Let’s take a look at how liberal one of our state capitals is. The city of Richmond, Virginia, has some very liberal policies in place.
Just this past week, the mayor announced that he will be offering paid sick leave to all his employees! This is amazing because most companies do not offer this benefit.
Not only does he give his workers pay while they are ill or recovering from an injury, but he also gives them payment for getting their job done even if they feel poorly.
This is an important perk since we all should have access to such benefits. Many people don’t know what sort of health care coverage they have so this is helpful for those individuals.
It is also helpful for employers to retain valuable staff members as well as get quality work out of them when they are feeling under-appreciated or unhealthy.
The state is divided into many districts
Districts are geographic areas that elect representatives to Congress or other offices, such as governor or senator.
States can be broken down into different congressional districts or even separate district elections for president, senators, and members of the house. Some states have one electoral college vote per district while others give each candidate an equal amount.
Some districts only include cities, whereas others may contain rural or suburban area too. This means that although most voters in the same district might share the same political party, their elected representative could come from a completely different faction.
Virginia is not alone in this fashion- some would say it’s an exception rather than the norm! There are twelve congressional districts in Virginia, with two seats apportioned to each one.
The voter turnout in these elections varies depending on who the candidates are and what issues matter to people in the district. For example, someone living in a mostly white community will probably care more about whether there should be gun control laws than someone working in a heavily black neighborhood where guns are prevalent.
There is no clear definition of what makes someone liberal or conservative, so it is difficult to determine if someone is truly representing your beliefs.
Some of the districts are very liberal
Democratic voters in some of these districts do not necessarily agree with all of their representatives’ policies, but they know that their representative is working hard to represent them.
Some of the districts have been referred to as “safe Democrat seats” because even though there may be no real support for the Democrats’ policy agenda, people trust their elected official and will still vote for him or her.
This sometimes works in the politicians’ favor since they don’t need too much of an excuse to show up and campaign so they can win without getting lots of votes beyond the base.
It also helps if the voter doesn’t pay a lot of attention to politics and just puts someone name on the ballot instead of looking into who he or she is before voting. In this case, the voter has already done his or her part!
Additional note: There is nothing wrong with staying within your political party at the polls, but some voters feel like they cannot do that because they won’t get good service from the other side.
Some of the districts are very conservative
There is one congressional district in Virginia where voters do not have a true representation of the political spectrum. The most liberal representative in this district was elected with over 70% of the vote in 2018!
That means that there is an almost even chance that the next person who represents you in Congress is someone who wants to abolish public education, wants to give tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and thinks climate change is a myth created by the media.
In fact, the opposite is often the case. More frequently than not, the people who represent your area in Congress are good moral men and women who work hard for their constituents and try to bring about bipartisan solutions to our country’s problems.
It is time we had some electoral reform in America. It is high time we gave all Americans the opportunity to choose their own representatives through direct election.
Virginia has a Democratic Governor
While Democrats have controlled either the Senate or the House of Representatives in every year since 1992, they do not hold a majority of seats in either chamber at any time. This means that there is never an uninterrupted stream of policies coming from the party out of power.
When one political side does not possess enough influence to push their agenda through Congress, they are left with trying to change state governments.
Governors are elected for four-year terms, which makes them much more likely to be voted back into office than members of Congress who may face voters every two years.
This is what made it possible for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to run again after he was embroiled in controversy over his appearance while wearing blackface and white racist clothing as part of a Halloween costume event. He was also criticized for appearing in a picture alongside someone in a KKK outfit.
Northam managed to win re-election last year by running up margins in rural areas where people vote along racial lines. Even though he did poorly in urban centers, no major city had a Republican candidate willing to challenge him.
He will be seeking another term this November, so anyone interested in helping promote a progressive policy somewhere in America should consider moving to or visiting the state of Virginia.
Virginia has a Democratic legislature
More than half of all state representatives in the General Assembly are now elected as Democrats, while only one third were before this election cycle.
This is significant because most large states have two dominant political parties that voters can associate themselves with. The Republicans dominate politics in Texas, for example, or the Democrats rule in New York.
By having more politicians who represent your party’s policies, it helps strengthen influence over government officials.
Furthermore, since Democrats make up the majority of legislators in Virginia, that gives their ideological bent more weight when making decisions. It also means there are more people like you in the legislature!
And although Virginia isn’t necessarily considered a very liberal state, many parts of the country would consider its legislative branch to be quite liberal. For instance, Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE) was reelected last month with almost 80 percent of the vote. He represents Delaware, which President Obama won in 2012.
Virginia is becoming more liberal
In fact, over the last decade, only three of the state’s eleven legislative districts have been represented by Republicans in Congress. One district was eliminated due to redistricting after the 2010 Census, one has a Republican congressman that doesn’t even live there anymore, while another is currently held by a Democrat who barely registers as conservative outside of election years.
That means almost half of all representatives for the Commonwealth are now Democrats, with only one congressional race being seriously contested every two years at most. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Having an extra senator really helps your party when it comes time to negotiate legislation, since you’re guaranteed someone well-versed in Democratic politics. And it can mean having access to powerful tools like the Congressional Budget Office or other budget research groups.
But it also opens up opportunities for career politicians, because there’s less need to work across political lines to get things done. You can instead focus on serving your own constituents, which is great if you want to remain in office for very long.
And for voters looking to send a message to Washington, electing more liberals than conservatives in their state legislature is a way to do just that.
Virginia is becoming more conservative
With every passing day, it seems like there’s one new way to prove how liberal Virginians are. A few years ago, people may have noticed how many politicians in Hampton Roads owned at least one dog or even two. But now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an elected official with their pet in full view.
I know what you’re thinking- why not just get them another one? Well, that would take too much time! Luckily for us, other things about these lawmakers seem to indicate they don’t really love animals.
For example, some legislators own several guns. Others spend money to fly first class all the time. Some enjoy eating meat frequently. And lots of politicians enjoy being in well connected groups, so they join organizations that reward them with tickets to events and special perks.
It’s hard to tell whether these habits are because they truly love animals or if they’re using pets as a way to praise themselves.
Virginia is a swing state
In fact, in our most recent election, President Trump only won Virginia by 0.6 percent! That means that he barely edged out his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In an evenly-balanced state like Virginia, such a close result can be enough to determine who wins or loses the election.
That’s why it’s so important for you to go into this election with all of your bases covered. And while some states are still considered solid Republican strongholds, others have become increasingly competitive.
This includes Virginia where Democrats are actually putting up a good fight in certain areas.
So how can you tell if Virginia is solidly red, blue, or purple? Here are some things to consider.