Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, was the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe was unable to seek reelection in 2017 due to a state law that bars sitting governors from serving consecutive terms. McAuliffe attended The Catholic University of America and Georgetown University Law Center. A lifelong businessman and entrepreneur, McAuliffe has lived in Fairfax County for more than 20 years with his wife, Dorothy. The couple has raised five children together.
McAuliffe is centering his campaign on building a strong Virginia economy that works for everyone. He plans to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, two years ahead of the current schedule. He wants to require employers to provide paid sick days along with paid family and medical leave to all workers. Because Virginia is the 10th most expensive state for childcare in the country, McAuliffe wants to assist families burdened with childcare costs by providing subsidies, funneling federal money to families, and making it easier for people to qualify for assistance.
McAuliffe plans to invest $2 billion in Virginia’s education system every year so that teachers are paid above the national average, children have access to universal pre-K, and every student can get online. To make college more affordable to students, McAuliffe will offer more financial aid and expand on current Governor Ralph Northam’s program that makes community college free to low- and middle-income students studying in certain fields. McAuliffe also wants to boost enrollment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities by providing free tuition to students who promise to teach for five years in the state’s high-need areas.
While serving as Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe took action to reduce carbon emissions in the state and received a $120.5 million federal grant to combat the rising sea level on Virginia’s coast. He wants Virginia to reach 100% clean energy by 2035 and make access to clean energy and transportation infrastructure more affordable by providing subsidies for solar usage and public transit construction. McAuliffe also plans to address the racial impacts of climate change by providing funding to communities hit by extreme heat and rising sea levels.
McAuliffe pushed for Medicaid expansion during his first term and wants to increase access to affordable healthcare by supporting Virginia’s plan to create a state-run health insurance marketplace. He backs lowering prescription drug costs, reducing health insurance premiums, and creating a Medicaid buy-in option for people who make too much to qualify for the program but still can’t afford out-of-pocket costs on the marketplace. When he was governor, McAuliffe vetoed Republican legislation that would have limited abortion access. If reelected, McAuliffe plans to incorporate Roe v. Wade into Virginia’s constitution to guarantee that abortion access is protected.
McAuliffe is running against multimillionaire Republican Glenn Youngkin, the former president of Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Youngkin wants to channel the state’s money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund private schools. Youngkin has admitted that he opposes abortion access and will work to dismantle protections for reproductive freedom in the Commonwealth. Youngkin is also against making health coverage more affordable in Virginia.
McAuliffe is also facing a challenge from activist and educator Princess Blanding, an Independent candidate. Blanding is the sister of Marcus David-Peters, a young Black man who was killed by police in 2018. Blanding wants to hold police accountable by ending qualified immunity and shifting funding away from police departments to invest in community services. She also wants to make health coverage more affordable by creating a public healthcare system.
Due to his record in providing leadership for the Commonwealth and his support of Virginia working families, the environment, affordable health coverage, and reproductive rights, Terry McAuliffe is the most progressive choice in this race.Last updated: 2021-09-15
Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, was the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe was unable to seek reelection in 2017 due to a state law that bars sitting governors from serving consecutive terms.
Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, was the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe was unable to seek reelection in 2017 due to a state law that bars sitting governors from serving consecutive terms.
The daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and a Lebanese and Irish mother, Delegate Hala Ayala was one of the first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates, having one her first election to represent the 51st District in 2017. She worked for over 20 years as a cybersecurity specialist and is the single mother of two grown children. If chosen by voters to be the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Ayala will be the first woman and Afro-Latina to do so.
Affordable access to healthcare is a central focus for Ayala. As a first-time mother, Ayala depended on Medicaid to give her son life-saving care. In 2018, Ayala voted to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians. In 2020, she co-patroned legislation to cap the cost of insulin in the state. In 2021, she voted to make the cost of prescription drugs transparent and to boost Virginia’s capacity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. She also wants to reduce Black maternal mortality and create a universal paid family and medical leave program in the Commonwealth.
As a graduate of Prince William County schools, Ayala believes that a well-funded education system is critical to a thriving Commonwealth. In 2021, she voted to increase teachers’ salaries by 5%. She also supported the “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program, which provides free community college to low- and middle-income students who are studying in certain fields. As lieutenant governor, Ayala will prioritize expanding access to pre-K, reducing overcrowding in classrooms, and dedicate more funding to improve school infrastructure.
Recognizing the climate crisis as a national security threat, Ayala believes the state needs to play a bigger role in addressing the impacts of climate change. She co-patroned the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020, which will eliminate carbon emissions in the Commonwealth by 2050. She also wants to dedicate more funding to communities dealing firsthand with the effects of climate change, believing that solutions to the crisis must be created with racial equity in mind.
Ayala personally understands how hard it is for families to make ends meet. Her family struggled financially when she was a child, and she worked and raised children while obtaining her degree. In 2020, Ayala voted to raise the state’s minimum wage. She supports making paid family and medical leave available to all Virginia working families. In 2021, she voted to strengthen the rights of tenants and protect them from eviction during the pandemic. She also sponsored legislation to protect workers during the pandemic by requiring employers to provide them with personal protective equipment and hazard pay.
Ayala is running against former delegate Winsome Sears, a Republican who represented Norfolk in the House of Delegates from 2002 to 2003. Sears owns a plumbing and appliance repair store in Winchester. Sears opposes legislation that would make our communities safer from gun violence. She also supports using public money to fund private schools and wants to create deliberate barriers to voting access that make it more difficult for people to participate in our democracy.
Due to her support of affordable health coverage, the environment, public education, and Virginia working families, Delegate Hala Ayala is the most progressive choice for lieutenant governor in Virginia.Last updated: 2021-09-15The daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and a Lebanese and Irish mother, Delegate Hala Ayala was one of the first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates, having one her first election to represent the 51st District in 2017.The daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and a Lebanese and Irish mother, Delegate Hala Ayala was one of the first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates, having one her first election to represent the 51st District in 2017.
Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013. Raised by a single mother in Loudoun County, Herring obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia before earning his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. He and his wife of 30 years, Laura, raised two children together.
Herring has stood up for access to affordable healthcare by fighting off efforts by the Trump administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2021, Herring defended the ACA by joining a coalition of 21 attorneys general to argue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court against a lawsuit from the Trump administration that would have dismantled the ACA, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and Medicaid expansion.
Herring is a champion of reproductive rights and abortion access, and has used his office to support a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent. He has signed onto several lawsuits that challenge different states’ restrictive abortion laws. He issued an opinion in 2015 to strike down medically unnecessary Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that shuttered women’s health centers in the Commonwealth. In 2019, he successfully filed an injunction against the Trump administration’s efforts to halt contraceptive coverage in health insurance.
Herring has worked to keep our communities safe from gun violence by standing up to the gun lobby. In 2020, he defended two common-sense laws passed by the General Assembly aimed at preventing gun violence, the one-handgun-a-month law, and extended background checks. The same year, he also successfully defended a challenge to Virginia’s extreme risk protection law, which keeps guns out of the hands of people who pose a risk to themselves or others.
During his time in office, Herring has fought to keep the promise of democracy real by protecting access to the ballot box. This year, he applauded the passage of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia and joined other attorneys general in urging Congress to pass safeguards that guarantee people’s rights to participate in our democracy by voting. In 2020, he ensured that voters did not face intimidation while casting their ballots in our fair and free elections. In 2016, he defended a decision from former Governor Terry McAuliffe to restore the rights of returning citizens in the Commonwealth.
Herring is facing a challenge from Delegate Jason Miyares, a conservative Republican who wants to create deliberate barriers to voting access, undermine workers’ rights by keeping Virginia a right-to-work state, and oppose efforts to shift funding away from police budgets to community services. As a delegate, Miyares voted against raising the state’s minimum wage, expanding access to affordable healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Virginians, abolishing the death penalty, and legalizing marijuana. He also opposes abortion access.
Due to his support of access to affordable healthcare, abortion access, gun violence prevention, and voting rights, Attorney General Mark Herring is the most progressive choice for this race.Last updated: 2021-09-15Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013.Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking his third term in office after having been first elected in 2013.
House of Delegates
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below House of Delegate races on your ballot.
Virginia’s 45th District includes part of the city of Alexandria, and parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties. Voting trends show that this district is strongly Democratic. Bennett-Parker was able to beat former incumbent Mark Levine for the Democratic nomination. Levine had represented the district since 2016.Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is the vice mayor of Alexandria and was the youngest woman elected to Alexandria’s city council. She attended Cornell University and the University of London. She serves on Alexandria’s community criminal justice board and commission on employment. She also runs a small business that targets food insecurity and co-leads a nonprofit job training and personal development program for underserved women. She and her husband live in Alexandria with their two rescue pets.
As a city council member, Bennett-Parker expanded access to early childhood education by securing additional funding and supporting zoning changes to increase the number of education facilities in the city. As a delegate, she hopes to continue her work to develop quality early care and equity-focused education by reducing classroom size, improving outdated facilities, and giving schools new learning materials. She supports raising teacher pay and advancing universal school meal programs that deliver healthy food to Virginia students.
Bennett-Parker wants to boost Virginia working families by guaranteeing paid family and medical leave so that people don’t have to choose between a paycheck or taking care of a loved one or themselves if they are sick. She plans to raise revenue for the state by making sure that the huge corporations and millionaires and billionaires that have benefited from our community are paying their fair share too. She also wants to ensure that minorities and women are prioritized in opportunities for new businesses.
Bennett-Parker understands the urgency of the climate crisis and sponsored a resolution on the Alexandria City Council calling the climate crisis an emergency. She worked to ensure that all new construction in the city has zero carbon emissions and that property owners have access to tools to make energy improvements. She will ensure the just transition to 100% renewable energy in the Commonwealth guarantees that communities’ rights and livelihoods are protected when shifting to sustainable energy production.
As chair of the Virginia Railway Express, Bennett-Paker is aware of the region’s transportation needs. Bennet-Parker wants to modernize and expand transportation infrastructure in Northern Virginia so that people have more options and mobility. Bennett-Parker also recognizes that the district suffers from an affordable housing crisis. As a city council member, she voted to increase funding for affordable housing and expand the number of affordable housing units. Climate change has made flooding issues worse for her district and Bennett-Parker will work with the General Assembly to secure more funding for stormwater infrastructure in the district.
Bennett-Parker is running against Republican candidate J.D. Maddox, a veteran, and former federal employee. Maddox opposes efforts to stop the school-to-prison pipeline by removing police officers from schools. He is also against collective bargaining rights for municipal employees, which allows workers to negotiate salaries with their employers as a union.
Due to her support of public education, the environment, Virginia working families, and improved transportation infrastructure, Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is the most progressive choice in this race.Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is the vice mayor of Alexandria and was the youngest woman elected to Alexandria’s city council. She attended Cornell University and the University of London. She serves on Alexandria’s community criminal justice board and commission on employment.
The 47th District encompasses part of Arlington County. The district is strongly Democratic with Del. Hope receiving more than 75% of the vote since 2011. Hope has held the seat since 2009.Incumbent Delegate Patrick Hope has represented the 47th District in the House of Delegates since 2009. He is a healthcare attorney who received his law degree from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Before practicing law, Hope was a congressional staffer for several years. As an attorney, he worked with various healthcare organizations to increase access and affordability for patients. He has lived in the Buckingham community of Arlington with his wife and three daughters since 2000.
With three kids in Arlington Public Schools, Hope has served as a dedicated advocate for public education. In 2021, he voted in favor of a 5% pay raise for teachers. During the pandemic, he advocated for increased funding to help schools reopen safely and increased counselors and nurses. Hope received a 100% rating for his voting record from the Virginia Education Association. He also advocated for kids’ mental health in schools, carrying legislation to allow excused absences in public schools for mental health.
Hope also serves as the chair of the Joint Commission on Health Care, which is a bi-partisan group working to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all Virginians. He voted in favor of Medicaid expansion in 2018, which granted affordable health coverage to 400,000 Virginians. He voted to expand Medicaid coverage to include dental insurance in 2021. He voted to cap the cost of insulin to $50 per month and to expand insurance coverage to include abortions.
Hope understands the urgency of the climate crisis and has voted to support environmental protections in the state. He voted for the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which commits Virginia to 100% clean energy by 2050. He supported the passage of a bill to require the production of low-emission and electric vehicles. He also helped create the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas to preserve Virginia’s natural environment for future generations. He received multiple 100% ratings from the Sierra Club and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters during his time in office.
Hope has introduced common sense gun violence prevention legislation. Serving as chair of the House Public and Safety Committee, he has passed bills to introduce universal background checks and require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. He helped pass a bill to establish a one-handgun-purchase-a-month rule and increased penalties for leaving firearms unsecured in environments where they may endanger children. Additionally, he supported a successful bill to prevent individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses from owning guns.
Hope has also advocated for criminal justice reforms while in office. He strongly opposes the use of solitary confinement and the construction of for-profit private prisons in the Commonwealth. He is working to introduce a mechanism of independent oversight in Virginia’s correctional centers, such as a prison Ombudsman, as Virginia is the only state without one. In 2021, he helped pass a bill that eliminated “child support” payments charged to the parents of incarcerated youths. He also advocated for reducing crowding in prisons during COVID-19, vaccinations for incarcerated people, and the reintroduction of visiting hours during the pandemic.
Hope is facing a challenge from Republican candidate Laura Hall, who opposes common sense measures aimed at keeping our communities safe from gun violence. She also refuses to acknowledge the results of 2020’s fair and free federal election. A website for Hall’s campaign was not created and no other information about Hall’s candidacy was available at the time of this guide’s publication.
Due to his support of affordable healthcare, criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, and public education, Delegate Patrick Hope is the most progressive candidate for Virginia’s 47th District.Incumbent Delegate Patrick Hope has represented the 47th District in the House of Delegates since 2009. He is a healthcare attorney who received his law degree from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Before practicing law, Hope was a congressional staffer for several years.
The 48th District includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties. The district is strongly Democratic. Del. Sullivan has run unopposed in every general election and Senator Tim Kaine won the district with 76% of the vote in 2018.Delegate Richard “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. has represented the 48th District since 2015. Sullivan grew up attending public schools in Northern Virginia, then received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and law degree from the University of Virginia. He is currently a partner in the law firm Bean Kinney & Korman. In the House, he is chair of the House Democratic Caucus, working alongside the House speaker and majority leader. He and his wife have four children and three grandchildren.
Sullivan is dedicated to boosting economic opportunities for working Virginia families. In 2020, he voted to raise the minimum wage and for a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which extends basic labor protections to domestic workers and ensures they earn at least a minimum wage. He supports protecting tenant rights in the Commonwealth. He voted for the Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back “G3” Program which makes community college more affordable to qualifying low-and middle-income students who study in certain fields.
Sullivan recognizes how wind, solar, and other forms of clean energy are important to not only addressing climate change but creating jobs. Sullivan patroned Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020, which commits Virginia to 100% renewable energy by 2050. He sponsored legislation to upgrade Virginia’s transportation system to introduce electric vehicles by creating a series of bills to establish an electric vehicle grant program, rebates for purchasing electric vehicles, and building infrastructure to support electric vehicles, such as charging stations.
Sullivan has also advocated for LGBTQ+ individuals in Virginia. He was critical to strengthening laws around hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2019, he was the author of Jacob’s Law, which increased surrogacy rights for all couples and individuals in Virginia, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. In 2020, he supported the passage of the Virginia Values Act, which increased protections from discrimination for LGBTQ+ individuals. He also voted to repeal Virginia’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Sullivan also supported criminal justice reforms to make Virginia communities safe and more equitable. In 2021, he voted to abolish the death penalty, as well as legalize marijuana. He also advocates for keeping our communities safe by passing common sense measures to prevent gun violence, including introducing a one-handgun-a-month purchase limit and universal background checks. He also supports extreme risk orders, which allows law enforcement to remove firearms from those deemed to be a serious risk to themself or others.
Delegate Sullivan is being challenged by Republican Edward Monroe, an educator for 19 years, who has served in the U.S. Peace Corps. Monroe is running his campaign on putting values back into politics. Monroe supports investing in public education, protecting the environment and diversifying the Commonwealth’s sources of energy.
Due to his advocacy for Virginia working families, the environment, gun violence prevention and equality, Delegate Sullivan is the most progressive choice for Virginia’s 48th District.Delegate Richard “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. has represented the 48th District since 2015. Sullivan grew up attending public schools in Northern Virginia, then received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and law degree from the University of Virginia.
The 49th District includes parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties. It is strongly Democratic. Del. Lopez has consistently received more than 75% of the vote in previous elections.Delegate Lopez has represented the 49th District since 2012 and has advocated for progressive causes his entire career. The son of an undocumented father from Venezuela, Lopez attended Vassar College and Tulane University Law School. He served as an appointee in the Obama administration and in Senator Tim Kaine’s office. In the House of Delegates, he serves as the Majority Whip of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Arlington.
As the founder and co-chair of the Virginia Latino Caucus, Del. Lopez is a dedicated advocate for immigrant rights. He was critical to the passage of the Virginia Dream Act and the Virginia Equity in Financial Aid Act, which expanded in-state college tuition and financial aid to all Virginia students, regardless of immigration status. He also helped pass legislation allowing undocumented Virginians to receive IDs and driver privilege cards. During the 2021 legislative session, Lopez carried legislation to expand emergency Medicaid to undocumented immigrants so that they could receive testing, treatment, and vaccination for COVID-19.
Lopez also fights to ensure Virginia remains affordable for people to live in and a great place to work. He created the Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which has been critical to preventing evictions and providing rental assistance for families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He voted for legislation strengthening the rights of tenants and to increase Virginia’s minimum wage. He supports protecting workers’ rights by repealing Virginia’s right-to-work laws, which undermine the strength of unions, and voted for collective bargaining rights for Virginia public employees.
Lopez works to expand environmental protections and options for renewable energy in Virginia, serving as the founder and co-chair of the Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus. He helped pass the Virginia Clean Economy Act and the Solar Freedom Act, which are critical to moving the Commonwealth to 100% clean energy. He helped pass the Virginia Green Jobs Tax Credit, incentivizing job creation in renewable energy and electric vehicles. He worked to increase funding for the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund and the Agricultural Best Management Practices program which work to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
Del. Lopez also advocates for making the promise of democracy real for us all by expanding voting access to all Virginia voters. He voted for the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, which prohibits discrimination at the polls. He helped expand access to absentee voting and passed legislation that allows 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. He voted to extend early voting in Virginia and remove the requirement for an excuse to cast an absentee ballot. He supports voting rights restoration for returning citizens.
Del. Lopez is running against Republican Timothy Kilcullen, a law student at George Mason University. He opposes common-sense gun violence prevention legislation as well as a person’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent. He also opposes government efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He supports creating deliberate barriers to voting that limit participation in our fair and free elections.
Due to his support of immigrants, working families, the environment, and voting rights, Delegate Lopez is the most progressive choice in this race.Delegate Lopez has represented the 49th District since 2012 and has advocated for progressive causes his entire career. The son of an undocumented father from Venezuela, Lopez attended Vassar College and Tulane University Law School.
Arlington County is considered the second largest “principal city” in the Washington metro area, with a population of over 236,842. The county is in Northern Virginia on the southwest bank of the Potomac River. Past election results show that voters in the region tend to vote heavily Democrat. In a special election held in July 2020, Karantonis was able to win 62% of the votes.Takis Karantonis was first elected to the Arlington County Board in July 2020 following a special election. He is originally from Greece and moved to Arlington in 2007. He earned a master’s degree in urban and regional economics from Berlin’s Freie Universitaet. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership. He serves as executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. He speaks eight languages and lives with his wife in south Arlington.
While serving on the Board of Supervisors, Karantonis worked to bring accountability to local law enforcement with initiatives aimed at reforming the criminal justice system. He supported establishing the police practices review group, which led to the creation of a civilian review board with subpoena power. He voted to fund body cameras for county police officers along with best practices to implement them. He also advocated for the Arlington Restorative Justice Strategic Plan, which seeks to move the county away from punitive measures toward rehabilitative work in the county.
Karantonis wants to address the county’s affordable housing crisis and fought to protect renters facing eviction during the pandemic. He believes that housing can be more equitable and fair by implementing more policies to protect existing housing stock and putting more money into the Affordable Housing Investment Fund and housing grants. He voted to keep Columbia Pike reasonably priced to moderate-income buyers by opposing an initiative to change eligibility requirements for affordable housing programs. He also supports advancing the mission of Arlington’s Strategic Housing Master Plan. He voted to provide nearly $7 million in emergency rent assistance to those in need.
Karantonis understands the urgency of the climate crisis and will work to pass legislation aimed at tackling the crisis. He helped strengthen and pass Arlington’s sustainability incentives to reduce the carbon footprint of new development, which aims to make the county a carbon-neutral community by 2050. He voted for $198 million in funding to better manage the county’s stormwater waste management. He also advocates for urban reforestation and the protection of Arlington's mature trees.
Karantonis is facing a challenge from three candidates: Michael Cantwell, Audrey Clement, and Adam Theo.
Cantwell is a Navy veteran who currently serves as a branch chief in the Maritime Safety Office. Cantwell questions whether the county is really experiencing a housing crisis and does not support affordable housing programs. He opposes the construction of new schools and blames policies that lead to rapid urbanization for bringing in too many students to the county.
Clement has lived in Arlington for 17 years and holds a doctorate in political science from Temple University. She wants to work on the affordable housing crisis by reintroducing a tax credit for renovating apartments. She also advocates for improving the school system by addressing overcrowding in the schools and increased hiring of teachers to reduce the student-to-teacher ratio.
Adam Theo is a Libertarian candidate. He has served as the chair of the Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia since November of 2018. He opposes qualified immunity for law enforcement and supports police reform. He supports taxpayer money to fund private education and believes government-mandated lockdowns during the pandemic are unnecessary.
Due to his support of environmentally sustainable policies, Takis Karantonis is the most progressive choice in this race.Takis Karantonis was first elected to the Arlington County Board in July 2020 following a special election. He is originally from Greece and moved to Arlington in 2007. He earned a master’s degree in urban and regional economics from Berlin’s Freie Universitaet.
Arlington County is considered the second largest “principal city” in the Washington metro area, with a population of over 236,842. The county is in Northern Virginia on the southwest bank of the Potomac River. Past election results show that voters in the region tend to vote heavily Democrat. In a special election held in July 2020, Karantonis was able to win 62% of the votes.Mary Kadera is a Northern Virginia native. She obtained her bachelor's degree in English and biology from the College of William and Mary and her master's degree in American studies from the University of Virginia. She has worked as a high school educator and previously served as Vice President of Education at PBS. Currently, she serves as vice president of the Arlington County Council of PTAs (CCPTA). She and her husband have two children who attend Kenmore Middle School.
Kadera is committed to bringing the most competent and committed educators to the Arlington Public Schools system. She promises to use the compensation reserve fund to increase teacher salaries and benefits. She advocates for autonomy and creativity in how both students and teachers are directed. Kadera plans to work with educators to develop more comprehensive school and district-level policies, allowing educators to have even more say in their work.
She plans to build a stronger community between the school board, teachers, families, and students. By doing so, she hopes to create an environment where each member can better engage and feel supported. Kadera believes that the current “Student Well-Being” strategies can be expanded upon to develop stronger relationships with the community. She promises to use more trauma-informed practices and restorative justice practices in school. These practices will help to keep suspension rates down and teach students conflict resolution skills.
Ensuring that school budgets are prioritized appropriately is an important issue to her. She will focus on a plan that evaluates current programs and expenditures to remove those not working. She promises to dive deeply into per-pupil expenditures and call for increased funding to meet the needs of the growing student population. Kadera also supports working with the County Board to address issues of diversity and zoning overcrowding. She plans to use data from the County Board to make informed decisions for the student body.
Her goal is to push for equitable programs and policies. Kadera promises to provide students with well-resourced schools and educators. She plans to work with schools and communities to create more inclusive curriculums and increase racial literacy. As a school board member, she will push for APS schools to fund programs that better identify learning disabilities and work to close the achievement gap. She will also support data analysis of how APS is promoting or harming equity in their decision-making.
Kadera is facing a challenge from Major Mike Webb, who previously ran for school board in 2017 but was unsuccessful. Webb also ran for Virginia Governor in 2020. He is a member of the Red Rose Rescue, a group aimed at defunding reproductive healthcare services. He is also against current government efforts and recommendations for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to her support of a more inclusive curriculum and her push for data-driven funding, Kadera is the most progressive choice in this election.Mary Kadera is a Northern Virginia native. She obtained her bachelor's degree in English and biology from the College of William and Mary and her master's degree in American studies from the University of Virginia.