By Progress Virginia
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Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th
The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.
Democrat Amy Laufer is a former middle school teacher. She taught in Jamaica as a Peace Corps volunteer before teaching at Louisa Middle School and Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville. Laufer has served on the Charlottesville City School Board and is the founder of Virginia’s List, an organization that supports Democratic women running for office.
Laufer’s platform prioritizes education, including raising teacher pay and investing in pre-k classes. She also supports criminal justice reform and tackling the problem of mass incarceration. Laufer supports Medicaid expansion, would vote to repeal the punitive work requirements, and will continue to fight to ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. She also supports the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
Incumbent Republican Senator Bryce Reeves voted against Medicaid expansion and against raising the minimum wage in Virginia. He is anti-choice and opposes commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Senator Reeves also voted against legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing and public employment.
Laufer is the progressive choice in this race.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Democratic candidate Joshua Cole has been involved in Virginia politics since he was in middle school when he participated in the House Page program in 2005. In 2016, Cole returned to the Capitol to serve as a staff assistant to the Clerk of the Virginia State Senate. Cole currently serves on the Stafford County Public Schools Equity Committee, the Diversity and Opportunity Committee, and the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council.
Cole advocates for criminal justice reform and wants to improve the relationship between the police and community by mandating body and dash cams for police officers. Education is a priority for Cole as well. He wants to take steps to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, fund universal pre-K, and evenly distribute school funding. He supports the Equal Rights Amendment, raising the minimum wage, and protecting reproductive freedom. He worked with Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler on a fair housing bill and plans to continue this work if he is elected. He wants to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, supports Medicaid expansion, and supports green energy.
The 28th District is an open seat and Cole's opponent, Republican Paul Milde, is anti-choice. He said he would vote to reverse Medicaid expansion, which has allowed more than 300,000 additional Virginians to access affordable health insurance. Milde also opposes commonsense gun violence prevention legislation.
Joshua Cole is the more progressive choice for this race because of his support of criminal justice reform, universal pre-K, and raising the minimum wage.
Democratic candidate Jessica Foster is a mom, small business owner, and attorney. She represents undocumented immigrant children in need of special immigrant status who have been abandoned or are victims of child abuse and neglect. Her platform includes increased education funding, protecting the healthcare rights of the poor, criminal and juvenile justice reform, gun violence prevention, and protecting the environment.
Incumbent Republican Delegate Mark Cole has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2002. He sponsored House Bill 663, a bathroom bill restricting public restroom use according to a person's "anatomical sex", defined as "the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person's anatomy," with violators liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $50. Delegate Cole also supports anti-immigrant bills. As chair of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, Cole has led the charge for restrictive voting bills that make it more difficult for Virginians to access the ballot.
Jessica Foster is the more progressive choice in this race.
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