District Description: Counties of Fauquier (part) and Prince William (part)
Current Delegate: Liz Guzman since 2018 (D)
According to Ned Oliver of Virginia Mercury:
” Another district where a Democratic newcomer toppled a long serving Republican last time around, in this case Scott Lingamfelter. Democrats sound confident Guzman, a social worker who won with 54 percent of the vote, has it locked down. Republicans, meanwhile, are jazzed about Jordan, a congressional staffer and one of two African-American candidates the party has recruited this year.”
VA House District 31
Current Position: State Delegate for VA House District 31 since 2018
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate VA House District 31
For more information, see Liz Guzman’s post.
Elizabeth Guzman is a public administrator and a social worker who resides in Dale City. Elizabeth and her husband Carlos have four children and live in Ridgefield Estates. In between ballet and tap lessons, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts activities, judo practices, and swimming lessons at the Dale City Recreation Center, Elizabeth works tirelessly as a Court Appointed Service Advocate for CASA CIS to prevent child abuse, a PTO representative for Penn Elementary School, and as a “Cookie Mom” for her youngest daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The Guzman family are active and long-time members of Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge. The Guzmans also attend Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Elizabeth came to the United States from Peru as a single mom, looking for a better future for her oldest daughter. Sheremembers those early years; working three jobs in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment for her and her daughter. Despite graduating with honors from high school in Peru, Elizabeth’s parents could not afford to send her to college. With her love of learning Elizabeth persevered, and enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College, obtaining her degree in Office Administration and Management. Elizabeth also holds a Bachelor’s in Public Safety from Capella University, a Master’s in Public Administration from American University, and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Elizabeth is a long time resident of Prince William County, living in the community for more than 15-years – in spite of elected officials like Chairman Corey Stewart, who worked to divide the community and threaten the Hispanic community, which Elizabeth is a proud member of. She fell in love with Prince William County because of all of the opportunity the area offered to her as a community leader and homeowner, and her desire to raise her children in a diverse, engaging environment.
Elizabeth was elected in 2017 to become the first Hispanic female immigrant to join the 400 year old Virginia General Assembly. She now proudly represents Virginia’s 31st House District that covers Fauquier and Prince William County.
Elizabeth has been working in the public sector for 10 years, and currently works as the Division Chief for Administrative Services for the Center for Adult Services for the City of Alexandria. Her personal and professional experience have given her strong insight into the needs of the 31st House of Delegates district, and Elizabeth cares about the many challenges residents in Prince William County and Fauquier County face. Elizabeth will fight as a strong advocate for the needs of the 31st District, whether that’s legislating for change in Richmond, or attending a community meeting in Catlett.
Current Position: Public Relations
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate VA House District 31
For more information, see D.J. Jordan’s post.
Darrell H. “D.J.” Jordan Jr. hasn’t always been a fan of politics, but he likes public policy and he loves people.
D.J. is running for the Virginia House of Delegates to make sure our state government ensures our basic freedoms and equal opportunity to succeed…. not to obtain power, disparage political opponents, or benefit his own career. If you look at his background, you’ll see that he has tried to help create more opportunity for children and families in his community.
D.J. was born and raised in the Tidewater, Virginia area by parents who escaped poverty through family commitment, education, entrepreneurship, and hard work. D.J. earned a Bachelors of Science in Communications from Liberty University, and played on the football team as a student-athlete. He also earned a Masters in Public Management from The Johns Hopkins University. He worked in the United States Congress for ten years in several offices, including the House Committee on Small Business.
Prior to coming to Capitol Hill in 2008, he worked in broadcast journalism at CNN and also Fox News. D.J. now works for a public relations firm in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2017, D.J. completed a four-year term on the Virginia State Board of Social Services, which oversees the foster care system and welfare programs in Virginia. During the last year of his term, D.J. was unanimously voted to serve as its Chairman. D.J. currently serves his community with the Prince William County Fatherhood Initiative, and is an Alternate Commissioner on the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), a transit agency that runs the OmniRide bus system. Over the last several years, D.J. has been an assistant coach with the American Pride Youth Football League (APYFL), and he has been a TV broadcast commentator for college football games. He is also a member of the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a national justice reform organization, and serves on the Board of Directors of Virginia’s Kids Belong, a nonprofit that helps foster children. D.J. and his wife, Glorya, have four children, and have fostered and also adopted from foster care. They live in the Winding Creek neighborhood in Woodbridge, and are members of Move Church in Lake Ridge.
D.J. believes that all human life has dignity and worth, no matter the age, size, race, or socioeconomic status. D.J. is committed to a state government and community that encourages charities and nonprofits to assist people in need of assistance at every stage of life, from the elderly to those facing unplanned pregnancies. A society that does not protect its most vulnerable members is a society that believes that some lives matter more than others; in Virginia, we must avoid this type of culture.
Elizabeth believes that no hard-working Virginian should struggle with putting food on the table for their families due to low wages or a lack of economic opportunity. Elizabeth is a strong believer in raising the minimum wage, so that families in the 31st district and across the Commonwealth aren’t working 50-60 hour weeks and still having to choose between paying their bills and feeding their families. For Elizabeth establishing a living wage and promoting economic development is a family issue, because if individuals are making higher wages this will allow them the opportunity to spend more time with their families.
Elizabeth will work to promote economic development opportunities in Prince William and Fauquier County, so that more residents will be able to work rewarding, high-paying jobs closer to home.Each day Elizabeth commutes more than 45 miles to work, due to the lack of high-paying jobs in Prince William and Fauquier that are competitive with the wages and opportunities of surrounding localities
While growing up, D.J.’s father was a information technology engineer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. For him, small business wasn’t just a concept, it was something that put food on the table for the family. D.J. believes that our state government must create policies that make Virginia one of the best states to start, grow, and innovate through small business. As America experiences economic disruption due to technology in the digital age, D.J. will fight to make sure Virginia is not only prepared for the future of work, but leading the way in agri-business, entrepreneurship, innovation, vocational trades, and job creation.
Virginians are taxed at nearly every stage of life, from birth until death. D.J. believes that our state government should adequately fund basic core functions, especially public safety and transportation, but should keep taxes as low as possible to allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money and build wealth that lasts generations. D.J. will advocate for a tax code that is simple and consistent, and not full of special tax breaks and preferences for favored corporations and special interest organizations.
As a mother of four, two of which face mental health challenges, Elizabeth knows the struggle parents face when ensuring that their children are getting a quality education – particularly for those what need additional mental health or disability services. As Delegate for the 31st District, Elizabeth has fought to expand funding and opportunities for early childhood education to ensure that all children in Virginia have adequate access.
Elizabeth is also committed to working to restore funding for public schools, and to find funding and innovative solutions to deal with the challenge of growing class sizes, high teacher turnover rates, and teacher pay. In Richmond she will continue to advocate for a better student to counselor ratio in our schools, and is dedicated to closing the education gap that is present in diverse communities across the state.
D.J. believes education is one of the most important factors that leads to upward mobility and opportunity for families across Virginia. There are no Republican schools, or Democrats schools; there are only schools. To help the next generation compete on a global stage, every child in Virginia deserves to have access to a high-quality public school, no matter their family income or zip code. Virginia must ensure that taxpayer money is spent on the classroom and paying our hardworking teachers, and less on bureaucracy. State government must also realize that our children and families are diverse and may have uniquely different educational needs, and therefore deserve to have access to diverse ways of learning that work best for them, including homeschooling and other options.
Elizabeth understands that climate change is real and we need to act now. She wants to ensure that the Virginia we enjoy today will be available for her children and the next generation 20 years from now. One of Elizabeth’s top priorities is protecting Virginia’s many beautiful landmarks, natural spaces, and farmland areas. Elizabeth’s grandparents were farmers, which gives her strong insight on the growing importance of protecting area farmland. She will continue to ensure that it will be there for generations to come by promoting agribusiness and agricultural opportunities in the 31st district, and supporting small family farms.
D.J. is an environmental conservationist who believes in responsible environmental stewardship. The answer to our generational climate challenges is effective stewardship and strategic planning based on science, facts, and sound research, not extreme partisanship. D.J. supports a balanced approach to environmental stewardship that incentivizes innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. D.J. also supports efforts to clean-up the Chesapeake Bay, especially programs that reduce phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment pollution in our stormwater and waterways. He also supports the preservation of Prince William County’s Rural Crescent and open rural space; the over-development of forests and farmland in the region robs the Chesapeake watershed of its natural ability to filter pollutants before they reach our streams, rivers, and the Bay.
Delegate Guzman was one of the very first champions for Medicaid Expansion in Virginia when she started to run, and true to her word she provided results her first legislative session. Elizabeth believes that healthcare is a human right and that we must do better to take care of our neighbours. She believes that workers deserve time off to go see the doctor or visit loved ones when they are ill without using vacation time to do as much. Now that we have expanded healthcare access across Virginia it is time that people are able to use it for preventative care before their situations get worse.
The cost of healthcare delivery and complexity of payment is a major problem for many Virginians. But rather than pursue government-run healthcare, Virginia should work to address the root issue: the massive growth of healthcare costs. To make healthcare more affordable, D.J. supports a number of reforms that improve physician and facility connectivity, streamlines care delivery, incentivizes wellness and prevention, and reforms drug pricing regulations. D.J. also believes that Virginia should be at the forefront of breakthrough research and innovation to find cures for disease and illness.
If elected, D.J’s top policy focus will be reducing traffic congestion for Prince William and Fauquier County residents. D.J. has commuted to work inside-the-beltway nearly his entire adult life (since 2002 to be specific). He has experienced first-hand the stress of traffic congestion, and the unnecessary amount of time away from family. D.J. believes government should be limited in its core functions, but what it performs, it must be done well. Transportation is one of those core functions of government that must improve in Virginia. D.J. believes we should be forward-thinking and comprehensive in how we address our traffic congestion. We must move beyond partisan finger-pointing and work together on solutions that involve enhanced bus transit, rail, road construction, more tele-working options, and even the relocation of federal offices.
Elizabeth respects the 2nd Amendment and would never do anything to impact the lives of law-abiding gun owners, but we need reasonable gun safety reforms. Violent criminals and domestic abusers should not have the means to do greater harm again. She believes that it is time for comprehensive background checks not only at gun shows but also for all private sales. She is in support of the Safe Virginia Initiative that aims to help keep our schools safe by examining the root cause of gun violence.
Foster Care and Human Trafficking
Virginia ranks high in the nation for supporting biological families with children who are at risk of being placed in foster care. However, Virginia ranks very poorly for foster youth who age out of foster care without a permanent family situation. Children in foster care are among the worst for falling prey to human trafficking – nearly 60 percent of child sex trafficking victims have a history in the child welfare system. As a foster and adoptive parent, D.J. has a great passion for child protective services and improving the lives of children in foster care. For four years, D.J. served on the State Board of Social Services, which oversees the Virginia foster care system. He believes that Virginia should ensure that law enforcement, public schools, social services, charities, and the business community must work together to serve foster kids, and also prevent vulnerable children from being trafficked.
The 31st District is home to many veterans and their families. Elizabeth wants to ensure that we take care of them by ensuring they have access to all the services that Virginia offers. According to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, one million veterans currently face homelessness due to shortage of affordable housing in Northern Virginia and lack of support to transfer the skills they learned during their service. When veterans are not able to transfer their skills they are pushed into low-paying jobs that do not provide them with enough support for their families
Virginia is one of the states with the highest per capita veteran populations in America, and the 31st District is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the state. Although D.J. never served in the military, he grew up in Tidewater, Virginia with a family of more than a dozen individuals who served in uniform, mostly in the Navy. D.J. is grateful and proud of our military, and is committed to honoring the promises this nation has made to our veterans and their families, such as health benefits and educational opportunities. D.J. is committed to ensuring that Virginia is one of the best states for taking care of those who have worn the uniform and their families, throughout their life.
As an immigrant to this country Elizabeth wants to ensure that diversity is something that is never disrespected in our Commonwealth. She knows the struggles of adjusting to a new place and will fight for a more inclusive Virginia where all communities are welcome. Elizabeth believes that immigrants make america great and that we must do everything we can to protect our Dreamers.
Providing licenses to all those eligible to drive in the 31st District would open up driver’s ability to get insurance on their vehicles and require individuals to take driver’s tests and properly register with the state’s motor vehicle agency. Making licenses available to all residents would bring much-needed revenue back into Virginia– revenue we are losing to Washington DC and Maryland, where they do allow for undocumented residents to get a license.
By allowing undocumented residents to get a license, we strengthen families– with the permission to drive safely and legally to work, school, and elsewhere, undocumented families can participate more fully in society without the constant fear of being. Unlicensed, uninsured drivers cause damage claims that cost other policyholders. More licensed and insured drivers will reduce the number of accidents and lower insurance rates for all.