Jeion A. Ward is a Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 87. Her name will appear on the ballot on November 7, 2023.
Ward is running against Republican John Chapman.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race, with a request for a bio and a list of questions to answer. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
Name: Jeion A. Ward
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 87.
Biography: Delegate Jeion Ward is an accomplished public servant, representing the people of Hampton in the General Assembly since 2004. Currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Democratic House Caucus, she holds key roles on the Commerce & Labor, Communications, Technology & Innovation, and Transportation Committees. Delegate Ward has consistently championed critical issues such as public education, healthcare, and social equity. Her impactful legislative contributions are extensive and diverse. She carried the legislation to raise the minimum wage, create the Virginia Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and has
made significant strides in advocating for Small, Women- and Minority-owned Businesses
(SWaM). Additionally, Delegate Ward led the charge in establishing the Renter’s Bill of Rights,
ensuring protections for tenants and affordable housing. A true progressive advocate, Delegate Ward has left an indelible mark by establishing Henrietta Lacks Day on October 4th, commemorating Lacks’ contributions to medicine and science. Her legislative accomplishments also include successfully carrying the bill to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee and replace it with Barbara Johns, an emblem of progress and inclusivity. With an unparalleled dedication to public service and a steadfast commitment to advancing positive change, Delegate Jeion Ward remains a driving force for a brighter and more equitable future in Virginia.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for re-election because I am deeply committed to serving and representing the
interests of our community. Throughout my 20 years in the General Assembly, I have witnessed
both the strengths and challenges that our community faces. I believe in the power of effective
leadership to bring positive change and address these challenges head-on.
I remain dedicated to promoting policies that enhance public education, reduce the cost of
quality healthcare, and remove barriers to economic opportunities and social equality. By
running for re-election, I will contribute my experience, passion, and determination to create a
brighter future for everyone in our district.
What is the most important issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
The most crucial issue facing Virginia is ensuring economic equity and improving the well-being
of all residents. Therefore, the General Assembly must finish the work we began in 2020 and
fully raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. This legislation represents a pivotal step towards
putting money back in the pockets of hardworking Virginians and creating a more equitable and
healthier Virginia for all.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it?
The most critical challenge in our district is the teacher shortage. With my experience as the
President of the Hampton Federation of Teachers, I recognize the essential role teachers play in
our community. To tackle this issue, I support implementing teacher recruitment and retention
initiatives, enhancing teacher salaries and benefits, and cultivating partnerships with local
colleges and universities to inspire more individuals to pursue careers in teaching.
What is your view on Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposal for a 15-week abortion ban
In a post-Roe v. Wade landscape, my stance on access to abortion services in Virginia remains
rooted in the principles of reproductive rights, individual freedom, and healthcare equity. I firmly
believe that we must pass a constitutional amendment in Virginia to guarantee women’s right to
Reproductive Healthcare. It’s vital that we prioritize women’s autonomy and trust the decisions
that individuals make with their healthcare provider. It is not the place of politicians, like Glenn
Youngkin, to interfere in those decisions.
How do you feel about the politicization of public education?
The politicization of public education is a concerning trend. In my roles as the President of the
Hampton Federation of Teachers and a past board member of the PTA, I’ve had the privilege of
being deeply involved in our local school system. Throughout my journey, I’ve witnessed
firsthand the importance of a non-partisan, student-focused approach to education. Our
children’s future should always be the top priority, and I’m committed to working collaboratively
to ensure our education system remains dedicated to their success.
What legislation would you plan to sponsor in your first year?
The legislation I’m most eager to see passed in the upcoming General Assembly session is Paid
Sick Leave. This legislation, which I plan to introduce, is a response to the pressing need for
worker protections and economic resilience, further highlighted by the aftermath of the
pandemic. It is imperative we guarantee workers’ dignity, social justice, and fair access to paid
time off for health-related reasons.
What is your view on unlimited campaign contributions? Should that change?
I believe campaign finance reform is crucial for achieving fair and equitable representation in our
democracy. While I acknowledge the concerns surrounding contribution limits, I also recognize
the significance of establishing a level playing field for all candidates, particularly those who
have historically encountered challenges in fundraising, specifically women, particularly women
of color. To address this, instead of capping campaign contributions, I advocate for enhancing
campaign finance transparency. This approach ensures that voters are well-informed about the
sources of candidate support, empowering them to make informed choices at the polls.
How will you still value constituents with whom you disagree with?
I believe in respectful dialogue and actively listening to constituents with differing views to find
common ground and serve everyone’s interests effectively. Every constituent’s viewpoint is
taken into account when I make decisions in Richmond.