Black Leaders Across Virginia Applaud Terry McAuliffe’s Bold Agenda to Lift Up Black Virginians & Create A More Equitable Commonwealth - Terry McAuliffe

Black Leaders Across Virginia Applaud Terry McAuliffe’s Bold Agenda to Lift Up Black Virginians & Create A More Equitable Commonwealth

Terry’s Agenda to Lift Up Every Black Virginian Earns Praise of Key Black Leaders and Community Stakeholders

MCLEAN, VA – Black leaders across Virginia today praised Terry for Virginia’s Lifting Black Virginians agenda, a comprehensive roadmap for how he will fight to create a more equitable Commonwealth. As governor, Terry will continue to defend civil rights, build equitable healthcare and education systems, and create opportunities for Black Virginians to build wealth and benefit from the Commonwealth’s post-COVID economy. Terry will also work to ensure Virginia’s post-COVID recovery lifts up Black communities and creates equitable access to resources and opportunities. He will address systemic racism and create a more equitable present and future for Black communities in the Commonwealth by increasing access to homeownership, investing in Black-owned banks and businesses, eliminating racial pay gaps and accelerating the $15 minimum wage to 2024.

Praise for the Lifting Up Black Virginians Agenda:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light what Black Virginians have known all along: systemic racism has been embedded in our health care, economy, education, criminal justice, and housing systems for far too long. Virginia needs a bold leader who is prepared to take action and deliver real solutions to the challenges Black Virginians face, and we are proud to have joined with Terry McAuliffe to develop this smart, aggressive plan,” said Terry for Virginia’s Lifting Black Virginians Policy Council. “Terry’s record of delivering results for Virginia’s communities of color is unmatched – he restored voting rights to 173,000 Virginians, made record investments in education, created good paying jobs, and fought tirelessly to expand access to health care. We look forward to continuing to work with Terry as our next governor, as he fights to ensure our COVID-19 recovery lifts up Black Virginians and creates equitable access to opportunity for all.”

“Virginia is facing a crossroads, and we need a strong leader with bold ideas to meet this moment and push forward on criminal justice reform. Terry McAuliffe’s Lifting Up Black Virginians plan not only acknowledges the sins of Virginia’s past but offers tangible solutions to build on his record of fighting to move Virginia forward,” said James “JJ” Minor, former Chair of the Richmond City Democratic Committee. “When he was governor, Terry fought to reverse a racist Jim Crow era law when he restored voting rights to 173,000 Virginians even in the face of staunch opposition and legal attacks from Republicans. And I am really excited to see such a bold, comprehensive agenda to enact real change for Black Virginians.”

“We know that this pandemic has been incredibly difficult for everyone in Virginia, but its impact is uniquely and disproportionately felt by Black Virginians, and the consequences can be deadly. We cannot allow systemic racism to continue to harm the health of Black Virginians, and I stand by Terry in his mission to fight this,” said Dr. Patricia King. “Terry will work to combat racial disparities in health care by rebuilding trust between communities of color and the healthcare system, further expanding access to Medicaid,  and improving access to high-quality providers. And he will tackle the issue of Black maternal mortality head on by increasing the diversity of our health care workforce, expanding coverage to include essential home visiting programs for new mothers, implementing mandatory mental health screenings during and after pregnancy, and ensuring every woman has access to lactation support and counseling.”

“As Black Virginians continue to be disproportionately impacted by our criminal justice system, we need leaders who will take bold, decisive action to create a more equitable criminal justice system that treats all Virginians fairly and with respect. Terry McAuliffe understands that having a criminal record impacts every aspect of a person’s life, which is why he will build on his historic work to restore voting rights and continue to emphasize second chances. As governor, he will expand access to parole and wipe certain convictions from a person’s record so they can get a fresh start,” said Jeffrey Charity, member of the Virginia Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Prevention. “Terry’s Lifting Up Black Virginians policy agenda will finally deliver Virginians an equitable, just system that promotes second chances and supports our citizens, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse it.”

“In order to create a more accessible and equitable Virginia, we must have open and honest conversations about the grave impact environmental injustice has on Black communities. We must ensure that all Virginians, regardless of zip code, can benefit from our transition to clean energy,” said Manassas City Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger. “Terry McAuliffe will lead an equitable transition to our clean energy future. This includes building diversity in our next generation of clean energy workers, undertaking equitable planning to invest in our underserved communities, and ensuring that every community has equitable access to safe and welcoming green spaces. This will build upon Terry’s strong record as the 72nd Governor of Virginia, when he made renewable energy a key pillar of his efforts to build a new Virginia economy and pushed for action on climate despite a Republican-controlled legislature that refused to address the inequities in our energy policy that for too long have disproportionately impacted Black Virginians.”

“Terry McAuliffe understands that systemic racism has been affecting Black Virginians for generations in every aspect of life, from education to housing to health care,” said Gilbert Bland, community leader. “Terry’s Lifting Up Black Virginians policy agenda is the comprehensive and bold approach we need to continue to tackle the racial disparities affecting Black Virginians. As part of his bold plan, Terry will build a more equitable economy, raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, improve access to health care, and break down the barriers to homeownership that have impeded Black Virginians’ ability to build wealth for far too long. I know Terry will get this done because he has a strong record of delivering for Black Virginians. This plan helps ensure Black Virginians aren’t left out of our post-COVID recovery.”

Terry’s new policy agenda builds on his strong track record of upending the status quo and fighting for a more equitable Virginia. As Virginia’s 72nd governor, Terry boldly reversed a racist Jim Crow law that was created to disenfranchise Black Virginians, and restored voting rights to 173,000 Virginians — more than any governor in American history. He issued a record 227 pardons to right the wrongs of unjust and discriminatory sentences, reformed Virginia’s juvenile justice system, worked to improve police-community relations, and fought for millions of dollars of investments in mental health screenings and services to help keep Virginians out of the criminal justice system.

He made a record $1 billion investment in education, expanded pre-school to thousands of children, and thanks to his efforts, Virginia served 13 million more school meals. He also fought tirelessly against an extreme Republican legislature and laid the groundwork for Medicaid expansion by embedding $421.7 million in estimated savings from expansion into his outgoing budget. When Republicans refused to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Virginians in need, Terry still extended health care coverage for tens of thousands of Virginians and secured critical dental care for low-income pregnant women. 

Since launching his campaign in December, Terry has released big, bold plans to strengthen Virginia’s education system and dramatically increase teacher pay, help secure Virginia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, reform our criminal justice system to create a more equitable Virginia, ensure Virginians have access to regular nutritious meals, address the broken, predatory system of prescription drug pricing, boldly confront the gun violence epidemic, make Virginia the best state in the nation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Healthcare (STEM-H) and computer science education, tackle the housing crisis in the Commonwealth and invest in Virginia’s workforce to create a more equitable post-COVID economy, ensure Virginians have access to high-quality, affordable health care, tackle climate change and secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035, and lift up Black Virginians as the Commonwealth rebuilds equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read more about Terry’s big, bold plans for Virginia’s future, visit


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