Elevating Women in Politics, from Galax to Gainesville

  APRIL 2022

Dear NWPC-VA Members,

Happy spring!  As we transition from General Assembly Season into Primary Season 2022, we continue to celebrate the appointment of Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson. So often the progress we work toward in our democracy is slow and incremental, sometimes even invisible to the average voter. In other moments–like this one–change is highly visible and worth significant reflection.

NWPC-VA and The Virginia Chapters of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women were honored to have a conversation last week about Justice Jackson’s appointment and its impact on Virginia. If you missed it, you can watch the proceedings via the recording on our website.

It's Election Season - AGAIN

Get ready for the 2022 Congressional Midterm Elections with the information below, as well as a possible new election for the Virginia House of Delegates.


Redistricting Updates

In 2020 the U.S. Census took place. In 2021, Virginia got new electoral maps, drawn by two special masters appointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia, after proceedings at the new redistricting commission stalled. Do you know how your district and/or reps might have changed?  Check out this resource from VPAPOr find a sample ballot.



House of Delegates Do-Over?

There may be a new House of Delegates election this year, depending on the results of a current case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, detailed here.



At the close of General Assembly 2022, the legislature sent 841 bills to Gov. Youngkin’s desk. Earlier this month, he signed 700 of them into law. Among those bills are measures to increase oversight of the Virginia Parole Board, require local school districts to notify parents if their children are being assigned materials with sexually explicit content, changes for the state’s election officials, and the NWPC-VA-sponsored Unsolicited Lewds Bill against cyber sexual harassment (HB 334/SB 493).  In all, Youngkin vetoed 26 bills—the most for a first-year governor since Jim Gilmore, according to the Virginia Public Access ProjectAll were sponsored by Democrats; three passed unanimously. These new laws take effect in July.

Youngkin also called lawmakers back to Richmond for a special session. While much of the news coverage has focused on the commonwealth’s budget and tax reform, we’ve been following a few developments from bills which have been vetoed and have amendments. Approximately 100 of the aforementioned bills have gubernatorial amendments. 

One vetoed bill,HB 5733, sponsored by Del. Nadarius Clark (D-Portsmouth), would have set a three-year statute of limitations on the collection of medical debt. As one in three Americans struggle with unpaid medical bills, the legislation had strong support. It passed unanimously in the Virginia Senate; in the House, 87-9. In his veto statement, Youngkin said he was committed to reducing the burden of medical debt but thought the legislation would “inadvertently” capture other forms of debt.

Another vetoed bill, Del. Cia Price’s (D-Newport News) HB 802/Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, would have given localities the authority to sue negligent landlords over matters that endanger tenants’ health. The bill had bipartisan support in both the House (59-Y 41-N) and Senate (26-Y 14-N). In his veto, Youngkin voiced concerns that the bill “contains unnecessary and duplicative provisions.”

Among the bills with significant amendments is Del. David Reid's (D-Eastern Loudoun County) HB 1138, which originally was a bipartisan bill passed with no dissenting votes and intended to stagger the terms for Loudoun County School Board membersAccording to the Virginia Education Association, “The Governor's amendment would require all nine Loudoun County School Board members, who were duly elected by the voters of their local school board districts, to run for their seats this November, a year ahead of the normally scheduled School Board election.” This amendment undermines the normal democratic process and the will of the voters as well as setting a bad precedent for future school board elections.

Finally, SB 163/ Miscellaneous provisions related to surrogacy contracts, introduced by Sen. Mark Peake (R-Central/Lynchburg/Louise County), has an amendment from the governor which creates the ability to write a contract which prohibits abortions. The bill passed the Senate (40-Y 0-N) and the House (52-Y 48-N) with the original text stating that any contract “provisions requiring or prohibiting abortions or selective reductions [are] unenforceable.”

Legislators will vote this week on whether to accept the governor's recommendations.  If they accept a recommendation in full, it becomes law.  If they reject it in whole or part, it goes back to the governor for consideration.



Virginia League of Conservation Voters: Fight for a State Budget that Protects our Environment

Virginia’s state budget is critical for many of our top environmental priorities. Everything from the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, enhancing water quality, and protected lands funding, to expanding outdoor recreation opportunities–all these priorities depend on adequate state funding. Let your representatives know that protecting the environment is a budget priority with this tool from the Virginia LCV.

Center for Common Ground: Postcarding for the Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina Primaries

The Center for Common Ground is getting out the vote for the primaries, not only for important issues for voters of color and local candidates, but to work out any obstacles for voters ahead of the November elections due to the voter suppression laws that have recently been enacted. Your help is sorely needed to reach out to voters of color to engage with these early elections in Southern states. Sign up to volunteer. 



As we close out April and Earth Month, NWPC-VA is highlighting Del. Shelley Simonds as one the leading environmental advocates in our legislature. Currently representing Newport News’ 94th District in the House, a big part of Del. Simonds agenda is promoting and working for healthy, sustainable, and equitable green communities. She fights for programs to keep the James River free of toxins and works to keep funding in place to protect the Chesapeake Bay. As a resident of Hampton Roads, Del. Simonds is intimately aware of the dangers of climate change to our coast. She and her team support alternative forms of energy such as offshore wind energy and solar power, and they work with local groups on land conservation and best management practice agricultural programs. She is dedicated to environmental justice reform and is working to right the wrongs of prior decisions that negatively impacted communities of color. We are inspired by Del. Simonds’ leadership in Richmond on these issues and thank her for her dedication! 



Virginia’s electoral boards have the responsibility of conducting fair and free elections that are the foundation of the commonwealth’s democratically-elected government. Earlier this month, the Hampton Circuit Court removed a Republican member of the Hampton Electoral Board, David Dietrich, over a racist Facebook post. In response, the State Board of Elections is sending a letter to the Virginia GOP, Virginia Democrats, and the courts to ask them to do a better job of vetting people picked for our 133 local election boards. The controversy has raised questions regarding reform at the local level as well as the state level (with this past session’s HB305, regarding the state electoral board, continued to the special session). For details on the Hampton story, see The Virginia Mercury article. On the partisan nature of the appointment process and need for reform, see this op-ed by Fairfax County Registrar Scott Konopasek.




April 28, 12pm: Mobilizing Women to Serve on Public Boards & Commissions at the Local, State & Federal Level (Online)

Have you considered serving on a public board or commission locally, regionally, or at the state level? Before a woman runs for political office she needs to be asked 7 times! Join @_howwomenleadand NWPC President, Donna Lent for this event and discussion on mobilizing women to step up and run for office. RSVP.



May 4, 12:30pm: Made at the Library: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress with authors Judy Wu and Gwendolyn Mink                                                                                   

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Gwendolyn Mink join us to discuss their new biography of Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink, Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress (New York University Press, 2022). The book provides vivid details of how trailblazer Patsy Mink changed the future of American politics.   

Register Here

May 4, 6:30p.m.: NWPC-VA Membership Committee Monthly Meeting (Online) 

Register Here

May 10, 4:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Endorsements Committee Monthly Meeting (Online) 

Register Here

May 17, 4p.m.: NWPC-VA Events and Development Committee Monthly Meeting (Online) 

Register Here

May 29, 6:00pm: NWPC-VA Policy Committee Monthly Meeting (Online) 

Register Here


June 6, 8p.m.: NWPC-VA Tidewater Region Monthly Meeting (Online)                               

Register Here

June 7, 4:00 p.m.: First Northwest Region Meeting (In Person) 

NW Members watch your inbox for more information.


June 8, 7p.m.: NWPC-VA Central Region Monthly Meeting (Online) 

Register Here

June 15, 6:30 p.m.: Introducing NWPC-VA's Salon Series!

This salon series will meet quarterly, beginning June 15.  Members will read a recent book of interest and participate in self-reflection and deep discussions. Our first selection is I Think You're Wrong (But I’m Listening) by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers. We aim to break down the walls that keep us apart and find ways to build them back even stronger. We are grateful to Finale Johnson Norton, who will be our moderator. It’s time to buy, borrow, or get a copy from the library!  Register here.


July 21-24: NWPC-National’s Annual Meeting

Convene in Washington, DC with representatives from NWPC chapters from around the country. Programming includes board development training on how to expand your board with new people and new ideas; how to plan for board succession, and finance. They also plan on having a White House appointee speak on how to get appointments. For information on how to attend as an NWPC-VA representative, contact President Krysta Jones.



The following positions on the Board of Directors are open for nominations: President, VP of Communications, VP of Records, and VP of Finance.  The elections will be held at our September meeting, with each 2 year term beginning in 2023. Please contact us with nominations


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