Name: C.E. “Cliff” Hayes, Jr.
Race: House of Delegates, 77th District
Biography: Del. C. E. “Cliff” Hayes, Jr. was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2016. He represents the 77th House District which includes parts of the cities of Chesapeake (South Norfolk, Indian River, Georgetown, Greenbrier, Battlefield Blvd, Crestwood, River Walk) and a small portion of Virginia Beach.
Del. Hayes serves on three standing committees in the House of Delegates: Appropriations; Counties, Cities and Towns; and Health, Welfare and Institutions. Additionally, he serves on the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Substance Abuse Services Council, and the Joint Subcommittee on Block Grants.
Prior to joining the Virginia General Assembly, Del. Hayes served eight years on Chesapeake City Council from 2004 to 2012. Del. Hayes is a graduate of Oscar Smith High School, where he excelled in athletics and was inducted in the Athletic Hall of Fame.
He later graduated from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Computer Information Systems, with a minor in Business Administration. He holds a Master of Management degree in Business Administration from Cambridge College. He also is a certified chief information officer through the Carnegie Mellon University Chief Information Officer Institute and the Federal CIO Institute.
He completed further executive leadership study innovation in government through Information Technology at the John F. Kennedy School of government at Harvard University. Finally, he holds a certificate in cyber security from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has an extensive professional career in technology and currently works as a chief information officer.
He is a life member of the NAACP, a member of the New Chesapeake Men for Progress and the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Urban League of Hampton Roads.
Delegate Hayes and his wife, Kecia, have two daughters, Felecia who is a third-year track athlete at the College of William & Mary, and Tonecia who is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and a first-year law student at the University of Maryland. The Hayes family live in Chesapeake and are members of Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church.
Why should residents re-elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?
Voters should re-elect me to the Virginia House of Delegates because I’ve proven to be a tireless fighter for the needs of residents in the area of the 77th House District. Firstly, I believe support for education is a pillar for strong economic development and future jobs for our region and the Commonwealth. I’ve fought for increased pay for teachers and more funding for K-12 education. In addition, it goes without saying that I’ve been correct in supporting increased funding for school safety. It is necessary for a wholesome learning environment. Furthermore, funding our colleges is paramount to me. As a member of the Higher Education Subcommittee of Appropriations, I’ve strongly supported increased funding in marine sciences at Old Dominion University and the chief sponsor for the new Center for African American Public Policy at Norfolk State University. Also, I supported freezing the cost of Virginia’s higher education for our state universities by paying down proposed tuition increases across the Commonwealth.
Secondly, I’ve fought for access to better quality, affordable healthcare for Virginians. And, thanks to Medicaid expansion, well over 300,000 additional individuals have that care.
Additionally, I’ve supported measures to reform Virginia’s Criminal Justice system. For example, I sponsored a bill, which has now become Virginia law, to end the practice of housing troubled youth with adult prisoners in local and regional jails. It was an awful obstacle to rehabilitating youth that would soon be returning to our neighborhoods and their families. I am happy to have championed this change.
What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?
Tackling quality education and affordable healthcare remain huge challenges throughout the 77th House District. I promise to continue the fight to bring Virginia’s teacher pay in line with, at least, the national average. In addition, I’ll continue to work to add more school counselors. This past session, we’ve made strides in improving the counselor-to-student ratio. But, there’s more work to be done.
With healthcare, we’ve got to get a handle on the cost of visits to the doctor and the medical prescription drug prices that seem to be spiraling out of control. My constituents should not have to choose between purchasing groceries or the necessary medicine to live. As a member of the Joint Commission on Healthcare and the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee, I’ll continue to explore the best avenues to guarantee access to quality, affordable healthcare.
What was the most important vote taken in the Virginia General Assembly in 2019, and why?
The most important vote taken during the 2019 General Assembly was a bill to end the awful practice of DMV suspending the driver’s licenses for non-driving related court cost, fines, and or fees. I supported the bill, but unfortunately it died. The good news is Gov. Northam was able to introduce budget language that, ultimately, resulted in 627,000 Virginians having their driver’s licenses restored.