City of Roanoke

City of Roanoke

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Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd

The Virginia Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. All research in this guide was conducted in August of 2020. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

Federal

President and Vice President

  • Our country is facing several unprecedented crises all at once. The COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and racism are just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we need to tackle head-on. The 2020 Presidential race comes at a defining moment in our history, and this is a pivotal election that will decide the fate of America for generations to come.

    Joe Biden was the 47th Vice President of the United States, serving in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. He represented the state of Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. During his time with the Obama administration, he was an influential adviser to the President, helping usher in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a monumental reform to America’s healthcare system where 20 million Americans gained health coverage. Biden also oversaw infrastructure spending under Obama’s stimulus package response to the 2008 recession and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

    If elected President, Biden has pledged to codify Roe V. Wade, restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Hyde Amendment. His response to the coronavirus pandemic involves widespread, free testing, and the distribution of a vaccine with no out-of-pocket costs. Biden wants to make affordable healthcare available to more Americans by strengthening the ACA and offering a public option for health coverage. Biden believes that gun violence is a public health crisis and plans to ban the manufacture and sale of assault rifles and high capacity magazines, close loopholes that allow guns to get in the wrong hands, require background checks for gun sales, and institute red flag laws.

    Biden’s platform to address climate change involves embracing central components of the Green New Deal––getting the world to net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and aligning environmental and economic policies. He announced a $2 trillion plan to invest in clean energy while creating economic opportunity and strengthening infrastructure.

    Biden also pledged to restore the Voting Rights Act. As a U.S. Senator in 2006, Biden co-sponsored legislation to renew key sections of the Voting Rights Act. It was signed by then President George W. Bush.

    Biden plans to address economic inequality by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, increasing affordable housing, ending discrimination in the housing market, investing in transportation, protecting tenants’ rights, boosting the power of unions and workers’ rights to collectively bargain, and checking corporate power over workers.

    Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is the incumbent and Republican nominee. He won the 2016 election by capturing a majority of votes in the electoral college votes while losing the popular vote by 3 million votes. In 2020, Trump was impeached for requesting foreign assistance in the 2016 election. During his time in office, he attacked affordable healthcare by attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhauled the U.S. tax system to benefit the richest one percent of Americans and wealthy corporations, and took away Title IX funding for Planned Parenthood. He appointed conservative judges to the judiciary who are hostile to abortion rights, denied amnesty to thousands of immigrants fleeing violence from Central America, attempted to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected young immigrants from deportation, sided with racists during times of racial upheaval in our nation, and completely botched the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Due to Trump’s racism, attacks on immigrants, attempts to take away healthcare, and proven inability to lead our nation, Joe Biden is the clear progressive choice for the 2020 Presidential election.

    Joseph Biden

    Our country is facing several unprecedented crises all at once. The COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and racism are just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we need to tackle head-on.

    Last updated: 2020-10-29
  • Senator Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and South Asian American woman to be nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major party. As the daughter of immigrants, Harris’s groundbreaking nomination is a win for people of color. She was elected to represent California in the U.S. Senate in 2016, before that she was Attorney General of California. As a Senator, Harris serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

    During her time in the Senate, Harris became known for grilling Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General William Barr during their confirmation hearings. 

    Harris blames the Trump administration for the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. 
    Harris believes that the federal government should respond to the coronavirus pandemic by giving Americans $2,000 monthly stipends while banning evictions, utilities shutoffs, foreclosures, and rent increases. She signed onto the Masks For All Act, which would provide free masks to Americans at no cost. Harris introduced legislation that would establish a task force to address health inequities made apparent by pandemic. She also believes free and widespread testing should be available. 

    Harris supports a $15 minimum wage for working families. While in the Senate, Harris worked to repeal Trump’s 2017 tax breaks for the richest one percent through her legislation called the LIFT Act, which would cut taxes for the working class and lift 9 million people out of poverty. Harris also introduced a bill to help Americans with housing by offering 13.3 million families tax subsidies to afford rent. Harris received a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO. She also introduced legislation to strengthen the rights of public sector workers and their right to collectively bargain. 

    While in the Senate, Harris co-sponsored the Medicare for All Act of 2019. During her run for President, she proposed a 10-year transition plan for universal coverage where private insurers would be allowed to compete provided they follow certain rules. As candidate for Vice President, Harris supports Joe Biden’s plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by offering a public option.    

    In response to the police murder of George Floyd, Harris introduced with other Senators the Justice in Policing Act, legislation that would bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set national standards to hold police officers accountable for misconduct, prohibit racial profiling, and established a national data collection system on police misconduct.  

    Kamala Harris

    Senator Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and South Asian American woman to be nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major party. As the daughter of immigrants, Harris’s groundbreaking nomination is a win for people of color.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10
Other Candidates

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is the incumbent and Republican nominee. He won the 2016 election by capturing a majority of votes in the electoral college votes while losing the popular vote by 3 million votes. In 2020, Trump was impeached for requesting foreign assistance in the 2016 election.  During his time in office, he attacked affordable healthcare by attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhauled the U.S. tax system to benefit the richest one percent of Americans and wealthy corporations, and took away Title IX funding for Planned Parenthood. He appointed conservative judges to the judiciary who are hostile to abortion rights, denied amnesty to thousands of immigrants fleeing violence from Central America, attempted to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected young immigrants from deportation, sided with racists during times of racial upheaval in our nation, and completely botched the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s running mate is Vice President Mike Pence, a yes-man to Donald Trump who co-chairs the administration’s failed response to the coronavirus. As Vice President, he advocated for repealing the Affordable Care Act.  Pence is known for his discrimination against the LGBTQ community by opposing same-sex marriage, and advocating for gay conversion therapy. He praised a Trump administration rule that allows adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples. When Pence was Governor of Indiana, he signed a bill that enacted some of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country. The bill was later ruled to be unconstitutional. 

The Liberatian Party has nominated Jo Jorgensen for President and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen for Vice President. Jorgensen is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Clemson University. Cohen owns a podcast platform. The ticket’s platform includes radically reducing the size of government, turning America into “one giant Switzerland,” reducing environmental protections to increase coal and oil production, and eliminating the federal Department of Education.

Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris are the clear progressive choices for the 2020 Presidential election. 

U.S. Senator

  • Democrat
  • About the Race

    This election occurs on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the US presidential election. Current Senator Mark Warner (D), who has also served as the governor of Virginia, will be running against Daniel Gade, a retired Army Lt. Colonel who worked in the Trump administration.

    About the State

    Every eligible Virginia voter may cast a ballot in the US Senate election. Virginia saw an incredibly high turnout in 2016, with 72% of registered voters turning out to vote, more than 15% higher than the average US voter turnout. Virginia usually sees more than 70% of registered voters turn out for presidential election years.

    Recommendation

    Incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Warner has represented Virginia as United States Senator since 2008. Before his election to the Senate, he served as Virginia’s Governor from 2002 to 2006. In the Senate, Warner is the Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and he also serves on several other committees.

    Warner is known for his service on the Intelligence Committee in investigating and condemning Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He is also a fierce advocate for protecting the country’s electoral process. Warner sponsored legislation that was supported by representatives on both sides of the aisle to prevent foreign meddling in elections and promote greater transparency in online political advertising. In 2020, Warner voted to convict President Donald Trump and remove him from office at the end of the Senate impeachment trial.

    In 2019, Warner joined other senators in introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and strengthen the original 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2020, he called on the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to bring it up for a vote.

    Sen. Warner voted against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. He opposed a federal abortion ban and believes that abortion is a constitutionally-protected right.

    Warner wants to invest in infrastructure projects to create jobs and boost the economy. During his time in the Senate, Warner has pushed for increased federal spending on transit, water improvement projects, and airports in the Commonwealth. In 2020, Warner championed the Great Outdoors Act to bring federal relief to the country’s national park system, which would bring over 10,000 jobs to Virginia alone.

    Warner joined other Senators in lambasting the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. During the coronavirus pandemic, he has pushed for more funding for testing supplies and PPE while also supporting the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare coverage to more Americans. Warner has pushed for increased broadband access so more people can use the Internet during the pandemic to work from home and attend school.

    Warner’s opponent, Daniel Gade, is a U.S. Army veteran and professor at American University. Gade supports cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, promoting economic deregulation with free market policies. He believes that the U.S. economy should re-open as quickly as possible during the pandemic. Gade has said he approves of President Trump’s performance so far.

    Due to his record of service supporting abortion rights, healthcare access, the environment, and protecting our democracy, Senator Mark Warner is the more progressive choice to represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

    Last updated: 2020-10-09

Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

6th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • About the Race

    This congressional election is held on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the U.S. presidential election. Nicholas Betts (D), a legal clerk and businessman faces incumbent congressman Ben Cline (R), a lawyer and business owner.

    About the District

    The 6th congressional district of Virginia covers the west-central portion of the state. It contains all of Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren counties, as well as parts of Bedford and Roanoke counties. It also includes the independent cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Staunton, and Waynesboro. The 6th congressional is one of Virginia’s most reliably Republican districts and has voted Republican for over twenty years. Incumbent Ben Cline won his seat in 2018 with almost 60% of the vote.

    Recommendation

    Democrat Nicholas Betts moved to the state to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He later earned a law degree from Washington and Lee School of Law. He works as a law clerk for a firm in Roanoke and is married to his college sweetheart, Lindsey Betts. They have no children.

    Betts believes in providing a public option for health insurance but doesn’t want to get rid of private health plans. He wants to increase federal funding for education to raise teacher pay, hire more teachers, and expand early education programs. Betts believes that the federal government could mitigate the student loan debt crisis by offering 0% interest loans to students, fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and adjusting federal bankruptcy law to benefit student loan borrowers. Betts supports expanding access to voting in the Commonwealth.

    One thing he wants to do to address the climate crisis is offer tax credits for the development of solar and wind energy projects. Betts wants to expand internet access to every American, decriminalize marijuana, and pass federal laws to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Betts believes the country should have universal background checks on gun purchases and a tax on ammunition. Betts is calling for the development of a federal training program for police officers to keep our communities safe.

    Betts is running against Republican incumbent Congressman Ben Cline who was first elected to office in 2018. An ally of President Trump, Cline served in Virginia’s legislature as a Delegate from 2002 to 2018. During his tenure, Cline opposed abortion rights, advocated to expand gun rights, refused to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income Virginians, and attacked immigrant families.

    Due to Rep. Cline’s staunchly conservative background, Nicholas Betts is the progressive choice for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.

    Nicholas Betts

    About the Race

    This congressional election is held on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the U.S. presidential election. Nicholas Betts (D), a legal clerk and businessman faces incumbent congressman Ben Cline (R), a lawyer and business owner.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10

9th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

No Good Choices

About the Race

This election occurs on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the US presidential election. Incumbent Morgan Griffith (R), an attorney from Salem, is running against Libertarian Cameron Dickson.

About the District

The 9th district is the second-largest congressional district in the state and covers much of the southwestern part of the commonwealth. It includes of all of Lee, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Scott, Russell, Tazewell, Washington, Smyth, Bland, Giles, Grayson, Wythe, Pulaski, Montgomery, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, and Patrick counties as well as portions of Alleghany, Roanoke, and Henry counties. It also includes the independent cities of Bristol, Covington, Galax, Martinsville, Norton, Radford, and Salem. The 9th district has been reliably Republican for over twenty years, with incumbent Morgan Griffith winning his seat with over 65% of the vote.

Recommendation

Republican incumbent Congressman Morgan Griffith, a staunch conservative and supporter of Donald Trump, is running unopposed in his campaign for re-election in the 9th District. He has represented the district since 2011. Griffith voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to defund Planned Parenthood. Griffith opposed abortion access and voted in favor of Trump’s 2017 tax reform bill, which gives tax breaks to the richest one percent and wealthy corporations. He received a 7% score from the League of Conservation Voters for his record on voting on the environment. He opposed legislation to prevent gun violence and attended a gun rights rally in Richmond in January 2020 with thousands of other 2nd Amendment supporters.

Due to Griffith’s conservative record, vote to repeal the ACA and for Trump’s tax reform bill and Dickerson’s lack of a platform, there are no good choices for Representative in Virginia’s 9th Congressional District. We encourage you to write in the candidate of your choice.


City of Roanoke

Roanoke Mayor

  • Democrat
  • About the Race

    Roanoke’s mayoral election takes place on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the U.S. presidential election. Incumbent Mayor Sherman Lea, a Democrat, is running against the former mayor, David Bowers, who is running as an Independent.

    About the District

    Situated in the Roanoke Valley, the independent city of Roanoke is the largest metropolitan area in southwestern Virginia and has a population of just under 100,000. The city has been reliably Democratic for more than thirty years. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the city with more than 55% of the vote.

    Recommendation

    Sherman Lea is the current mayor of Roanoke, who is seeking election to a second term. Before his election as mayor, Lea served on Roanoke City Council and the Roanoke School Board. He has also served on the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority and is on the Board of the National Civic League.

    During his time as mayor, Lea has overseen the implementation of several programs to improve transportation and encourage biking and walking in Roanoke, including initiatives to enhance walkability in the city and approve e-bikes on greenways and trails.

    He has also taken decisive action on issues of racial justice. The city actively supported the governor’s plan to celebrate Juneteenth as a holiday. It began its process to remove the city’s monument to Robert E. Lee immediately after the law allowed the removal of Confederate monuments. Lea is outspoken on issues of racial justice on his social media pages.

    Lea has openly criticized the governor for moving to Phase 3 too early. After putting together a COVID Task Force to help the city cope with the virus, Lea sought input from the public on behalf of the task force to ensure that the city’s response to the virus effectively addressed the rapidly changing needs of the city’s residents.

    His opponent, David Bowers, once a career Democrat, is now running as an independent. While he was still serving as Roanoke’s mayor in 2015, Bowers faced a massive wave of criticism after suggesting that Roanoke should not support Syrian refugees for the “same reason that the US interned Japanese people during WWII.”

    Sherman Lea is a progressive choice in this race.

    Sherman Lea

    About the Race

    Roanoke’s mayoral election takes place on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the U.S. presidential election. Incumbent Mayor Sherman Lea, a Democrat, is running against the former mayor, David Bowers, who is running as an Independent.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10

Roanoke City Council (top 3 vote getters)

  • Independent
  • Kiesha Preston is a progressive advocate and author of the Victims of Domestic Violence Act, which was signed into law this year in Virginia. Preston also serves on the advisory committee for TAP Domestic Violence Services and is a contributing writer for ColorsVA Magazine. She has firsthand knowledge of abuse and violence against women both in her community and on military bases, after spending five years as a military spouse. She is passionate about racial justice and gender equality issues and is running for Roanoke City Council as an open progressive.

    Preston’s platform includes plans to create an elected school board in Roanoke, a participatory budget that allows for civilian input, and a civilian review board for Roanoke’s police department.

    She intends to focus on creating affordable housing in high opportunity neighborhoods to create more economically diverse schools.

    Preston plans to create co-responder initiatives that will develop teams that respond to mental health issues with trained behavioral health professionals, reduce adverse outcomes of drug and alcohol use, and work to decrease gun violence and gun suicides.

    Preston will work toward sustainability by finding realistic solutions for landfill waste, supporting efforts to promote recycling and decrease pollution by increasing public transportation availability.

    Given her advocacy work for survivors of domestic violence, her stance on racial justice issues, and her ambitious progressive platform, Kiesha Preston is a progressive choice in the race.

    Kiesha Preston

    Kiesha Preston is a progressive advocate and author of the Victims of Domestic Violence Act, which was signed into law this year in Virginia. Preston also serves on the advisory committee for TAP Domestic Violence Services and is a contributing writer for ColorsVA Magazine.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20
  • Pete Volosin was born and raised in Roanoke. During his work as an EMT, he fought for fair wages for himself and his fellow first responders. He has also worked as an economic planner to improve communities. He currently serves on several local boards, including Local Colors, the Roanoke Fair Housing Board, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority, and the Roanoke Diversity Center.

    Volosin wants to help local small businesses by encouraging mixed developments. He believes it has been a successful model for growth in parts of the city, such as Grandin Village and Wasena. He also wishes to encourage economic growth by promoting ecotourism in the city.

    He believes that it is the city’s responsibility to provide all children in Roanoke with a high-quality education that prepares students to succeed in the 21st century. He will work to ensure that affordable Pre-K and afterschool programs are available for all residents in Roanoke.

    According to Volosin, secure, safe housing is an essential human need. He wishes to continue the work he has done on Roanoke’s Fair Housing Board to ensure that all Roanoke people have access to affordable housing. Volosin considers the internet an essential utility, not a luxury. He will focus on making sure that Roanoke’s internet prices are reasonable and that high-speed internet is accessible to all of Roanoke’s residents.

    Peter Volosin is a progressive choice for this race.

    Pete Volosin

    Pete Volosin was born and raised in Roanoke. During his work as an EMT, he fought for fair wages for himself and his fellow first responders. He has also worked as an economic planner to improve communities.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20
  • Robert Jeffery is a Roanoke native who moved to Seattle after college, where he worked for The Seattle Times. While living in Washington, he founded ColorsNW, a magazine that focused on people of color living in the Pacific Northwest. Upon returning to Roanoke in 2015, he started ColorsVA, a magazine that focuses on people of color living in Southwest Virginia. He also serves on several local boards, including as the Chair of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee and Vice-Chair for Goodwill Industries of the Valley. He also serves on the boards of Family Promise of Greater Roanoke and the United Way of the Roanoke Valley.

    Jeffery’s platform focuses on community engagement and open communication with citizens to combat homelessness, hunger, and poverty within Roanoke. He also wishes to focus on rebuilding Roanoke’s economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on job training with an emphasis on cyber and programming professions, improving public education, and creating support for small businesses in the city through a micro-lending program.

    He wants to address public safety issues by investing in communities, including initiatives to address gun violence, poverty, homelessness, and supporting vulnerable youth.

    Robert Jeffery is a progressive choice for this race.

    Robert Jeffery

    Robert Jeffery is a Roanoke native who moved to Seattle after college, where he worked for The Seattle Times. While living in Washington, he founded ColorsNW, a magazine that focused on people of color living in the Pacific Northwest.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20
  • Independent
  • Former Roanoke City Clerk Stephanie Moon lists several strategic areas of importance -  good government, education,  infrastructure, livability, community safety, and human services. She also mentions the importance of working with neighborhood leaders and local non-profit organizations to identify and address neighborhood blight and poor living conditions. Her goals include pushing the city to respond promptly to citizen concerns and deliver quality city services in an effective manner; work with neighborhood leaders and nonprofits to address neighborhood blight; promote business and job growth to reduce generational poverty; advocate for lifelong learning opportunities and support community policing programs.

    Stephanie Moon is a progressive choice for this race.
     

    Stephanie Moon

    Former Roanoke City Clerk Stephanie Moon lists several strategic areas of importance -  good government, education,  infrastructure, livability, community safety, and human services.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20
  • Trish White-Boyd has served on Roanoke City Council since being appointed to fill a vacant seat in early 2019. She is now running for election to the Council for the first time. She is currently the president of Star City Management Services and has served on the Roanoke Board of Higher Education and the League of Older Americans.

    During her time on City Council, White-Boyd supported a plan to paint a mural reading “END RACISM NOW” along Campbell Avenue downtown. She has voted to remove Confederate monuments and remove the names of Confederates from city parks. White-Boyd has also supported green initiatives, such as funding e-bike programs and voting to expand the city’s trails.

    She is running for re-election on a progressive platform that includes improving neighborhoods while preventing gentrification and expanding affordable housing options within the city.

    She will improve education by increasing access to preschool education, continuing her work to develop a suicide prevention program for Roanoke city schools, and working to join the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to help close opportunity gaps experienced by young men of color.

    White-Boyd is also committed to sustainability and combating climate change on the local level. To improve the city’s sustainability, she wishes to improve public transportation, search for viable options for solar and renewable energy sources for municipal buildings and local businesses, and implement neighborhood-specific sustainable development strategies.

    White-Boyd is less proactive on issues of police reform. She supports more training for officers that will allow them to better deal with people experiencing mental health crises or addiction but has not advocated shifting any first-responder duties away from police. Most of her statements about the George Floyd protests have been supportive of protesters’ rights to express themselves, but stop short of acknowledging the need for reform.

    Trish White-Boyd is a progressive choice for this race.

    Trish White-Boyd

    Trish White-Boyd has served on Roanoke City Council since being appointed to fill a vacant seat in early 2019. She is now running for election to the Council for the first time.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20
Other Candidates

Peg McGuire has made statements in opposition to removing or reducing school resource officers and comments against Governor Northam’s statement urging localities to remove Confederate monuments. She is openly pro-second amendment and against any restrictions on firearms. McGuire also wishes to loosen regulations on businesses and is committed to reducing taxes.

Maynard Keller is running on an openly pro-second amendment platform that focuses on “religious rights,” commonly used as code for policies meant to infringe on LGBTQ+ rights. He is committed to reducing regulations on businesses and providing support to local law enforcement officers and other first responders.
 

Cesar Alberto is running openly as a Libertarian. The 23-year-old is endorsed by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who gives him “the highest rating as Very Pro-Gun” and was given an ‘A’ by Virginia NORML. His campaign website with additional stated policy positions was deleted for unknown reasons. According to the only available platform posted on Facebook, he supports eliminating taxes on individuals and families making less than 150% of the federal poverty line, reducing all government salaries, fighting bag taxes, and introducing term limits for City Council and the Mayor’s Office. He also “promises to NEVER vote for ANY law that hinders American’s 2nd Amendment  (sic) rights.”

Constitutional Amendments

Virginia Redistricting Commission Constitutional Amendment

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO on this Flawed Amendment
  • We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. But for years, conservative politicians have been doing everything they can to hoard power and ensure that they get re-elected no matter what the people want. They’ve done this by rigging district maps to dilute the power of communities of color and prevent people from making their voices heard. This November, there will be a constitutional amendment on the ballot that enshrines in our state constitution the power of politicians to pick their voters instead of allowing voters to choose their representatives. We need to vote no on this political bait and switch and ensure that the power stays with the people, not power-hungry politicians.

    About the Amendment
    This amendment gives the power to draw political maps to a commission made up of politicians and people hand-picked by politicians. They will draw the maps, and then members of the General Assembly will vote to accept or reject them. This amendment does not remove politicians from the process. The amendment also fails to adequately protect people of color in the constitution, instead relying on separate legislation that could be repealed, jeopardizing civil rights protections.

    We deserve a truly independent commission to ensure fair and equitable redistricting. Vote no on this amendment to put the power back in the hands of the people and keep politicians from choosing their voters instead of the other way around.

    About the Decision
    We can’t get clean elections with dirty maps drawn by politicians more interested in protecting their power than ensuring our voices are heard in our democracy.  We need to give the power back to the people and remove politicians from the process of drawing political boundaries completely. We can create a commission of concerned voters and nonpartisan experts who can draw fair, compact districts that ensure communities of color are protected, and everyone can make their voice heard equally.

    Amending the constitution is a big deal, and if we’re going to do it, we need to make sure we are getting it right. We don’t have to accept a flawed amendment or nothing at all. We can go back to the drawing board and ensure that what we are enshrining permanently in our constitution is fair, just, equitable, and gets us the results we want. Leaders in our community such as Congressman Donald McEachin and Congressman Bobby Scott know that this amendment is the wrong move. 


    The most progressive approach to redistricting is to vote NO on this flawed amendment and demand better to simultaneously protect historically underrepresented communities and draw fair district lines by including strong, specific, and clear rules to protect communities of color.

    Virginia Redistricting Commission Constitutional Amendment

    We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. But for years, conservative politicians have been doing everything they can to hoard power and ensure that they get re-elected no matter what the people want.

    Last updated: 2020-10-26

Exemption for Disabled Veterans Constitutional Amendment

  • No Position
    No Position: Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans
  • This tax exemption will exclusively benefit veterans residing in Virginia who have a disability 100% connected to their service.

    This amendment was proposed by Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and was approved unanimously in the Senate and near-unanimously in the House. It will grant a property tax exemption for a single vehicle to disabled veterans whose disability is 100% connected with their service. There have been calls to limit the maximum value of cars that may be included in this exemption or limit the exemption based on the veteran’s income, which would be addressed later through legislation in the General Assembly.

    Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League (VML) both objected to this exemption because they believed that property tax exemptions should remain under local jurisdiction and not be mandated by the General Assembly. The VML argues that because localities do not decide to declare and send soldiers to war, the financial responsibility for caring for them should fall not on localities but on the federal government.
     

    Last updated: 2020-10-07