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.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Senate races on your ballot.
Incumbent Senator Adam P. Ebbin took office in 2012 after serving for eight years in the House of Delegates. Senator Ebbin is highly regarded in his community because of his track record of supporting progressive issues. He has fought to advance progressive priorities including preventing gun violence, making it easier to vote, and fighting for equality for all Virginians. He sponsored a bill that would provide prenatal care for undocumented mothers. He has also championed legislation that would provide equality for members of our LGBT community.
He is a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the School Readiness Committee, the Commission on Economic Opportunity for Virginians in Aspiring and Diverse Communities, the Task force to Commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote, and the Joint Commission on Technology and Science. He is also the Co-Chair of the General Assembly Gun Violence Prevention Caucus and a steering committee member of American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention.
Running unopposed, Senator Ebbin is the progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Favola is running unopposed. Prior to her election as a state Senator, she served on the Arlington County Board of Supervisors for fourteen years (1997-2011) and chaired that body three times. During her service with the county, Senator Favola was the Board's leading advocate for children, youth and families, and her contributions to the community include establishing mental health services in public schools.
Senator Favola’s priorities are women’s reproductive rights, health care access, K-12 education funding, workforce training, safety net programs, helping foster children, preventing domestic violence and sensible environmental policies. Favola sponsored numerous progressive bills including one requiring universities to create memorandums of understanding with local sexual assault crisis centers and to provide survivors with access to other community resources. She has also sponsored a Bar Bystander Bill encouraging bartenders and others who serve or sell spirits in an ABC licensed or permitted establishments to undergo training to help prevent risky situations from becoming sexual assaults. Lastly, she has been a leader on making higher education more accessible and affordable.
Senator Favola is the progressive choice.
Incumbent Democratic Senator Janet Howell earned her BA at Oberlin College and her MA at the University of Pennsylvania . She was named National Child Advocate of the Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics for her work on behalf of children. She was the first woman to serve on the powerful Senate Finance Committee in Virginia.
Senator Howell has been a leader in combating the student loan debt crisis impacting Virginians by working with Delegate Marcus Simon and Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl to find solutions to the student loan debt crisis. She has sponsored initiatives including a Student Borrowers Bill of Rights and the establishment of an Office of Student Loan Ombudsman. She also fought to require student loan servicers to be licensed. Senator Howell has also been a strong advocate for reproductive rights, gun safety, and redistricting reform.
Her Republican opponent is Arthur Purves. Purves is running because he disagrees with Senator Howell’s support for abortion rights, family life education, ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and, gun safety measures. Purves is a staunch conservative and once wrote in an article that, “public schools are graduating ‘socialists’, or as the Fairfax School Board puts it, ‘global citizens’.”
Senator Howell 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.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Mark Levine was elected to the House of Delegates in 2015. He co-founded the Virginia Transparency Caucus, which is dedicated to ensuring committee and subcommittee meetings in the General Assembly are accessible to the public.
He is one of only a few openly gay members of the House of Delegates and a supporter of equality. In a previous role, he helped to craft the D.C. marriage-equality law with Councilman Phil Mendelson and successfully defended the law in court.
Delegate Levine is an advocate for those who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Levine supports reproductive rights, investing in public schools, increasing teacher pay, and raising the minimum wage. He supports clean energy, unions, and criminal justice reform. He also supports expanded health care access and voted for Medicaid expansion so an additional 300,000 Virginians can see a doctor when they need to.
Delegate Levine is running unopposed and is the more progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Patrick Hope was elected to the House of Delegates in 2009. When not serving in the House of Delegates, Hope is a health care attorney. He lives with his wife and three daughters in Arlington.
Delegate Hope is a strong proponent of affordable health care access and supported Medicaid expansion. He also supports increased funding for public schools and transportation. Additionally, Delegate Hope pushes for clean energy and tax credits for constituents who purchase energy-efficient appliances.
Delegate Hope is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Rip Sullivan was elected to the House of Delegates in a special election in 2014. He is an attorney who graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as the President of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, which helps low-income people access legal services in the region. Delegate Sullivan and his wife, Beth, have 4 children and recently welcomed their first grandchild.
As a Delegate, Sullivan has supported increased funding for education, transportation, and affordable health care access. He is an advocate for equality by backing the Equal Rights Amendment and reproductive rights. He opposes discrimination against the LGBTQ community and believes in fair housing.
Delegate Sullivan is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
Incumbent Democratic Delegate Alfonso Lopez was elected to the House of Delegates in 2011. During his time in office, Lopez has been a strong supporter of workers and families, passing legislation like the Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund, fighting to strengthen protections for tenants against retaliatory evictions, working with the labor community to protect Project Labor Agreements, and fighting to save funding for Child Advocacy Centers.
Delegate Lopez is a strong supporter of increasing the minimum wage and organized legislators in Northern Virginia to successfully push the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to increase the minimum wage for contract employees at our local airports. He is a reliable pro-choice vote. He supports the LGBTQ community, opposes any discriminatory laws, and supports clean energy.
Delegate Lopez’s opponent is Terry Modglin. Modglin is anti-choice. He wants to raise the minimum wage, increase education funding, and supports Medicaid expansion. He also wants to increase gun violence prevention and to protect the environment.
Katie Cristol is a community advocate and public policy professional. She was elected to the Board in November 2015 and served as Chair of the County Board in 2018. Cristol is the co-Chair of Arlington’s Project PEACE, an interagency collaboration to address domestic and sexual violence in our community. Cristol has been an advocate for women’s issues, including reproductive health, political representation and support for survivors of sexual assault.
Cristol is prioritizing economic development in her campaign and wants to ensure Amazon is taxed adequately to restore Arlington’s tax base while protecting housing affordability in the county as Amazon moves in. Cristol plans to combat climate change by increasing public transit options in the county, restore Metro’s reliability, premium bus service on Columbia Pike, and new transit opportunities for Lee Highway. She wants to improve education in county by building more schools and supporting student ridership on the county’s public bus system. Cristol wants to make childcare more affordable in the county and support victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She also vows to continue making inclusion, economic justice and racial equity a priority.
Cristol is the progressive choice for the Arlington Board due to her demonstrated track record and commitment to affordable housing.
A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Christian Dorsey has been a resident of Arlington since 1993 and is married with two children. Dorsey is the Director of External and Government Affairs at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, D.C. Dorsey is a frequent commentator on cable news networks having appeared on CNN, CNBC and Fox.
Dorsey was elected to the Board in 2015 and is the current Board Chair. Dorsey believes that the best way to tackle housing affordability in Arlington is by increasing housing stock. He is focused on fixing the county’s budget problems by examining what changes need to be made to the county’s property tax rate. As a member of the Metro Board, Dorsey wants to look at innovative ways to encourage ridership on the Metro system. He also wants to study structural inequalities in county policies so that more tools can be developed to bring more equity to Arlington. Finally, Dorsey supports changing the name of Jefferson Davis Highway.
Incumbent candidates Dorsey and Cristol are being challenged by independents Arron O’Dell and Audrey Clement. O’Dell is focusing his campaign on housing affordability in the county while Clement wants to address school overcrowding and the lack of green space in Arlington.
Dorsey is the progressive choice for the Arlington Board due to his demonstrated track record and commitment to affordable housing.
Parisa Dehghani-Taft immigrated to the United States as a child with her parents. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained a B.A. in Philosophy and Comparative Literature, and the New York University School of Law, where she obtained a Juris Doctorate. She has lived in Arlington for 12 years with her husband, a civil rights lawyer and law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and two children. Dehghani-Taft is a member of the Arlington branch of the NAACP and serves on its Criminal Justice Committee.
Dehghani-Taft wants to use her office to fight mass incarceration in Arlington by reforming the cash bail system, creating diversion programs that prioritize treatment over jail for offenders suffering from substance abuse and mental health problems. She wants to make the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney more transparent and accountable to the Arlington community. Dehghani-Taft supports the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. She also wants to lobby for criminal justice reform in the state legislature and focus on prosecuting serious crimes while supporting victims and their families.
Dehghani-Taft is running unopposed and is the progressive choice in this race.
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