Current Position: State Delegate of District 42 since 2018
Candidate: 2021 State Delegate for District 42
I’ve devoted my career to ensuring all workers have the chance to achieve the American Dream. From my 12 years as a public servant at the U.S. Department of Labor to my advocacy work at the National Immigration Forum, I’ve been committed to ensuring all families have the same opportunities my family had.
Since first being elected in 2017, I have passed 29 bills. This includes protecting coverage for preexisting conditions, expanding voter access, improving worker’s rights, protecting our waterways, and making Virginia more welcoming and inclusive. I am running for re-election to continue the fight for a just and equitable future for all Virginians.
Source: Campaign page
Source: Campaign page
Delegate Kathy Tran (VA-42) and her parents fled Vietnam as boat refugees when she was just seven months old. On the voyage, she grew so sick she almost died at sea. Although many other countries offered them asylum, they waited 13 months for the United States to accept their application. Kathy’s family risked everything to come to America because this country has always represented hope, opportunity and freedom. Now, she’s fighting for the American values that brought her family here in the Virginia House of Delegates representing the people of the 42nd District in the Commonweatlh of Virginia.
Kathy has devoted her career to ensuring that all working families have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. During her 12 years of service at the U.S. Department of Labor, she served in numerous leadership positions, including as the Acting Administrator for the Office of Workforce Investment and the Director of the Division of Policy, Legislation, and Regulation. In these roles, she provided strategic national leadership and technical assistance to the public workforce system, implemented the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and helped veterans acquire the job training and employment services they needed to transition into the civilian workforce.
Kathy went on to work at the National Immigration Forum, one of the nation’s leading immigration advocacy organizations. There, she advocated for policies that prepare immigrants in the workforce to reach their full career potential.
Kathy graduated from Duke University and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. The past president of her local PTA, she and her husband Matt live in West Springfield with their four children, Daven (8), Charlotte (6), Quinn (4), and baby Elise. They are avid Washington Nationals fans.
- BA History
2019 to 2000
University of Michigan
2019 to 2003
- Presidential Management Fellow (2003)
Place of Birth: Vietnam
Race(s): Asian American
Spouse: Matthew Louis Reisman
Children: Daven Tran-Reisman, Quinn Tran-Reisman, Charlotte Tran-Reisman, and Elise Tran-Reisman
Membership & Affiliation
- Temple B’nai Shalom
- West Springfield Elementary School PTA (president)
- Springfield District Democratic Committee
- West Springfield Women Marchers Huddle
Legislative Assistant: Aditya Radhakrishnan, Rodrigo Valasquez-Soto
Administrative Assistant During Session: Charlotte Via
- Government – DelKTran@house.virginia.gov
900 E. Main St,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 698-1042
P.O. Box 2731
Springfield, Virginia 22152
Phone: (703) 828-7173
Kathy Tran (born 1978) shares the distinction with Kelly Fowler of being the first Asian-American women to be elected to the U.S. state of Virginia’s House of Delegates in November 2017. She is the first Vietnamese American elected official on any level in the Commonwealth and is a Duke University graduate with a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Michigan.
|Kathy K. L. Tran (D)
|Steve P. Adragna (R)
|Kathy Tran (D)
|Lolita Isabel Mancheno-Smoak (R)
|Write in ()
TRAN, KATHY K L has run in 1 race for public office, winning 1 of them. The candidate has raised a total of$662,147.
Source: Follow the Money
See: Vote Smart
Source: Campaign page
Standing Up for Women
The fight for women’s equality has defined America. While we have made great strides, we have far to go. Women continue to face gender-based discrimination and violence. We continue to be underrepresented in critical areas, including in in-demand industries that can lead to better prosperity for ourselves and our families, and elected and appointed office. Kathy will continue the fight for women’s equality in Virginia – all of Virginia prospers when women are treated equally, when women thrive economically, and when women are free from violence.
Kathy will oppose any attempt by politicians to interfere in a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. She will fight against any proposed legislation that would impose medically unnecessary restrictions on reproductive health care providers or limit the ability of a woman to make the best decision for her health with her doctor.
Kathy is proud to have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV), NARAL Pro-Choice Virignia, EMILY’s List, and Virginia’s List during the 2017 Election.
Kathy and her family fled Vietnam as refugees when she was just seven months old. They risked everything to come to the United States because for them, this country represented hope, opportunity, and freedom. Hate is a problem, not a policy, and Kathy uses her voice as Delegate to stand against those who seek to undermine a welcoming and inclusive Virginia.
At a time when the most fundamental elements of a well-functioning democracy are being challenged across the country, Kathy fights against laws and practices that keep Virginians from exercising their right to vote or seek to weaken our vote through gerrymandering or the influence of big money in politics.
Kathy has spent her entire career working for all Americans to have the skills, training, and credentials to reach their full career potential. During her 12 years of service at the U.S. Department of Labor, she helped shape national workforce development policy and programs. Now, Kathy brings that expertise to the House of Delegates to ensure that Virginia is globally competitive and that our region attracts good jobs. She will always fight for workforce and education programs that build strong talent pipelines, and for worker’s rights as critical to economic growth and social mobility.
One of Kathy’s proudest accomplishments during her time at the U.S. Department of Labor was her work on the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, bipartisan legislation that helped expand employment services for transitioning service members and veterans. As Delegate, Kathy takes leadership in building partnerships with professional licensing boards, employers, industry associations, community colleges and others to make sure veterans are able to translate their intensive, world-class training and work experience to the civilian workforce. She will work to ensure that Virginia fulfills its obligation to our servicemembers and their families, and that our veterans have the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.
Kathy is proud to have been endorsed by a wide range of business and labor organizations during the 2017 Election, including:
- The Northern Virginia REALTORS® Political Action Committee (NV/RPAC) and the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) of Virginia
- The Virginia AFL-CIO and the Northern Virginia Labor Federation
- The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
STRENGTHENING OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
As a mom of four and the president of her local PTA, Kathy knows we need to ensure all children in Virginia have access to high-quality public education so they can thrive and compete. As Delegate, she fights to invest in our public school system to lower class sizes and increase teacher pay.
Kathy fights for affordable higher education, investment in our community colleges, and works to build strong career pathways from schools to the workforce. A former board member of the Esther Peterson Child Development Center at the U.S. Department of Labor, Kathy understands the critical importance of early childhood education in determining future academic success and will be a strong advocate in the General Assembly for universal pre-K.
The 42nd House District is home to Mason Neck State Park, one of our region’s greatest natural treasures. We must take action to not only protect Virginia’s natural heritage, but protect the future of our planet. Climate change is an existential threat, and requires urgent action. If our president refuses to address it, it is up to states to lead the way.
We need to focus on growing our clean energy industries in Virginia. We can be a global leader and innovator on solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy, but it requires leadership at the state level.
At the U.S. Department of Labor, Kathy helped jumpstart the bio-energy industry in Montana. She helped bring together growers, economic development agencies, workforce development leaders, tribal governments, educational institutions, and other partners to put communities on a pathway to prosperity while producing renewable fuel sources. Kathy takes this experience and expertise to Richmond, and never stops fighting for Virginia’s clean energy future.
Kathy is proud to have been endorsed by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters (VALCV) and the Sierra Club during the 2017 Election.
Expanding Access to Affordable Healthcare
Kathy will always work to protect and expand Virginians’ access to quality, affordable health care. Expanding Medicaid in the commonwealth would ensure that 400,000 vulnerable Virginians will no longer have to decide between paying for health care over other essentials, or waiting for a chronic condition to reach an emergency situation before seeking treatment.
Medicaid expansion also grows the economy, fueling the creation of new jobs in health care and social assistance. In fact, states with Medicaid expansion have experienced higher job growth in the health care sector than states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. Further, every year billions of dollars in our federal taxes leave Virginia to support expanded Medicaid programs in other states; it is time for Virginians to also benefit.
Kathy will oppose any attempt by politicians to interfere in a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, and will fight against any proposed legislation that would impose medically unnecessary restrictions on reproductive health care providers or limit the ability of a woman to make the best decision
When Kathy was a baby, her family was welcomed here as refugees. She understands that those who seek the promise of opportunity, hope, and freedom in America help make that promise stronger.
Many of the issues facing immigrants and refugees today are issues Kathy faced growing up in the Vietnamese diaspora. That experience has informed her entire career. She has worked with immigrant communities across the country, from teaching ESL classes to detained asylum seekers in Newark, to encouraging entrepreneurship in Detroit’s Latino community, to running after-school programs for immigrant children in San Jose. In her most recent role at the National Immigration Forum, she advocated for policies that would help immigrants reach their full career potential.
Kathy supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship and values family-based immigration while meeting our nation’s economic needs. In Virginia, she also works to expand citizenship preparation classes, opposes efforts to shift federal immigration enforcement responsibilities to state and local authorities, and continues to defend Virginia’s in-state tuition for DACA recipients.
Preventing Gun Violence
For Kathy, enacting common-sense gun violence prevention measures means protecting our children and our communities. Parents should not have to worry if their kids will be safe when they send them to school or when they go outside to play.
As Delegate, Kathy fights to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and those with severe mental illness. She pushes for universal background checks to close the loopholes for sales of firearms at gun shows and over the Internet, and fights to restore Virginia’s “One-Handgun-a-Month” rule to combat gun-running. Kathy also fights for an assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines.
Kathy is proud to have been endorsed by Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) PAC, and the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence during the 2017 Election.
Honoring Veterans & Military Families
Our veterans and active duty service members have stood up in defense of our nation and our most fundamental values, and Kathy can be counted to stand up for them. Her brother David is a Combat Engineer Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and completed two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Kathy and her family are tremendously proud of his service to our country, and it makes supporting veterans and military spouses a personal issue for her.
One of Kathy’s proudest accomplishments during her time at the U.S. Department of Labor was her work on the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, bipartisan legislation that helped expand employment services for transitioning service members and veterans. As Delegate, Kathy leads in building partnerships with professional licensing boards, employers, industry associations, community colleges and others to make sure veterans are able to translate their intensive, world-class training and work experience to the civilian workforce.
Kathy knows that military spouses also make sacrifices for their families, including giving up their own schooling and earning potential when they are relocated. Kathy was responsible for coordinating policies designed to help military spouses keep their credentials as they moved across the country, so that they could continue to maintain and grow their careers and provide for their families. In the House of Delegates, Kathy continues to advocate on behalf of military spouses and families.
Virginia has taken some important steps towards expanding access to quality health care services for veterans. Under Governor McAuliffe, Virginia became the first state to develop provider agreements between community health centers and the federal Veterans Administration (VA) through the Veterans Choice Program, which will allow veterans to have more quality health care options closer to home. Virginia is also building two new veterans care centers, including in nearby Fauquier County. In the House of Delegates, Kathy is committed to continuing to make progress on expanding access to quality health care for veterans across the Commonwealth.
Kathy is proud to have been endorsed by Iraq war veteran Congressman Seth Moulton, and New Politics, a bipartisan organization that supports national service alumni and military veterans running for public office during the 2017 Election.