Lashrecse Aird (D)

Senate District 13 (Petersburg)

  1. Virginia is one of only 9 states in the country that deny state public sector employees their right to bargain collectively. If elected, will you vote yes on legislation granting all public sector workers, including graduate student workers, in Virginia collective bargaining rights?


  1. How will you work to ensure that every public employee has full and fair collective bargaining rights?

The greatest tool that an elected leader has to fight for bargaining rights is to join the fight directly and advance legislation. I will not only support legislative action at the state level, push for adoption of it at the local level, but then work with labor on the ground to organize worker involvement. I have done this in Petersburg alongside our teachers and bus drivers, and will do this throughout the district.

  1. UCW-VA believes all education, including early childhood education (birth-5), is a right and a public good. UCW-VA believes that childcare and early education centers should be publicly funded and run and offer high-quality care and education and good jobs for employees, including living wages, healthcare, and a retirement plan. Will you champion free, universal access to high-quality, public education for all Virginians?


  1. How will you work to ensure access to free, high-quality early childhood education in publicly-funded, publicly-run centers that offer employees living wages and good benefits?

Lack of early childhood education is one of the greatest drivers of income inequality in Virginia. During my tenure in the House of Delegates, I introduced a study to assess the cost to expand universal Pre-K and early childhood centers. This is the first step to actually delivering on this critical need; understand and then identifying the resources. I will continue to push for this if elected to the Senate.

  1. Do you support passing legislation to raise employment standards for all public sector employees, including a minimum wage of at least $20 an hour or $40,760 annually, access to quality health insurance, paid sick leave, and a livable retirement plan?


  1. How will you raise employment standards for all public sector employees in Virginia?

Raising employment standards has to be tied to accountability of employers and protections for workers. With increased collective bargaining agreements, employment standards are clear, the employer and the employee will have agreed-upon terms that adhere to quality standards all around.

  1. In Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, and Nevada higher education board members are selected by popular vote, as in K-12 governance. Given that higher education in Virginia has been largely deregulated over the last few decades, what measures would you take to give Virginians more control over their public institutions of higher education?

As a higher-education administrator for over 10 years, I recognize the value of greater public involvement in our higher education system. In order to reorganize decades of deregulation with systems that are both unique in size, governance, and approach, I would request JLARC study our systems and this transition.

  1. What else would you like our members to know about your commitment to workers’ rights and public education?

My entire agenda in office was centered around education. I’ve been recognized by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce because of my higher education legislation and by the Virginia Education Association because of my K-12 legislation. I believe education is the foundation for upward mobility, which is why I fight so hard for it. I also know workers’ rights and protections ensure workers are operating on an equal footing in this climate of pay instability. If I return to the Senate, I will continue to be an ally on this—unlike my opponent who has taken voters that are anti-public education, anti-worker, and is counter to our shared values.

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