Lavangelene Williams lost the June 2020 primary election to Qasim Rashid. Rashid will be named on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 1st District. Click here to learn more about Rashid.
Candidate Name: Lavangelene “Vangie” Williams
Race: U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 1st District
Biography: Lavangelene (Vangie) Williams — a long-time resident of King George — is a strategic planner, wife, mother and professional problem solver. A self-made woman who has overcome insurmountable odds, Vangie is a public servant who solves problems for our federal government.
A real-world professional with 32 years of experience, Vangie is not a career politician who will put corporate interests above people. She currently works full time for a major government contractor as a senior strategic planner where she strengthens national security, manages critical infrastructure projects and ensures the services we rely on every day run smoothly. She knows the federal government and can hit the ground running when in Congress.
Why should Virginians elect you to the U.S. House of Representatives?
Because I’m a problem-solver. Problems aren’t Democratic problems or Republican problems, problems are problems. My job is looking at what federal agencies are doing wrong, and finding ways to fix it. Right now, Rob Wittman is putting pleasing his party ahead of what his constituents need. That’s why he needs to be replaced, and I feel I’m the person to replace him, because I’ll put people and solutions first.
What is the most important legislative issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
Infrastructure, and I mean that in several ways. Virginia’s urban communities are growing rapidly and we don’t have the infrastructure to keep up, whether it’s housing, roads, public transportation, or schools. As the Washington D.C. suburbs become more expensive, more people are moving to communities like Fredericksburg, which creates the same infrastructure challenges in smaller communities. Even as this happens, rural communities are hurting due to a lack of infrastructure, especially rural broadband, which hampers economic development and prevents people who work from home and might want a quieter lifestyle from moving to rural communities.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it if elected?
The 1st District faces the challenges of both rapid growth in its urban centers and economic stagnation of its rural communities. Traffic and education are huge concerns for our larger population centers, and our rural communities are struggling with both economic opportunities and access to health care. We need a federal government that will work with the Commonwealth and local governments to make 1st District communities a priority, not just pay lip service to them while doing the bidding of major corporations.
In light of Virginia’s recent gun control debates, what, if any, gun laws would you support changing?
Gun control debates miss a simple fact: there are commonsense reforms that the vast majority of people support, including universal background checks and red flag laws. The United States has tragically high rates of both mass shootings and intimate partner violence. Background checks and red flag laws can be the difference between whether a school shooting happens or not, and between whether a woman is murdered in her own home by an abusive partner or not.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
The issues facing Virginia’s 1st District are mostly the same as those facing the entire country: economic devastation and access to health care. Those challenges need to be met by a robust federal response that includes both income replacement and assistance with rent and mortgage payments. On the health care front, it is clear that the model of tying someone’s health care to their employment is broken. You shouldn’t lose your health insurance when you lose your job, but that’s the position tens of millions of people are now in because of this pandemic.
The pandemic has also shown the degree to which rural broadband infrastructure is so badly needed. Far too often, people in rural communities cannot work from home because their internet service and wireless service is not up to the task for a modern economy. Businesses will be increasingly looking to transition to work from home because of this pandemic, and it puts rural communities at even more of a disadvantage than they already are.
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