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Mejias announces bid for House of Delegates 70th District

Neighborhood resident Alex Mejias announced today that he intends to challenge incumbent Delores McQuinn in the Democratic primary for her House of Delegates 70th District seat:

Here in Virginia, we desperately need to find new ways to solve problems and heal communities. Business as usual will not suffice to get the job done. While I honor the work of progressive leaders that have come before me, we face new challenges and a new context that requires new ideas, new coalitions, and new leadership. I am running for the House of Delegates because I’m passionate about criminal justice reform in Virginia, bringing an end to political gerrymandering, and building stronger and safer communities through pragmatic and compassionate immigration policies. As the son of a Puerto Rican and the grandson of a Haitian immigrant, I defy conventional racial categories. As a Gen-X’er, I straddle the generational divide between millenials and baby boomers. I believe I can help unite diverse communities and build new and unexpected coalitions that will strengthen the Democratic party and the state of Virginia.

The 70th District includes approximately 45,000 people across the eastern portion of the CHPN coverage area, eastern Henrico out into Varina, and southwest into Chesterfield County towards Pocahontas State Park. Delores McQuinn first won the seat in 2008 in a firehouse primary, taking 83% of the vote. She has run unopposed in 2011, 2013, and 2015, after handily beating independent challenger Henry Otis Brown in 2009. Prior to that the seat was held by Dwight Jones from 1994-2008.

The Democratic primary will be June 13th, 2017.

Alex Mejias alex4delegate.com | Facebook | @alex4delegate

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70th District

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35 comments

Sarah Elizabeth 03/01/2017 at 3:43 PM

Speaking of gerrymandering, the shape of that district is funky-looking.

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Church Hill People's News 03/01/2017 at 3:44 PM

I almost described it as being shaped like a lumpy croissant in the post.

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Dubois2 03/01/2017 at 5:33 PM

Does anyone know if candidate Meijas has anything to offer by way of experience, or a track record of some sort?

From his statement:
can anyone shed light on his positions on “criminal justice reform”
and/or explain how the legislature is involved in immigration policy?

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Bill Hartsock 03/01/2017 at 5:43 PM

Resume? Community involvement?

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Lana Martinez 03/01/2017 at 9:01 PM

As a community activist and lobbyist at our general assembly I’m very excited that Alex had decided to run. I appreciate the strong ties of McQuinn and she is truly a person of integrity and character. However, I have been disappointed that she has not offered any legislation to solve any of the myriad issues and injustices faced by her constituents. She was also unavailable to meet with constituents throughout the legislative session. She did not even have her legislative aid meet with constituents; only interns were available. The entire session. When bills were introduced that could have helped her constituents she did not launch any kind of defense or champion those bills. Nor did she vocally defend her constituents from the many pieces of legislation intended to harm them.

The last thing I want is more of the same, so I talked to Alex for a long time before offering my support. Our district needs a champion not just votes in the right direction. We need a representative who is available to their constituents and responsive to our needs. Alex has not just indicated that he wants to learn, but has shown a commitment by attending committee hearings and community politics actions as well as asking for additional resources to continue learning about the most pressing issues of the day. Accessibility, responsiveness and proactive solutions are key at this moment in Virginia politics so I am thrilled to support Alex for as long as he shows a commitment to embodying those traits. Please get to know Alex if you don’t already. You will meet someone humble enough to learn from whoever crosses his path with a heart of compassion and a quick and savvy brain.

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Lana Martinez 03/01/2017 at 9:06 PM

To Dubois: the state legislature has no business being involved in immigration policy, which is federal. However, this session there were about 20 bills dealing with immigration: several attempting to MANDATE state and local law enforcement to enter into VOLUNTARY 287g agreements with ICE. Another piece of legislation attempted to mandate that anyone suspected of possibly being unlawfully present could not be released from prison at the end of their sentence. And two other bills mandated university officials collude with ICE to detain anyone they suspected of being unlawfully present. Another bill wanted to create a registry of refugees resettled in VA equal to a sex offender registry.

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Matt (H)illian 03/01/2017 at 9:18 PM

Alex is a really good guy and I’m excited that more people are going to get to know him in this process. I’ve known Alex since his days at UVA where he completed his law degree. Alex is one of the most interesting, knowledgeable and deeply caring people you will meet. He’s lived up in North Church Hill for many years. He’s had a music career, practiced law and now works for a web development biz called Foster Made. I know that he and his wife have spent countless hours volunteering in the Richmond City Jail and that he’s passionate about breaking the cycle of recidivism. I could go on but I encourage you to meet him and find out for yourself.

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Dave Seibert 03/01/2017 at 11:06 PM

What Matt said. Alex is good people.

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Neighbor 03/02/2017 at 10:33 AM

Delores McQuinn was unavailable to meet with constituents and did not launch any kind of defense or champion ordinances that the community wanted while on city council either, so I don’t see why people are surprised. Even with that being said, the establishment wants her in power and regardless of Alex Mejias’ experience or intentions, his campaign is quixotic at best, if not a waste of time. I will be surprised if McQuinn even acknowledges his campaign let alone debates him.

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Lawson Wijesooriya 03/02/2017 at 9:31 PM

Here is a little help with some specifics: Alex Mejias is a UVA law and undergraduate grad, who has worked in both the public and private sector and is licensed under the bar of both New York and VA. His experience includes work at the Legal Aid Justice Center, Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, and the National Senior Citizens Law Center. Since moving to Richmond, he worked for BrownGreer where he helped oversee complex settlement programs involving thousands of claimants.

He is an active member of East End Fellowship and he has served on the board of several non-profits over the past ten years including Urban Hope, Richmond Justice Initiative, and Freedom in Creation.

Last year he put together an event called Businesses for Black Lives, a conversation between business owners and local police on issues of race and policing. This led to the formation of the Business Coalition for Justice, which he now leads as well.

He is a good friend and from my estimation, is entering politics in order to create justice oriented conversations, serve the whole of the district, and fundamentally to “put his money where his mouth is” when it comes to the democracy he wishes to see in our state and country. I think no matter who you support, we should all welcome choice and dialogue in our elections!

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SueWho 03/03/2017 at 7:56 AM

I definitely concur with the statement that Neighbor @ #9 said. The 7th District has underwhelming ‘representation.’ Delores McQuinn, and her assistant, have a reputation for never returning calls from constituents and for years had no email address (does she have one now?). The only time she makes her presence known is during her reelection campaigns, then she makes the rounds attending all of the neighborhood association meetings. We need new energetic, capable people running for office who regard their position as a privilege and enjoy mingling with their constituents. It’s time for new leadership in the East End.

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John M 03/07/2017 at 2:53 PM

Ground Floor Meet & Greet – Alex Mejias for Delegate https://www.facebook.com/events/379664682420638/

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