Dr. Ghazala Hashmi is an experienced educator and advocate who has spent over 25 years working within Virginia’s college and university system. She currently serves as the Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) at Reynolds Community College. Ghazala immigrated to the U.S. from India 50 years ago. As an immigrant living in a small town in the South, she saw first-hand how community building and fostering important dialogue can bridge the cultural and socioeconomic divisions that we face. She later earned her PhD in English from Emory University, and she and her husband moved to the Richmond area in 1991. Their daughters were born and raised in Midlothian and educated in Chesterfield County Public Schools. Ghazala is guided by the principles of integrity, social justice, and ethics in government in her approach to public service. If elected, Ghazala Hashmi would be the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Virginia State Senate.
The district has been trending increasingly more Democratic over the last several elections. The current GOP incumbent pulled out a slight victory in 2015, but the district voted for Clinton and Northam by more than 10 points. Senate District 10 is ready for a progressive leader in the State Senate who truly understands the district — its priorities, its diversity, and its potential — and is ready to fight for residents every day in Richmond. By sharing her plans on important issues like improving public education, implementing commonsense gun safety reforms, and protecting the natural beauty of our Commonwealth, Ghazala will build a meaningful connection with voters that will propel her to victory.
Read more on Ghazala's website.
Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Education is the foundation upon which Virginia students can build a lifetime of skills for social and academic success. Quality and accessible early childhood education is a fiscally-sound investment for our communities, helping young children develop the emotional, social, cognitive, and motor skills necessary for effective learning.
Quality Public Education
Providing quality public education for all Virginia families is our shared social
responsibility. Regardless of socio-economic status, children have a right to public educational institutions that are supportive and that nurture intellectual curiosity and creativity. Virginia has every capacity to be a national leader in providing access to high quality public education.
Accessible and Affordable Higher Education
Accessible and affordable higher education is essential if we want to grow Virginia’s economy and ensure that our residents are prepared to lead and to participate in a rapidly-changing world. The next generation of public leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, and creative thinkers need access to quality community colleges, colleges, and research universities.
An effective plan matches the state’s workforce needs to the skills development and training requirements of individuals seeking employment. By supporting the work of community colleges and other workforce development organizations, Virginia will lead the way in responding to new and emerging workforce needs and in developing the skills and abilities of our residents.
Women’s Reproductive Rights
Reproductive health care is a right, not a privilege. I am committed to protecting all women’s right to make their own family planning decisions. I will also fight to ensure that women have access to affordable reproductive health services.
Virginia’s recent Medicaid expansion provided healthcare insurance for 400,000 previously-uninsured Virginians. Preventative care, comprehensive coverage for pre-existing conditions, mental health and substance abuse treatment plans, and coverage for young adults through their parents’ insurance ensures that our state values the health and safety of all of its residents.
Too many of our residents have limited access to quality healthcare services. Comprehensive health insurance provides entry into healthcare services, but it is not enough. Virginians also need accessible healthcare services and facilities, and they need healthcare providers with whom they can develop trusting relationships. Development and expansion of effective medical services such as telemedicine technologies, mobile clinics, and effective cooperation across organizations will help our residents access healthcare and improve lives.
The health of Virginia’s environment is the foundational rock for all of our communities. Ensuring protections for clean air, water, and soil are not options; they are safeguards of our most valuable legacies for our children and grandchildren. Environmental protections and regulations protect our communities and place people over profit.
Virginia’s rural communities still have limited and spotty access to digital resources. This digital divide creates and perpetuates real barriers to educational, social, and technological resources. Expanding the infrastructure for high-speed internet access is essential for our economy and for our residents’ full participation in emerging opportunities.
In just four years, Democrats have seen an impressive and almost unprecedented swing to majority, with more than 20 seats gained over two election cycles. With gains so recent, Republicans are eager to take advantage of this dynamic, where characteristically moderate “bellwether” districts ebb and flow to give way to national political trends, waiting for the pendulum to swing back in their favor. The 2021 House of Delegates elections are sure to be a test of Democrats’ ability to hold Trump Era gains in a post-Trump climate.
The Commonwealth has long faced the consequences of political gerrymandering. District boundaries have been a hot topic of conversation in past years. In 2020, the Virginia legislature voted to create a bipartisan committee to handle the creation of new electoral maps; Bipartisan redistricting is now in the hands of a 16 member committee which was on a tight timeline to use 2020 census data to announce adjusted districts for the upcoming House of Delegates elections in November 2021. The original plan had the committee producing new maps by April 2020, but delayed census data from the federal government has made new maps in time to give the state board of elections, localities, and partisans time to effectively prepare for and hold elections unlikely. As of now, the most likely scenario remains that 2021 will see no new maps, instead districts will remain the same this year with new districts only taking effect in 2023.