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Susanna Gibson

virginia House of Delegates | District 57 | Open Seat
2023: Loss

“I have dedicated my career to ensuring my patients have the resources they need for a good quality of life. I have seen firsthand how important access to affordable quality healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, is for all. As your Delegate, I will continue to fight for you, your families, and our community.”

Susanna Gibson is running to represent the 57th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. Susanna is a wife, a mother of two young children, a Nurse Practitioner, and a public health expert, with years of experience providing home-based primary care to vulnerable patients in our community. Her particular medical experiences have provided unique insight into the intersectionality of health with economic stability, education, environmental justice, discrimination, social support systems, and more, all of which greatly impact Virginia’s policy and legislation needs. Gibson is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Columbia University, and a lifelong Democrat, born and raised in Virginia, who has lived in western Henrico for over 10 years. her husband is a local attorney, and they have chosen to raise their two young children in this special area of Virginia.

Gibson has worked in the medical field serving the greater Richmond community for nearly 15 years. Throughout this time, she has cared for patients in several capacities and specialties, including Geriatrics and Home-Based Primary Care, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Obesity Medicine. Susanna has extensive experience managing the most medically complex patients in Virginia, and a track record of effectively utilizing local and state resources to best help those in need. She has dedicated her career to ensuring my patients have the resources they need for a good quality of life and has seen firsthand the importance of access to affordable quality healthcare. As Delegate, Susanna Gibson will continue to fight for Virginians, their families, and their community.

On the Issues

Protecting Reproductive Rights

Susanna Gibson’s passion for reproductive health and education started at a young age while volunteering and shadowing at the UVA Teen Health Center. This passion played a large role in her decision to go into healthcare. As a volunteer with Planned Parenthood, Susanna believes strongly – with every fiber of her being – that women must have control over their own bodies, access to affordable quality healthcare, and make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their healthcare providers.

The Supreme Court has taken these long-standing fundamental rights away from us, and with a single decision has set women back fifty years. As a long-time healthcare provider, she knows what happens when women do not have rights and do not feel empowered. Depriving women of their power and autonomy can lead to very serious consequences including death. Women forced to carry a pregnancy suffer physically and mentally, as well as may be unable to work or care for their families. This decision hurts each and every one of us, and Gibson cannot just sit back and do nothing. Volunteering and protesting are not enough, not now.

‍With her knowledge, experience, and expertise, Susanna Gibson will go to the House of Delegates to ensure Virginia does not move backward. She can use her professional knowledge to explain the damage that will be done to women, our families, and frankly to our communities if women are unable to work or care for their loved ones. She will bring with her the knowledge of experience – both lived and professional.

Education & Families
Susanna Gibson is deeply concerned about our children having access to a strong public education system that gives every child maximum opportunity and prepares them for higher education or a good job. Attracting, retaining, and rewarding quality educators is crucial for the current and future success of our children. She will work across party lines to ensure that Virginia incentivizes quality teachers to remain in the classroom, not punishing them with teacher reporting tip lines or videos in the classrooms to monitor them. She will advocate for helping local school districts increase the compensation and support systems in place to support our teachers, because when you recruit and retain the best teachers, every Virginia student wins.

Susanna also worries about the affordability of college. Virginia is so fortunate to have outstanding public universities. As a graduate of UVA, she knows firsthand the importance of access to Virginia colleges and universities. But we can’t leave our students, our children, drowning in mountains of debt. Getting a college education is being priced out of budget for far too many of us. This is not acceptable. Gibson will work to curb increases in tuition to attend Virginia universities for our children, to ensure that all our children are given a fair opportunity for higher education.

More fundamentally, we must ensure families, and especially mothers, have the resources and support systems early on to nurture healthy children. This means establishing a robust paid family and medical leave system here in Virginia so that new moms don’t have to worry about where their next paycheck is coming from after giving birth. It also means working toward ensuring all Virginia families have access to affordable child care. It is absolutely unacceptable that the largest expense families pay on a regular basis is for child care.

Preventing Gun Violence

Gibson wants to make sure we take steps to protect our neighborhoods from gun violence. No one should fear going to the park, to a concert, grocery store, mall, school, or house of worship because of gun violence. Our children should not have to practice active-shooter drills at school and live with the real fear of being harmed by someone with a weapon intended for a war zone.

Susanna Gibson believes in common-sense gun laws and using evidence-based interventions to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths. These include efforts to get military-style and assault weapons off our streets, expand and strengthen background checks for gun sales, close loopholes, and keep guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill, domestic abusers, and people with violent criminal histories.

‍Virginia should be investing in community violence interventions, street outreach, and violence interruption programs, statewide gun buyback programs, and hospital-based violence intervention programs, as well as cleaning up vacant lots and improving street lighting, all of which have been proven to reduce gun violence.

Prioritizing Senior Advocacy & Senior Resources

According to the 2020 census, 12% of Virginia’s population is 62 or older, which will almost double before 2030. 27% of those seniors live alone. 6% of Virginia’s senior households have an annual income of less than $10,000. 22% of Virginia’s senior households have an annual income of less than $20,000. As a Nurse Practitioner who has specialized in Geriatrics, Susanna Gibson knows how important it is to prioritize safe and affordable housing options for our senior friends, family, and fellow citizens.

In the House of Delegates, Susanna will put forth policies and incentives for expanding and promoting safe and affordable housing options, as well as increasing state and community resources to help our seniors age in place and in peace. She will introduce legislation that limits the ability of utility companies from disconnecting our most medically vulnerable customers from services during extreme weather events. She has firsthand experience in the homes of patients that have dealt with the aftermath of hurricanes and snowstorms, trying to figure out how oxygen-dependent patients are going to be able to survive without power to supply their oxygen, or bed-bound patients that may not be able to function without the use of their hospital bed. This is a serious problem, and Susanna will work to solve it.

Gibson will also work to ensure that every person in our Commonwealth has access to affordable prescription drugs. As a medical provider, she has extensive experience navigating the insurance system with patients and figuring out ways to get them the medications that they so badly need. She will introduce and support legislation that requires insurance companies to cover many lifesaving drugs that are often excluded or have limited coverage by plans, including epinephrine auto-injectors for severe allergies, insulin and other medications used in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, medications for cardiovascular diseases, and more.

Supporting Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Services

The Commonwealth must make mental health and substance use disorder top priorities, and make sure that Virginia becomes a top state in providing resources to any Virginian who needs them. Increasing education and acceptance among Virginians is a necessity. We must work to destigmatize these disorders and work to increase awareness and interventions.

Additionally, we need to prioritize treatment over incarceration. Susanna Gibson will introduce and work to pass legislation to increase the number of Drug Courts within the Commonwealth, which will help reduce the incarceration rates for non-violent drug-related offenses. On average, Virginia’s Drug Courts save around $19,000 per person, as compared to traditional case processing. These savings can be utilized as increased funding and availability of community services boards, which provide treatment for mental health disorders and substance use disorder, and addiction.

Updating Energy Infrastructure & Environmental Protections

Climate change is a very real threat to our national security, public health, economic prosperity, and diverse biosphere. We owe it to our children and future generations to control how much climate change will cost us. We all struggled through intense heat this summer, watched flooding and forest fires around the country, and experienced an increasing number of severe weather events. Sea levels continue to rise along the Atlantic coast as Virginia is projected to experience almost 5 feet of increase by 2080, submerging an additional 649 square miles of land. ODU’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy calculates that taking no action to mitigate against rising sea levels will result in a $79.1 billion decline in economic output by the end of the century. The main cause of climate change is burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. When burnt, fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the air, causing the planet to heat up.

Susanna Gibson intends to prioritize the development and spread of renewable sources of energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. Because renewable energy has no marginal cost – no material costs, nor labor costs while generating energy, once scaled up, it is by far the least cost form of energy generation – cheaper electricity that can be passed on to consumers. In 2021, renewable energy sources accounted for about 12.4% of total U.S. primary energy consumption. Renewable energy sources accounted for about 19.8% of total utility-scale electricity generation. We can only go up.

On a bipartisan approach, Gibson will also support new clean technologies that will create new jobs in emerging markets and communities.

Why This Race Is Important

In 2021, Democrats narrowly lost control of the House of Delegates by only a handful of votes, attributed to down-ballot roll-off. As a result, the VA House passed numerous bills aimed at discriminating against marginalized groups like our LGBTQ+ neighbors and children, bolstering access to firearms, and restricting access to reproductive healthcare. Thankfully, their efforts have been stopped by the Democratic majority in the VA Senate, but they have still wasted precious time and taxpayer resources pushing their cultural and ideological agenda instead of addressing the real needs of Virginians. If they keep the majority in the House, and win the Senate, Republicans have vowed to strip away Virginia’s established Reproductive Rights, Discrimination protections for our LGBTQ+ loved ones, and divert public education funding to private or religious institutions.

In 2023, we have an opportunity to turn the legislative tides by taking back the House and holding the majority in the State Senate, allowing the VA legislature to take real action to address the concerns of Virginians in 2024 and beyond. To do so will require claiming House District 57 for Democrats and getting Susanna Gibson to the Statehouse. With Republicans already pushing hard on the ground in the District and believing they have an edge, this will be a hard-fought election to the last moment.  We must make every effort to reach every voter, reminding them of the power they hold and the importance of voting all the way down the ballot in 2023.

Election Timeline

Last day to register for primary: June 20, 2023

Deadline to request absentee ballot (primary) June 9, 2023

Date of primary: June 20, 2023

Last day to register for general: November 7, 2023

Deadline to request absentee ballot (general) October 27, 2023

Date of general: November 7, 2023

About the District

Located to the northwest of Richmond, this newly drawn district incorporates parts of both Henrico and Goochland Counties, with Henrico County residents making up the great majority of the electorate. While the more populated precincts of Springfield and Colonial Trail favor Democrats, the rest of the new House District 57 leans Republican. This District is considered highly competitive, with Republicans having an advantage over their Democratic opponents. However, given the sharp decline in Trump support from 2016 to 2020, with the area going strongly for Biden, it could be an indication that residents of the district are tired of extremism and division. In 2021, the district was decidedly Purple, with McAuliffe narrowly losing by less than 3 points. This election will help better determine where political leanings truly fall in House District 57.

Nested Congressional Districts: 
VA-CD01: R+6
VA-CA05: R+7

Past Results in District

2021 Gubernatorial:
Democrat: 48.3% McAuliffe
Republican: 51.2% Youngkin

2016 Presidential Election:
Democrat: 45.6% Clinton
Republican: 47.5% Trump

Demographics

Registered Population (as of June 2023):
62,617 Registered Voters
Race
White: 62.4%
Black: 8.6%
Asian: 20.5%
Multiracial: 6.3%
Other: 2.2%
Ethnicity
4.9% Hispanic or Latino/a

About the Opponent

Endorsed by Younkin, Republican David Owen is a strong supporter of the Governor’s extreme policies and attempts to roll back rights in the Commonwealth. When it comes to public education, Owen is a strong supporter of “School Choice” programs that would strip public schools of their funding, diverting them into the pockets of private institutions. He is also a proponent of limiting teachers’ ability to provide comprehensive education, by restricting topics and curriculums.

Despite numerous statistics and studies that prove the contrary, Owen parrots trickle-down economics talking points as a solution to inflation, including reduced regulation for business. This completely ignores the fact that profit and corporate greed are the driving force behind the rising costs we see today. Owen paints himself as a moderate, but make no mistake that his plans align with the extreme right and will not meet the true needs of House District 57 and the Commonwealth.

Why Virginia is important

We have a unique opportunity in Virginia to flip the House and expand the Senate Democratic majority in one election cycle. In 2021, Democrats lost the majority in the House by a total vote difference of 733 votes in the three closest districts.

The new state legislative maps are fair and provide Democrats with key opportunities in open seats and new districts. With recent Democratic wins in special Congressional and state senate elections, we have the momentum to compete in key swing districts that will decide the majority in the House and put us in the position to expand the Senate.

Redistricting & Gerrymandering

Following action by the Virginia General Assembly, on November 3, 2020, Virginia residents voted to amend the state’s Constitution to authorize the establishment of the Virginia Redistricting Commission. The Commission was established for the sole purpose of developing maps for Virginia’s state legislative districts and districts for the U.S. House of Representatives.

With the 2020 change to Virginia’s Constitution, now the Commission will draw the maps for the General Assembly to approve. If the Commission fails to produce redistricting plans or the General Assembly fails to approve the Commission’s redistricting plans, then districts will be established by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Following the 2020 Census, all House districts were renumbered. This means the current boundaries of districts bear no relation to the previous district by that same numerical designation.

Candidate in the News

  • Protests Moved Through Downtown Richmond on Friday; Youngkin Eyes 15-week Abortion Ban “Reproductive rights, women’s rights [being] viewed as health care has always been extremely important to me. And I think it’s really important that my kids grow up understanding that and really seeing that and feeling that — not just saying, ‘Oh, yeah, you know, girls and boys are equal.’ That’s actually not what they’re being shown by our government.” – Susanna Gibson
Paid for by Sister District Project.  Authorized by Susanna Gibson, candidate for HD 57
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Susanna Gibson

virginia state house of representatives | 57 | Open Seat
2023: Loss
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