Delegate Lashrecse D. Aird has represented the 63rd District since January 2016. She holds the special distinction of being the youngest woman ever elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Delegate Aird serves on the General Laws; Health, Welfare and Institutions; and Appropriations committees. Out of session, she serves on the joint subcommittees on Tax Preferences and Local Governments in Fiscal Distress. She was recently appointed to Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, which awards grants that support job creation, education and a variety of projects in tobacco-dependent communities.
Delegate Aird’s professional life reflects her conviction that the struggle for equality begins with political freedom and education. Working side by side with the president as chief of staff, and as a member of the executive leadership team at Richard Bland College of William and Mary, she helps today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders.
Delegate Aird earned her undergraduate degree from Virginia State University in 2008. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Political Leadership Program, a graduate of the American Council on Education Virginia Network for Women in Higher Education’s Senior Leadership Seminar, and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Minority Political Leadership Institute. In addition, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Virginia State University in 2019, and was part of Governing Magazine’s Women in Government.
Delegate Aird has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the University of Virginia’s Emerging Leader Award, the Free Enterprise Award from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce in 2018 and 2019, and the Energy Freedom award from the Sierra Club. She has been named Virginia Leadership Institute’s Top Ten Leaders under Forty, and is the recipient of Virginia State University’s Presidential Medallion and the Young Trojan Distinguished Alumni Award for two consecutive years.
Del. Aird’s service is guided by her allegiance to the citizens she represents and her devotion to improving their quality of life. In her first two terms, she has placed a significant emphasis on improving K-12 and higher education, workforce development, and economic and social justice.
She has voted to increase access to healthcare, improve gun safety, and invest in green energy. She has also sponsored legislation that increases Virginia’s minimum wage, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and prohibits no-knock search warrants.
Recently, Del. Aird has worked with the Democratic majority to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. They have also expanded Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of residents and raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. Thanks to Del. Aird and her colleagues, Virginia is leading the way in the South for a more progressive future.
Read more on Lashrecse's website.
Economic development resources are critical in the 63rd District. Lashrecse wants to ensure that companies are enticed to bring their jobs to the 63rd District to increase the number of quality jobs available. Lashrecse will continue working for access to high-paying jobs, with benefits from companies that have a shared investment in their employees and the community. In her first three terms, she has garnered over $10M in budgetary earmarks for economic development investments in her district.
K-12 Funding & Higher Education
Lashrecse has long understood the impact a high-quality public education can have on both students and communities, and has always been a champion for Virginia’s students and educators. She believes that all children need to have equitable access to quality education and has consistently advocated for increased funding, especially for localities struggling to maintain standards of quality. Lashrecse has joined colleagues in advocating for universal pre-k for all.
Outside of the General Assembly Session, Lashrecse holds a senior administrative position at Richard Bland College. With this unique perspective, she also recognizes the immense challenges many Virginians face in accessing higher education. This experience informed her efforts to pass legislation banning state universities in the Commonwealth from asking prospective students about their possible criminal records.
In the House of Delegates, Lashrecse is well known for her tireless advocacy for the rights of all women, particularly those who are most vulnerable. She has a strong voting record on a wide array of legislation, ranging from pay equity and banning gender discrimination, to expanding reproductive freedom and investing in resources for working mothers. One of Lashrecse’s greatest legislative successes has been her advocacy around maternal mortality. She has carried several pieces of legislation to expand access to reproductive services for vulnerable women, most notably a bill to include doulas and other pre- and postnatal resources for women who receive Medicaid.
When it comes to clean energy, Virginia has emerged as a new frontier in the region, and Lashrecse continues to lead the Commonwealth on this issue. As with all of her legislative priorities, Lashrecse approaches clean energy through an equity lens, working to ensure that communities that have been disproportionately impacted by climate change are prioritized when it comes to green initiatives. In 2018 Lashrecse passed legislation establishing the Virginia Clean Energy Advisory Board to foster the development of green energy policies.
Civil Rights and Social Justice
As one of the few young, Black female lawmakers in the General Assembly, Lashrecse has emerged as a leader on a vast array of social justice issues. Her advocacy has led to the passage of a ban on police usage of facial recognition technology, as well as Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock warrants. Lashrecse has proudly supported bills to formally ban discrimination and harassment of marginalized groups. Most recently, she passed two historic resolutions declaring racism a public health crisis and declaring access to clean water a human right.
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.