Last week, we invited the two candidates running in the Democratic primary for the 45th District House of Delegates race to write a post about why our readers should vote for them next Tuesday (June 8).
Here is the unedited response from incumbent Mark Levine:
For the past six years, I have had the honor of representing South Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax in the House of Delegates. I now ask for your vote as I seek to serve all of Arlington, and all of Virginia, as your Lieutenant Governor.
When deciding which candidate to support, I encourage voters to focus on two things: the record of what a candidate has done in the past and their vision for the future. I have a strong record of accomplishment, including doing some things everyone said were impossible to do. I also have a unique vision of being the first candidate in Virginia history to propose to transform the office of the Lieutenant Governor into a full-time job and to travel all across Virginia to bring your voice to Richmond.
To know what someone will do, look at what they’ve done. I have led the way on issues of affordable healthcare, economic opportunity for all, justice reform, strengthening democracy, and preventing domestic violence, sexual violence, and gun violence. I am the only candidate running who chairs two very important subcommittees (Public Safety and Constitutional Amendments)
Some of the dozens of laws I have spearheaded include:
- Common-sense gun safety measures
- Comprehensive protections for LGBTQ+ Virginians
- Virginia’s only body-camera law
- Protections for children in homes with domestic violence
- Protecting the right to vote and making it easier to do
(A full list of the 47 bills I introduced last year, including the 23 of them that became law, is found here: Mark’s 2020 Session Letter)
I have also delivered results beyond new laws by:
- Leading the effort to have Arlington relegate “Jefferson Davis Highway” to the dustbin of history
- Mandating the live-streaming and archiving of all the General Assembly’s proceedings and recording all our votes, as the leader and co-founder of the bipartisan Transparency Caucus
- Keeping Arlingtonians informed about testing of COVID-19 and vaccination efforts by organizing early town halls with public health leaders
- Securing funding for Northern Virginia’s first program to make emergency medical assistance available 24/7 to survivors of sexual violence and domestic violence
To understand what I have yet to do, here are my “not-yet-successes.”
- Banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
- Guaranteeing Paid Family and Medical Leave for all Virginia workers
- Reforming the Electoral College so we elect the President by National Popular Vote
- Campaign finance reform, including capping political contributions at the federal contribution limit
- Requiring police officers to report their fellow officers’ misconduct
My progressive principles have guided my work. The 2021 Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Network’s review graded me as having the second most progressive voting record in the House of Delegates in 2021. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia named me a Champion for reproductive freedom on their 2021 scorecard, and the League of Conservation Voters of Virginia named me as one of their 2020 Legislative Heroes for my work to protect our environment.
I’m running to transform the office of Lieutenant Governor into a full-time, year-round job. The Lieutenant Governor – the only person in all of Virginia government that serves both the executive and legislative branches – can play a meaningful role as the connective tissue Virginians desperately need right now.
We need a leader who will take action to protect Virginia from the scourge of gun violence – a fight I’ve led in the House of Delegates and will continue to lead as Lieutenant Governor.
I also want Virginians to feel connected to one another and know that their government cares about and works for them. That’s why I have hosted Mark’s Monthly Meetup every single month since I was first elected in 2015. Many of the bills I’ve championed, like my successful bill banning the inhumane tethering of pets or my broadband initiative have arisen directly from conversations with voters at these meetups. I will continue this tradition as Lieutenant Governor. I have pledged to visit every one of Virginia’s 133 localities to talk with Virginians about the issues that matter to them.
My record and my vision are why I want to keep serving you in any capacity I can. I hope I earn your vote on June 8th.