Our Endorsements, 2015

 

Once every four years, the entire General Assembly is elected. This is the year and the election is Tuesday, November 3.  All 100 delegates and all 40 state senators will be elected.  While many current delegates and senators are unopposed because of our gerrymandered districts, we still have opportunities to elect excellent newcomers and retain outstanding incumbents.

 We know we can count on the following candidates to stand up for women and the many attacks against her civil liberties during legislative sessions.

What can you do to get them elected?  Pick a candidate – from your district (click here to find your district and current legislators) or another district – and get involved.  Go to the candidate’s office and meet him/her, speak to voters on behalf of the candidate, make phone calls, work in the candidate’s office, contribute whatever you can (directly to candidates or to the VA NOW Political Action Committee), talk to your friends and neighbors.  That’s how we win.

 

Some races will be decided by a few votes.  You must be registered to vote (and if you’ve moved since the last election, you have to renew your registration). The last day to register for this election is October 13. Learn more at: elections.virginia.gov/registration/how-to-register

 

Note:  Virginia NOW endorses incumbents with whom we have worked; we base endorsements on their legislative record on Virginia NOW’s issues.  We endorse candidates who are not incumbents based on their positions with these issues:

  • Reproductive freedom, choice, and justice
  • Health care, health insurance, & retirement insurance
    •  Protect Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Affordable Healthcare (a.k.a. Obamacare)
    •  The right for equal coverage for the same cost
    •  Protect medical privacy in a digital age
  • The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
  • End violence against women – in the home, on the street, on campus, EVERYWHERE!
    •  Enforcement of anti-human trafficking laws
    •  Test ALL rape kits
  • Employee rights and workplace fairness
    •  Paid sick days, family leave, etc.
  • Update and improve the child support system and collection
  • Ensure the continued right of voting be available for all registered citizens on election day
  • Implement non-partisan redistricting
  • A budget supportive of under-served population – women, children, persons with mental illness, lower-income persons and families and others
    •  Increase minimum wage
  • Decriminalize/legalize sex work in Virginia
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • Protect the environment
  • End NSA, government, internet, and corporate surveillance!

 

VA NOW – Endorsed Candidates for House of Delegates
* = incumbent
Joshua King, 2nd District – Prince William and Stafford counties
Sam Rasoul*, 11th District – Roanoke City
Laurie Buchwald, 12th District – Montgomery, Giles, and Pulaski Counties; Radford
Don Shaw, 13th District – Prince William County, Manassas Park City
Susan Hippen, 21st District – Virginia Beach City, Chesapeake City
Ellen Arthur, 24th District – Rockbridge, Amherst, August, Bath counties; Lexington City
Angela Lynn, 25th District – Augusta, Albemarle, Rockingham counties
Kandy Hilliard, 28th District – Stafford County, Fredericksburg City
Sara Townsend, 31st District – Fauquier and Prince William counties
Elizabeth Miller, 32nd District – Loudoun County
Kathleen Murphy*, 34th District – Loudoun and Fairfax counties
Kaye Kory*, 38th District – Fairfax County
Vivian Watts*, 39th District – Fairfax County
Eileen Filler-Corn*, 41st District – Fairfax County
Joana Garcia, 42nd district – Fairfax County
Mark Sickles*, 43rd District – Fairfax County
Charniele Herring*, 46th District – Alexandria City
Patrick Hope*, 47th District – Arlington County
Alfonso Lopez*, 49th District – Arlington and Fairfax counties
Toni Radler, 55th District – Hanover, Caroline, Spotsylvania counties
David Toscano*, 57th District – Charlottesville City, Albemarle County
Lashrecse Aird, 63rd District – Petersburg and Hopewell cities; Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Prince George counties
Betsy Carr*, 69th District – Richmond City, Chesterfield County
Delores McQuinn*, 70th District – Henrico and Chesterfield cities, Richmond City
Jennifer McClellan*, 71st District – Richmond City, Henrico County
Roslyn Tyler*, 75th District – Brunswick, Southampton, Greensville, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Lunenberg, Isle of Wight, Surry counties; Emporia and Franklin cities
Lionel Spruill*, 77th District – Chesapeake and Suffolk cities
Jennifer Boysko, 86th District – Fairfax and Loudoun counties
John Bell, 87th District – Loudoun and Prince William counties
Daun Hester*, 89th District – Norfolk City
Jeion Ward*, 92nd District – Hampton City
Shelly Simonds, 94th District – Newport News City

 

VA NOW-Endorsed Candidates for Virginia State Senate

* = incumbent
Mamie Locke*, 2nd District – Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth cities; York County

Donald McEachin*, 9th District – Henrico, Hanover, Charles City counties; Richmond
Deborah Repp, 12th District – Henrico and Hanover counties
Jill McCabe, 13th District – Loudoun and Prince William counties
Rosalyn Dance*, 16th District – Chesterfield, Prince George, Dinwiddie counties; Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell cities
Louise Lucas*, 18th District – Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Emporia, Franklin cities; Southampton, Sussex, Isle of Wight, Greensville, Surry, Brunswick counties
Kim Adkins, 20th District – Henry, Halifax, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Carroll, Franklin counties; Danville, Martinsville, Galax cities
April Moore, 26th District – Shenandoah, Rockingham, Warren, Page, Rappahannock counties; Harrisonburg City
Jeremy McPike, 29th District – Prince William County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City
Adam Ebbin*, 30th District – Alexandria City, Fairfax and Arlington counties
Barbara Favola*, 31st District – Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun counties
Janet Howell*, 32nd District – Fairfax and Arlington counties
Jennifer Wexton*, 33rd District – Loudoun and Fairfax counties
Scott Surovell, 36th District – Prince William, Fairfax, Stafford counties
George Barker*, 39th District – Fairfax and Prince William counties; Alexandria city
###

For equality,

Marj Signer
VA NOW PAC Co-Chair

Why We Need the ERA – Diana Egozcue’s Testimony (delivered Feb. 7, 2012)

Virginia NOW President, Diana Egozcue, delivered this testimony about the Equal Rights Amendment to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012.

“Good afternoon,

I am Diana Egozcue, Virginia NOW President, Fredericksburg resident and a constituent of Senator Vogel.  I am here to testify for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The ERA simply states:  “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”  At this time, the only guaranteed right women have in the Constitution is the right to vote under the 19th Amendment.  There are laws and acts which give us some rights, but these can be repealed or amended at any time.  The ERA acts as a blanket insurance policy or a firewall for all laws passed for women such as the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act and Titles 7 and 9 in the Civil Rights Act.  Title 9 once disappeared for four years due to a Supreme Court decision, and Congress had to pass it again.

I hear the worn out old arguments all the time that it is dead, it will bring same sex bathrooms, the draft for women, and abortion on demand.  We already have unisex bathrooms, women can be drafted at any time if Congress wishes to do it, and it will not bring abortion on demand.  Twenty-two states have ERA amendments or clauses in their Constitutions including Virginia, and it has never brought abortion in these states.  In three cases brought in the states, the judges have thrown out the cases because men can’t have abortions.

As for being dead, the Congressional Research Service in reports to Congress said:  “The ERA is still legally held timely or contemporaneous, viable, fair and just.”  The Virginia Attorney General, in 1995, in a letter answering Delegate Marshall’s query said the ERA is not dead.  The Supreme Court in Coleman vs Miller said regardless of a time limit, Article V of the Constitution said states still have the power to ratify the ERA.  It is up to the states to give an up or down vote, but not to determine its viability.  The time limit was in the proposing clause and not in the body of the amendment.  There have been seven amendments accepted back by Congress after a time limit has passed including habeas corpus.  The Madison Amendment, the 27th Amendment, was accepted back after 203 years.  It counted 9 of the 13 original state votes in its 38 total needed for passage.  This amendment nullified the time limit argument.

Why do we need the ERA?

  1. As I said before, the only guaranteed right we have in the Constitution is the right to vote.  Some say the 14th Amendment covers women, but if you study the history of the debate, it was never intended to cover women.  The Supreme Court in 1972 said in a decision that the 14th did cover women, but this has often been ineffective to support women’s constitutional authority.  Justice Scalia said in a law review last year that it does not cover women or give equal rights because there is no ERA.  Only the ERA will give the courts strict scrutiny to decide a case, and that’s why they could not find for Lily Ledbetter.  This is an umbrella insurance policy for women or a firewall.
  2.  Forty-seven percent of women support their families.  With the ERA, we will be guaranteed equal pay for the same work.  We now make 77 cents in Virginia for every dollar a man makes in the same job with the same experience.  What this means is that in old age, women receive less Social Security if they never married or (in the case of their ex-husband’s Social Security) if they have been divorced less than a certain number of years.
  3. If we make pay equal, we will increase the tax bases locally, in state coffers, and federally.  Women will have more to spend to grow the economy; more women will not need welfare, Medicaid and food stamps; and there will be a positive impact on infrastructure and other projects.  None of this includes the intangibles such as self-esteem, role models for children and other women, and better housing, which affects children and their learning environments.

Article I, Section 11 of the Virginia Constitution states in the last three lines:  “…that the right to be free from any government discrimination upon the basis of religious conviction, race, color, sex, or national origin shall not be abridged….”  I have to ask the question, if this was written in the 1950’s before the passage out of Congress of the ERA in 1972, why hasn’t Virginia extended the rights guaranteed in the Virginia Constitution to the women of the United States?

We have women fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq.  They are fighting for a Constitution that affords them only the right to vote.  Last week, an all-female fighter squadron flew the first all-female mission from the US Carl Vinson.  The military knows the value of women.  Think of your mothers, wives, daughters, and granddaughters.  What if your daughter or granddaughter marries a man who leaves her with children to support?  Guarantee them the right to make an equal wage to support their families.

Opponents of the ERA say, we have bogus arguments, but give no reasons why they oppose the amendment.  Their specious arguments from the past are worn out.  We have same sex bathrooms, women can be drafted at any time, they serve in combat, and nowhere has abortion on demand been passed into law in the twenty-two states that have ERA amendments or clauses.  Time has marched on and attitudes have changed, but women are still waiting to be granted full citizenship under the US Constitution.  This is about the sex you are, not the sex you do.  A recent survey showed that over 86 percent of Americans agreed we need the ERA.  This is a civil rights issue.  This is a fairness issue. After waiting forty years, I would like to be a full citizen with guaranteed rights in the Constitution.  Thirty-five states have passed this, why not Virginia?

This is a matter of RESPECT.  Respect us enough to give us our rights and make us full citizens, not a 1/4, not a 1/2, but full citizens with the rights men enjoy.  I’ve heard male legislators say that they are protecting us.  No you’re not, not without the power of the law to guarantee our rights.  Again, respect us: that is all we are asking.”

###

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012

***

Go Diana!  She has since spoken on the floor many times on the importance of the ERA’s ratification.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) PAC Endorses Delegate Charniele Herring for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District

VA NOW PAC endorsed Delegate Herring, and now National NOW seconds that motion!

February 4, 2014

The National NOW PAC announces its endorsement of Delegate Charniele Herring of Alexandria for the Democratic nomination in the 8th Congressional District.

NOW congratulates Delegate Herring for her legislative achievements and her leadership in advancing an inclusive society. As a Virginia NOW member, Delegate Herring exemplifies the values we fight for – equality and justice for all. Her historic victory in her first delegate race – in which she was shamefully sidelined while an unnecessary recount went on – demonstrated her determination to overcome racism and sexism. Delegate Herring will be a United States congresswoman we can all be proud of.

NOW – the National Organization for Women  – is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has taken action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.

Virginia NOW PACMarjorie Signer, Diana Egozcue, and Lee Perkins.

Contact: Marj Signer, marj.signer@gmail.com

Advocacy Teams for Jan 28 to Feb 1, Bills & Committees: Join in, ya’ll!

From our Lobbying Director, Vicki Yeroian:
This is your second weekly update to our VA NOW General Assembly action! Thank you to those who got active last week on gun violence prevention!
Monday morning at 8am, myself and VA NOW VP of Legislative Affairs, Marj Signer, will be attending the Senate Courts of Justice Committee meeting in Senate Room B of the General Assembly Building to testify and monitor the votes on–
  • Support SB 520 Firearm transfers; penalties.
  • Support SB 510 Firearms; possession following conviction of certain crimes (domestic violence, sexual assault, assault and battery)
If you are in Richmond and would like to attend, please join us!! To remind you, we have asked all of our all star GA volunteers  to commit to the following:
  • Writing at least two emails to committees you are interested in following, one in Jan and one in Feb
  • To try to make it out to a committee meeting when legislation is being voted on OR (more realistically) send an email to your selected committees when you are alerted that bills are being voted on. You will be alerted via a weekly email from me!
  • To attend an advocacy day to gain more experience with the legislative process
To become a GA Advocacy Volunteer, please email me at Lobbyingdirector@vanow.org. Also, see our complete guide and updates to GA Advocacy with VA NOW at our VA NOW in Action page.
So, what’s up this week??  First, I have attached our VA NOW billsheets for this week. Every week they are updated, as some of the legislation we are monitoring dies or gets passed by indefinitely in committee. Remember, we are tracking bills related to the following topics–
  • Family Health
  • Community Safety
  • Social and Economic Equity
  • Civil and Human Rights
Second, we have linked an updated committee tracking document, which is how you can find out where legislation you are interested in currently is! Since we will only be sending out an email once a week, please be sure you  take a minute, two or three times a week, to check the docket of the committees your bills are in and see if you should send out an email or not. Links to all dockets are in the committee tracking document.
What we recommend taking action on this week:

Virginia NOW Endorses Candidates Who Support Women’s Rights

The Virginia NOW (National Organization for Women) PAC is proud to endorse the following highly qualified candidates in the Nov. 5th, 2013, election. These candidates will uphold and promote the Virginia NOW values of equality and justice.

The Virginia NOW PAC was established in 1978 and endorses candidates at the state and local level who support our positions on a wide range of social justice issues affecting women and families. Virginia NOW is a membership organization with chapters in Alexandria, Arlington, Charlottesville, Fairfax County (NoVA), Fredericksburg, Montgomery County, Richmond, Rockbridge County, the Vienna-McLean area, and Williamsburg.

Virginia NOW fights for women’s rights and social justice, including access to comprehensive reproductive health services, equal pay, strong laws to protect women from sexual violence and all forms of harassment, health care for all, protection of voting rights and an end to voter suppression, and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to ensure that women are – at long last – part of the Constitution.

Statewide Office

County Office

House of Delegates

Shine on,
Paradise Kendra
Vice President of Communications

Many thanks to Virginia NOW PAC Members,  Diana Egozcue & Lee Perkins!

VA NOW PAC Backs The Best Candidate for Women – Creigh Deeds

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds has won the endorsement of the Virginia NOW PAC – the political arm of the Virginia chapter of the National Organization for Women – because his experience and views are superior to those of his opponent on key issues of concern to mainstream, socially aware women.

More

Hot/Not: Lilly Ledbetter and the Continuing Wage Gap

Welcome to our newest feature, Hot/Not, where we will spotlight a person, issue, or event that is on the brain.

Labor Day always makes us think of wage discrimination (Not Hot).  Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Hot) which amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to reset the statute of limitations with each new discrimnatory paycheck.  This was a huge victory for pay equity – but it wasn’t enough.  The Senate must now pass the Paycheck Fairness Act – S.182, introduced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was in the Senate. This bill has 33 co-sponsors…but not Virginia’s Senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb! Why? Virginia NOW sent each of them compelling letters, signed by dozens of Virginia voters, asking them to co-sponsor the bill. Warner replied; Webb did not. Senators Webb and Warner: it’s time to co-sponsor S. 182!

Here’s what you should know about the wage gap in Virginia… More

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