northam’s immediate resignation.

The racist photo on the Governor’s medical school yearbook page reminds us of what we know: the constancy of the Jim Crow-era is alive and well in Virginia.

White supremacy and racism should not be baked into the fabric of American life. As an organization committed to empowering communities of color, we must unequivocally and without hesitation call out, condemn, and root out bigotry and racism wherever we find it - particularly among the most powerful.This is especially true at a time when hate and white supremacy is being fomented at the highest levels. Ensuring that those we elect are committed to racial justice beyond talking points is what it will take to produce real change in Virginia.

Apologies are not enough. We call on Governor Northam to resign and begin the process of truly healing the damage this has caused.

To those hurt and angered by today: let this fuel and intensify our commitment to transform and organize fiercely for a better Virginia.

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable


New Virginia Majority Statement on Today’s The Virginian-Pilot Report

For Immediate Release

February 1, 2019

New Virginia Majority Statement on Today’s The Virginian-Pilot Report 

New Virginia Majority strongly condemns the grotesque display of racism and bigotry reported today in The Virginian-Pilot showing a picture of two men, one in blackface and one in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, on the medical school yearbook page belonging to Gov. Ralph Northam. 

This photo is a painful and shocking reminder of what we all know and see daily - here in Virginia and nationally: racism is baked into the fabric of American life, both the violent and public displays such as in 2017 when the KKK rallied in Charlottesville, and in the systemic and less visible but equally violent ways that devastate our communities. It is our job to unequivocally and without hesitation call out, condemn, and root out bigotry and racism wherever we find it - particularly among the most powerful.

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New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable


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