2019 State Legislature Candidate Questionnaire
Sally Hudson - Virginia House District 57
In three sentences or less, why are you running?
I believe we're at a critical juncture in Virginia's history. Virginia Democrats are just one seat down in both our House and Senate, finally in striking distance of flipping the General Assembly. In moments like these, districts like ours need to send strong progressive champions to lead in Richmond -- on economic equity, genuine justice, a real climate change agenda, and the democratic reforms that make all other progress possible.
What would be your first priority in the General Assembly if elected?
Virginia needs a modern Voting Rights Act, a comprehensive election reform package to secure democracy for the long haul. We need automatic registration, early voting, independent redistricting, campaign finance reform, and a host of other electoral upgrades so that politicians are accountable to the people they serve. Until we fix the bones of democracy itself, so many of the others reforms we sorely need will stay on the back burner.
Other than that, what do you see as the three most important issues for this district in the General Assembly?
Charlottesville sits at the epicenter of so many challenges. We should be leading from experience:
1. We saw the highest health insurance premium spikes in the country last year, and we can’t wait for a federal solution to our local problem. State leaders need to step up and expand public health insurance options so that every Virginian can afford quality care.
2. We know racism is so much more than hateful slurs. It's the structural barriers that prevent people of color from securing the resources we all deserve. Confronting racism requires investing in our public schools, affordable housing, and a criminal justice overhaul.
3. We're a hub for clean energy firms, but Richmond favors state utilities over local power producers. We need to slash the barriers that slow solar and wind production and confront climate change head on.
Have you accepted any money from a corporation or a corporate PAC, or will you in the future?
No. All of my campaign contributions come from individual donors.
According to the world’s leading scientists, we have 12 years to take action on climate change. Will you vote in support of legislation that requires a transition to 100% clean energy resources by 2035?
Yes. Our climate crisis is already here. Combatting it requires bold goals that incite the practical planning we need to meet them.
UVA recently announced it would be paying every employee at least $15 per hour starting in January 2020. Do you support raising the minimum wage in VA to $15/hour?
As a grassroots organizer, I love the "Fight for Fifteen". That slogan has four F's in three words. As a labor economist, I know the devil's in the details. Cost of living varies wildly across Virginia, so $15 in Abingdon is just $10 in Arlington. I support both raising our state minimum wage and granting localities the freedom to raise it further so that high cost communities like Charlottesville can ensure all our workers can afford to make a home here.
What will be your first legislative priority to address gun violence in Virginia?
We need red flag laws that allow judges to temporarily prohibit gun possession when law enforcement and family members identify gun owners with acute risk factors. No one law can prevent all gun tragedies, but we can still empower people to elevate alarming situations when they arise.
Will you support legislation that allows a special driver’s privilege card to be issued by the DMV to undocumented immigrants in Virginia?
Yes. This country is long overdue for a federal immigration overhaul. In the meantime, Virginia needs to step up and support the immigrants who find their way here for so many reasons. We've built a car-dependent culture, and we can't hold driving rights hostage while we await those federal reforms. The DMV should care about how well you can parallel park, not what country you come from.
Will you support legislation that allows localities in VA to decide whether to remove or modify Confederate monuments in their jurisdictions?
Absolutely. Every community should have the right to decide what it celebrates.
Do you support construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline? If not, what would you do in office to protect our environment?
No. The fracked gas pipelines tearing through Virginia are dangerous, wasteful investments in the energy infrastructure of the past. We have to use every tool we can to halt them, from grassroots rallies to executive action. Governor Northam should revoke the pipeline permits, and I won't hesitate to hold that line if elected. Legislators have to hold executives accountable, even in their own party.
What experience do you have in organizing in and supporting local communities?
I'm an active election reform organizer, volunteering with OneVirginia2021 and founding FairVote Virginia, a statewide cross-partisan coalition that promotes ranked choice voting. I've helped lead two grassroots groups -- Women of the Fifth and Indivisible Charlottesville -- which support the candidates working to turn red seats blue in VA. Whoever wins this nomination on June 11th needs to wake up on June 12th and go to work for those candidates across the state. Flipping Virginia's House and Senate this fall is the most critical thing we can do to make progressive reform possible in our community.