Name: Mamie Locke
Race: Senate, 2nd District
Biography: A native of Jackson, Miss., Sen. Mamie Locke has lived on the Virginia Peninsula for nearly 40 years. She is a professor of political science at Hampton University and has served on the city council and as mayor of Hampton.
She has been a member of the Virginia Senate, representing the 2nd District since 2004. She is a member of the Education and Health, Rules, General Laws and Technology, and Rehabilitation and Social Services Committees. Sen. Locke also serves as chair of the Virginia Housing Commission, vice chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Commission, on the Freedom of Information Act Council, Joint Commission on Technology and Science, the Hampton Roads Planning Transportation Organization, and the Board of the Fort Monroe Authority.
She currently serves as the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In the community, Sen. Locke is a member of the Board of Transitions Family Violence Services, a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a member of the Hampton Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, and a Silver Life member of the NAACP.
Why should residents re-elect you to the Virginia Senate?
Residents of the 2nd Senate District should re-elect me because I have been a strong voice and leader for them. I serve on key committees and am the ranking Democrat on three of those committees (Rules, General Laws and Technology, Rehabilitation and Social Services). I was a significant voice in the fight on evictions when Virginia cities made news in the media on this topic with the Virginia Housing Commission, and we were able to get six pieces of legislation passed through the General Assembly. I continue to be a voice of reason and steadfastness for constituents.
What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?
There are many issues in the 2nd District that are of concern, although the issues are uneven across the district. We need to address gun violence with sensible gun prevention legislation. We need to address homelessness, food insecurity, and affordable housing with economic development programs and education, a livable wage and ensuring the Housing Trust Fund has revenue to support programming. Sea level rise is a major concern and it cannot be addressed by not recognizing it for what it is: sea level rise and climate change. It is beyond recurrent flooding. Resiliency programs and long-term planning are needed to address a real serious problem for the region.
What was the most important vote taken in the Virginia General Assembly in 2019, and why?
Taking a vote on the budget/budget amendments is always the most important one of any session. The budget will include important priorities, but the 2019 budget included significant amendments for education (increasing teacher pay, additional school counselors, funding for the Virginia Pre-School Initiative), funds for historical African American cemeteries in Hampton, training for school resource officers, funding for the Hampton City School Academies, and funding for the Housing Trust Fund.