Recognizing that voters are not just voters, but potentially active community leaders with the capacity to mobilize their neighbors and sustain issue-based advocacy outside of an election, NVM integrates our members into local and statewide legislative campaigns. The most powerful voice is that of a constituent. NVM’s members play a critical role in shaping our issue campaigns and educating elected officials through constituent meetings, legislative visits, and testimonies at public hearings. As advocates for a fair and just Commonwealth, we monitor and support legislation that supports the well-being of all Virginians.
Virginia is home to people from all over the world. As Virginia’s immigrant residents have grown in number, so has the backlash against immigrants in the streets and in our halls of government. We believe that Virginia must welcome all its residents and be a beacon of fairness to immigrants from around the world. All people must be guaranteed the right to work, attend school, and live productive, full lives. The Commonwealth must not participate in law enforcement programs that harass immigrants and make immigrant communities unsafe and unhealthy. Virginia must allow its residents to live free from the fear of discrimination.
The transportation package passed in the 2011 General Assembly and the funding mechanism developed by the governor favors new highway construction at the expense of bridge repair, secondary and urban streets, and transit. Transit and local street networks are critical for relieving metropolitan congestion, cutting energy and air pollution, and providing access to jobs for all socioeconomic groups.
Voting is a fundamental part of a participatory democracy and should be made more accessible to Virginians. Polling hours should be expanded to allow for more time for voters to get to the polls; and Virginia should adopt “no excuse” absentee voting, allowing any registered voter to vote absentee without requiring the voter to state a reason for his/her desire to vote absentee. Additionally, over 400,000 Virginians are ineligible to vote due to the Commonwealth’s disenfranchisement law. There should be an automatic restoration of civil rights to convicted felons who have completed all of the requirements of their sentences.
In 1982, Virginia established a ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia. Extracting uranium requires intensive use of water and chemicals, and leaves behind massive amounts of radioactive and toxic waste. Virginia’s wet weather makes mining and processing uranium and storing this waste a risky experiment that could contaminate drinking water for downstream communities.