Alfonso LopezAlfonso Lopez

Current Position: State Delegate for District 49 since 2010
Affiliation: Democrat

Overview: N/A


Current Position: State Delegate for District 49 since 2010
Affiliation: Democrat

Overview: N/A



Alfonso H. Lopez

Source: Campaign page

Alfonso Lopez is a lifelong Democrat and activist with over 27 years of Federal and Virginia legislative experience on issues critical to the people of Arlington and Fairfax. He has served as an Obama Administration political appointee, Kaine Administration cabinet-level appointee, and a four-term member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the people of the 49th District. Alfonso also serves as the Whip of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. 

Serving the 49th District in Richmond

Alfonso currently represents the 49th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He successfully championed legislation creating the Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund, establishing the Small Business Investment Grant Fund, expanding Medicaid coverage to immigrant mothers and children, and raising the cap on nonresidential solar net metering in Virginia.

Alfonso has been a leader in advocating for the rights of New Americans in Virginia. He worked with Attorney General Mark Herring to expand in-state tuition to kids with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Alfonso is also helping lead the fight to protect our environment for future generations and grow Virginia’s clean energy industries so that we can build a new Virginia economy. In 2015, he founded the Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus in the Virginia General Assembly and currently serves as its chair. This bipartisan caucus provides an opportunity for legislators, Administration officials, industry experts, and environmental advocates to work together on environmental legislation and strengthen our economy through sustainable, clean energy investments.

In 2018 Alfonso also fulfilled an ambition – seven years in the making – to create the first Virginia Latino Caucus in the General Assembly’s history. The Caucus deals with issues within the Latino, immigrant, and New American communities from in-state tuition to driver’s licenses to at-risk student funding. He currently serves as the Caucus Co-Chair.

Alfonso earned the Virginia League of Conservation Voters’ Legislative Leadership award in 2015, the Virginia Interfaith Center’s Legislator of the Year award in 2014, the Virginia Housing Coalition’s Legislative Leadership award in 2013, the Virginia Sierra Club’s Energy Freedom award in 2013, and the Virginia Education Association’s Rookie of the Year award in 2012. He also maintains a perfect score for his voting record from the Virginia League of Conservation VotersEquality VirginiaNARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, the Virginia Education Association, and the Virginia A.F.L.-C.I.O.

As a member of the House of Delegates, he serves on the Science and Technology Committee; Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee; Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee; the Virginia Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation; the Virginia Small Business Commission; the Virginia Commission on Employee Retirement Security and Pension Reform; and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.

Helped Lead President Obama’s Efforts to Create New Jobs

Alfonso served as the Assistant Administrator for Congressional and Legislative Affairs of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In this position he led SBA efforts to enact legislative proposals in economic development, job creation, lending, contracting and innovation. He helped lead the SBA effort to pass the Small Business Jobs Act which successfully opened up the credit markets for small businesses and entrepreneurs and created $12 billion in tax relief for small business owners. 

Advisor to Governor Tim Kaine

Alfonso served as Governor Kaine’s Director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington, D.C. where he directed and supervised all Congressional and Federal Relations for the Commonwealth. He also served as the Governor’s representative to the National Governors Association, Democratic Governors Association and the Southern Governors Association. Alfonso was the highest ranking Latino in the Kaine Administration. He also served as the Deputy Policy Director on Governor-Elect Kaine’s Transition Team.

Democratic Leader

Alfonso currently serves as the Whip of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. In this role, he works with the Democratic Leader and Caucus Chair to track legislation and coordinate messaging during the General Assembly Session. In 2015, he served as Campaign Chair and Political Director of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. In this capacity, he led the Caucus’s campaign efforts resulting in the pick-up of four new Democratic seats in the House of Delegates.

Before becoming a member of the House of Delegates, Alfonso was twice elected the Deputy Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. He has also served as the President of the Arlington Young Democrats and as an elected Steering Committee Member of the Democratic Party of Virginia. He is a former President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (DLOV) and former At-Large Member of the Democratic National Committee where he served on the Credentials Committee and as the Southern Regional Vice-Chair of the Hispanic Caucus.

Since 2013, he has regularly served as a surrogate, media spokesman, and speaker for Democratic candidates and campaigns in Virginia. In 2016, he also served as the Whip Captain for Ambassador Clinton’s Delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Service to the Community

Alfonso has served on numerous Arlington and regional Boards and commissions.  He was a Member of the Arlington Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission from 2003 to 2006 – where he chaired the Health and Human Resources Committee and was a Member of the Public Safety Committee. He was also the Board Vice Chair of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center and the Board Co-Chair of the Arlington Veterans’ Memorial YMCA.  In 2006, he served on the Commonwealth Coalition’s, Virginia State Advisory Board.  In this position he worked as a part of a State-wide effort to fight Republican attempts in the General Assembly to pass a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage in Virginia.  He is currently a Member of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership’s State Board.

Arlington, Fairfax Roots and Education

Alfonso’s father came to this country at the age of 19 with $260 in his pocket and the dream of a better life. He worked as a bus boy and waiter, learned English and started attending school. He graduated from Northern Virginia Community College in 1975. Then he took one class a semester every year until he graduated from George Mason University – one month before Alfonso graduated from high school. His mother devoted her life as a teacher and guidance counselor in Arlington Public Schools to helping immigrant children continue their education after high school. Instilled with his parents’ values of hard work and success, Alfonso graduated from Vassar College and received his law degree from Tulane University Law School. He was chosen as a 2003 Fellow of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.

Husband and Dad

Alfonso and his wife, Sarah Zevin, live in Arlington with their sons Aaron and Gabe. They have been active in the Arlington community for many years.


Work Experience

  • Partner
    Public and government relations/services firm
    2019 to present


  • BA
    Vassar College
    2019 to 1992
  • JD
    Tulane University Law Schoo
    2019 to 1995


Birth Year: 1970
Place of Birth: Williamsport, PA
Gender: Male
Race(s): Latino
Spouse: Sarah Mitte Zevin
Children: Aaron and Gabriel

Membership & Affiliation: Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership (state board member)
Arlington Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission (former member and HHR subcommittee chairman)
Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus (founder and co-chairman)
Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (former member)
Shirlington Employment and Education Center (former board vice chairman)
Arlington Veterans’ Memorial YMCA (former board co-chairman)
Commonwealth Coalition (former statewide advisory board member)
Democratic National Committee (at-large member), Hispanic Caucus (Southern Region vice chairman)
Democratic Party of Virginia, State Central Steering Committee
Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (former president)
2012 Democratic National Convention (Virginia delegate)
Virginia Latino Caucus (founder and co-chairman)

Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout (1988)
Arlington Young Democrat of the Year (2003, 2004)
Virginia Young Democrat of the Year (2004)
Virginia Bicycling Federation, Bicycling Friendly Award (2012)
Virginia League of Conservation Voters, Legislative Hero (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Legislative Leadership Award (2015)
Virginia Education Association, Rookie of the Year (2012), Solid as a Rock Award (2013, 2014, 2015)
Virginia Housing Coalition, Legislative Leadership (2013)
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Legislator of the Year (2013)
Sierra Club, Energy Freedom Award (2013), Leadership Award (2015)
Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling, Outstanding Legislator (2013)
Warren G. Stambaugh Outstanding Democrat of the Year (2013)
Virginia Young Democrats, Young Democrat for Life Award (2015)


Legislative Assistant: Kevin Saucedo-Broach
Administrative Assistant During Session: Lynn Yarbrough



Capitol Office
Pocahontas Building
900 E. Main St,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 698-1049

District Office
P.O. Box 40366
Arlington, VA 22204
Phone: (571) 336-2147


Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr


Source: Campaign

2019 Legislative Agenda

Members of the House of Delegates are limited to the introduction of a maximum of 15 bills during the 2019 legislative session. Below, you will find the list of bills introduced by Alfonso this year, grouped by issue area. Please click on the name of the bill for more information about individual pieces of legislation.


HB 2388: Virginia DREAM Act—Tuition Equity for Undocumented Students

Over 1,000 students (including many in the 49th District) currently enrolled in Virginia colleges and universities are under threat of losing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and with it, their hopes of being able to afford tuition at Virginia’s state colleges and universities. This bill will grant access to in-state tuition at Virginia colleges and universities to undocumented students. It would also cover Virginia residents seeking asylum in the United States and their children. These children know no other home but Virginia. We have invested in their education from kindergarten through twelfth grade. This legislation will allow us to fulfill our investment so that these students can stay in the Commonwealth and help build a new Virginia economy. I have been working on this legislation since my first year in the House of Delegates and will keep fighting until it is the law of the Commonwealth!


HB 2391: Solid Waste Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act

Tens of thousands of tons of municipal solid waste are dumped into Virginia’s landfills each year, which then leech almost a million tons of methane—a greenhouse gas—into the Earth’s atmosphere. This bill would seek to address that problem by charging a fee for each ton of out-of-state waste dumped into Virginia landfills, the proceeds of which would then be deposited into a special account dedicated to addressing the effects of climate change in Virginia.

HB 2395: Creating a Hazardous Waste Site Inventory

Virginia currently does not have a one-stop list of all the sites in the Commonwealth that pose a hazard to human health or the environment from toxic substances. The public has a right to know if one of these sites is in their community and poses a hazard to public health. This bill simply consolidates existing lists of hazardous waste sites maintained by the state and federal government and puts that information in a format that the public can easily access. It also provides a mechanism for DEQ to add new sites as it becomes aware of them.

Affordable Housing

HB 2389: Securing a Dedicated Source of Funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

This legislation implements the recommendations of the Virginia Housing Commission that the General Assembly dedicate 20% of the recordation tax collection each year over $325 million to the Housing Trust Fund. We must create a dedicated source of revenue for our Housing Trust Fund if we want to make a substantive investment in affordable housing throughout Virginia. I believe that housing infrastructure and affordable housing should be a State concern on par with education, transportation, environmental protection, economic development, and the social safety net.

Gun Violence Prevention 

HB 2399: Closing the Background Check Loophole

When a background check is requested by a licensed dealer in Virginia, the State Police have until the next business day to complete the check or the gun can be legally sold. In compliance with expert guidance from the FBI, my bill closes that loophole and gives State Police five business days to conduct the background check so that we can ensure an individual who would otherwise fail the check does not walk away with a gun.

Supporting Small Businesses & Growing Our Economy

HB 2398: Small Business Definition Reform

Since I was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, I’ve been working to improve Virginia’s definition of small business in the Small, Women, and Minority-owned (SWaM) public procurement program. Under the current definition, a business in Virginia is considered “small” if it has fewer than 250 employees or less than $10 million in annual revenue. This overly broad, one-size-fits-all standard makes it difficult for truly small, women, and minority-owned businesses to compete with large companies that still qualify under the definition. My legislation moves Virginia closer to a more realistic—and more fair—SWaM procurement process.

Strengthening the Social Safety Net

HB 2397: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Opt-In to Improve Services

This bill allows Virginians who have previously been convicted of a drug-related felony to still obtain the TANF benefits they need to make ends meet and build a better life for themselves and their families.

Increasing Public Safety

HB 2394: Protecting Children and Firefighters from Dangerous Chemical Flame Retardants

Flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children’s products are not needed, ineffective, and no longer required by state regulators. Despite not being required in Virginia, manufacturers nationwide have added them to upholstered furniture and a variety of baby products to comply with a 1975 California flammability standard. In 2013, California changed its requirements, but this legislation would ensure that products sold in Virginia are free of the worst of these chemicals to protect the health of both firefighters and children. Flame-retardants added to polyurethane foam products have been shown to be ineffective in fire protection. They generate excessive smoke and toxic chemical byproducts that expose firefighters to a toxic soup, including cancer-causing chemicals.

Criminal Justice Reform

HB 2488: Ending the Suspension of Driver’s Licenses for Those Unable to Pay Court Fines or Fees

After working on this issue for a couple years, I am proud to be carrying the Governor’s bill to end the suspension of driver’s licenses due to the inability of someone to pay a court fine or fee. In Virginia, there are 647,517 individuals with suspended licenses only for non-payment of court fines and costs. Many Virginia residents rely upon their driver’s licenses to get to work and complete other necessary daily tasks. When a person’s driver’s license is suspended, they may face a difficult dilemma: obey the suspension and potentially lose their ability to provide for their families, or drive anyway and face further punishment, and even imprisonment, for driving while suspended. As Governor Northam said, we should not be putting families in this situation and we should be punishing folks for being poor.

Protecting Vulnerable Virginians

HB 2392: Repealing Laws that Require the Reporting of Undocumented Immigrants to the Federal Government

This legislation would repeal several sections of the Virginia Code that mandate the reporting of undocumented immigrants to federal authorities by various law enforcement officials and county clerks. It would also prohibit the police from reporting the immigration status of any crime victims or witnesses. This is necessary in order to encourage bona fide victims and cooperating witnesses of crimes to come forward, report crimes, and assist in prosecutions without fearing that their immigration status will be questioned. It strikes the right balance between giving police the latitude they need to effectively investigate violations of state and local law and giving immigrant victims and witnesses the limits and reassurances they need to feel safe about contacting the authorities. This will improve improve overall public safety across the Commonwealth.

HB 2393: Banning Child Labor on Tobacco Farms

Between May and October 2013, Human Rights Watch interviewed 141 children, some as young as seven, who worked on US tobacco farms in 2012 or 2013. The children worked in four states—North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia—where nearly 90 percent of tobacco grown in the US is cultivated. Young children should not be working in direct contact with tobacco. They are especially vulnerable to nicotine poisoning due to their size and stage of development. Indeed, a recent report from the Surgeon General suggests that nicotine exposure during adolescence may have lasting negative consequences for children. In order to protect kids from the hazards of tobacco farming, this legislation prohibits the employment of a child under the age of 18 to work with tobacco plants or dried tobacco leaves unless he or she is employed by a parent or guardian that owns their own farm/business.

HB 2396: Requiring Notification after Breach of Passport & Military ID Information

In Virginia, there is currently no provision that mandates immediate notification to people whose passport numbers or military ID numbers are stolen in a security breach. This bill would fix that hole in the Virginia Code.

HB 2610: Repealing the Reporting of Immigration Status by Colleges & Universities

This bill would repeal sections of the Virginia Code mandating that institutions of higher education report the immigration status of their students in certain cases.

HB 2802: Creating a Civil Rights Division within the Office of the Attorney General

I have been working with the Attorney General and his office to create a Civil Rights Division with the authority to investigate civil rights abuses across the Commonwealth.

Making It Easier to Vote

HB 2390: Automatic Voter Registration

This bill would provide for the automatic voter registration of Virginia citizens through the Department of Motor Vehicles—along with an opt-out for those who choose not to register. This bill will encourage more participation in our elections and ensure the protection of voting rights for all Virginians!

Recent Elections

2019 State Delegate

Alfonso Lopez (D)13,59483.43%
Terrence Wayne Modglin (G)2,55915.71%
Write In (Write-in)1400.86%

2017 State Delegate

Alfonso Lopez (D)19,30881.3%
Adam Roosevelt (R)4,39118.5%
Write In (Write-in)510.2%

2015 State Delegate

Alfonso Lopez (D)7,90495.6%
Write In (Write-in)3634.4%

2013 State Delegate

Alfonso Lopez (D)13,08778.0%
Terrence Wayne Modglin (G)3,50520.9%
Write In (Write-in)1911.1%

Source: Virginia Legislative Information System


LOPEZ, ALFONSO H has run in 4 races for public office, winning 4 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $475,159.

Source: Follow the Money



Minority Whip (2016-)


Militia, Police and Public Safety
Science and Technology
Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources


Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources – Subcommittee #3


Chesapeake Subcommittee
Employee Retirement Security and Pension Reform, Commission on
House Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources
House Militia Police and Public Safety
House Science & Technology
Intergovernmental Cooperation, Virginia Commission on
Potomac River Basin Commission
Small Business Commission

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Ballotpedia


Civil Rights

Social and Economic Justice

Delivering on Diversity, Tolerance and Solidarity

“My father is an immigrant from Venezuela and my mother was a teacher and counselor for over 30 years; they taught me the importance of social justice, continuing education, and ensuring that everyone has a path to achieve the American Dream. The Virginia I know and love has been a welcoming place for people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world and I believe that, working together, we can build a Commonwealth that builds everyone up and leaves no one behind.”

In the General Assembly, Alfonso successfully:

  • Passed legislation creating the Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which has already invested over $1.4 million on affordable housing projects in the 49th district.
  • Fought to pass legislation strengthening protections for tenants against retaliatory evictions and from bearing the costs of mitigating pest infestations when the cause of the infestation was undetermined.
  • Worked with the labor community to remove language added to the State Budget prohibiting the use of Project Labor Agreements on interstate transportation projects.
  • Organized legislators in Northern Virginia to successfully push the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to increase the minimum wage for contract employees at our local airports.
  • Worked with Attorney General Mark Herring to expand access to in-state tuition for DREAMer students in Virginia.
  • Negotiated across party lines to pass legislation cracking down on Notario Fraud in Virginia.
  • Worked with Governor McAuliffe to restore the right to vote for convicted felons who served their time and paid their debt to society.
  • Led the fight to save funding for Child Advocacy Centers, which address the needs of child abuse victims across Virginia.


As Delegate, Alfonso will support legislation that will:

  • Expand employment and housing protections for members of the LGBTQ communities.
  • Codify employment non-discrimination and allow local governments to have non-discrimination policies for their employees.
  • Implement In-State Tuition benefits for children who graduate from a Virginia high school, are accepted by an institution of higher education in Virginia, whose parents can prove they pay taxes and that they are  in the process of becoming naturalized.
  • Implement comprehensive immigration reform policies in Virginia.
  • Defend the civil rights of all Virginians.
  • Defend a woman’s right to choose.


Top-Notch Schools for Every Child

“Every child deserves an outstanding education that prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. To continue to create jobs and remain competitive in the global economy, we must provide the funding necessary to keep our public education system among the best in the nation.”

In the General Assembly, Alfonso successfully:

  • Fought for teacher pay raises, including a 5% raise passed in the 2019 session.
  • Worked to defeat legislation allowing the State Board of Education to impose charter schools on any school district in the Commonwealth.
  • Led the fight against legislation that would have created a backdoor for mandatory censorship of educational materials, regardless of the context in which the material was being taught.

As Delegate, Alfonso will support legislation that will:

  • Increase participation in Pre-K programs. Science tells us that 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before age five. We must expand voluntary Pre-K programs for more four-year-olds.
  • Provide funds to reduce class sizes and meet Virginia’s Standards of Learning.
  • Create programs to help special needs, non-English-speaking and gifted students.
  • Expand opportunities for Northern Virginians in the state colleges and universities.
  • Increase funding, access and support for Virginia’s vibrant community college system.
  • Ensure that teachers are paid a quality, professional wage—not just in Northern Virginia—but all over the Commonwealth.


Green Energy, Green Jobs, and Safe Communities

“As someone who has spent years in the trenches of environment and energy public policy, I understand the impact that the environment has on human health. As a father, I also understand the peace of mind that all parents want: to know that their children and families are safe from environmental toxins. That’s why I’m determined to continue fighting for safer communities, coastal protection, energy efficiency, conservation, clean water, and remediation of toxic sites.”

In the General Assembly, Alfonso successfully:

  • Founded and serves as the co-chair of the Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus in the General Assembly.
  • Passed a bill extending the Virginia Green Jobs Tax Credit, which encourages the growth of renewable energy industries across Virginia.
  • Made it easier to build more environmentally friendly vehicles in Virginia, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Closed loopholes in our statewide renewable energy goals to encourage investment in new renewable energy in Virginia.
  • Expanded the limit on non-residential solar net-metering projects in Virginia to incentive more solar projects throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Introduced and helped pass legislation to strengthen the building codes for Virginia’s public buildings so they are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • Worked with VDOT to replace trees lost on current and future VDOT projects in our District.
  • Fought to increase funding for the Storm Water Local Assistance Fund and the Agricultural Best Management Practices program to reduce polluted run-off into the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Passed a resolution recognizing the last Saturday in September as Public Lands Day in Virginia to celebrate this important natural resource.

As Delegate, Alfonso will support legislation that will:

  • Create a mandatory renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of at least 35% by 2025.
  • Provide incentives for the use and implementation of advanced electrical metering infrastructure and grid modernization technologies.
  • Implement the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also important that Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Our Commonwealth is ground zero for sea level rise. Virginia is experiencing a climate crisis, with consistent flooding in every corner of the state—especially along the coast. RGGI would help Virginia by funding flooding solutions and improving economic development in every corner of the Commonwealth.
  • Establish energy efficiency efforts standards in Virginia under which investor-owned electric utilities would be required to reduce electricity use by at least 25% of 2006 consumption levels by 2025.
  • Mandate that all new State, Local, university, or school system buildings (larger than 5,000 square feet) be built to LEED silver or equivalent Green Globes standards.  Virginia should lead by example and show businesses that we can meet large portions of our energy needs through measures like tougher building codes and energy efficient appliances, lighting, and heating.
  • Mandate any entity (private or government) that is required to report emissions under an existing air pollution control permit to also report greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Expand eligibility for the current solar tax credit to a broader range of alternative energy companies.
  • Work to restrict construction of new coal-fired powered plants in Virginia and encourage greener energy sources.
  • Expand the use of public transit and alternate modes of transportation.
  • Create incentives to use more of Virginia’s resources such as offshore wind and solar.
  • Establish an income tax credit for individuals and corporations installing solar photovoltaic and thermal (hot water and hot air) systems and small wind systems.
  • Further expand the existing incentive grant available to solar photovoltaic manufacturers to cover manufacturing of other low and no-carbon energy sources. This will include other renewable energy sources and support formation of new green jobs in Virginia.
  • Exempt solar, hydrokinetic, thermal systems, and wind systems from payment of sales taxes.
  • Revamp the green jobs/angel investor tax credit to target it toward energy business, technology, and R&D investments.

Health Care

Accessible and Affordable Options for All Virginians

“Many families across our community struggle to afford even the most basic healthcare coverage. I’m committed to fighting for a system that provides affordable coverage to every Virginian, because no one should have to choose between buying food or paying doctor’s bills.”

In the General Assembly, Alfonso successfully:

  • Fought for the expansion of Medicaid to over 300,000 new Virginians—including 5,600 residents of the 49th district.
  • Passed legislation to grant Medicaid coverage to immigrant mothers and children.
  • Worked across the aisle to preserve funding for critically important free health clinics across the Commonwealth, including the Arlington Free Clinic.
  • Defeated Republican legislation that would limit women’s reproductive choice.

As Delegate, Alfonso will support legislation that will: 

  • Protect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.
  • Expand healthcare access and affordability to low income Virginians and immigrants.
Terry ModglinTerry Modglin

Current Position: Retired Government & Public Service
Affiliation: None
Candidate: 2021 State Delegate


Current Position: Retired Government & Public Service
Affiliation: None
Candidate: 2021 State Delegate



Terry Modglin 1

Source: Campaign page

Terry Modglin’s Background and Experience
Terry Modglin has lived in Northern Virginia for 45 years – almost all of his adult life. The oldest of eight children, he was born and brought up in St. Louis, Missouri.  He attended his parish parochial school and worked to pay his tuition to McBride High School, at that time among the most prestigious Catholic boys’ high schools in that city.

A scholarship to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service brought him to the Nation’s Capital.  He financed his degree by combining the scholarship with loans and part-time jobs. After graduating from Georgetown, he served for four years in the U.S. Army, chiefly as an officer in the 173d Airborne Brigade (including 20 months in Vietnam) and the 101st Airborne Division.  He was awarded two Bronze Stars for service.



Work Experience

Volunteer Experience



  • Bronze Star (None)




Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook



Drawing legislative district boundaries

Too many legislative district boundaries for state and federal elective office give the appearance, if not the fact, of being drawn to protect incumbents or parties rather than to equalize representation. In some cases, these districts verge on the ridiculous. Since 2013 I have advocated that Virginia establish an independent, permanent commission consisting of a mix of members of political parties and independent persons with experience in politics – with appointments going to persons who have not been actively involved in politics for at least five years. Commission members should serve terms that create overlap to ensure continuity. Appointments should be made only after public announcement of candidates, with a period of public review and comment. Legislative districts should not be gerrymandered to guarantee re-election of incumbents or continued political party dominance.

Civil Rights

Protecting the Lives of the Unborn

Life is a precious gift. Protecting the lives of unborn children honors that gift. The right to life is one of the foundational freedoms of our country. The Democrat push in the last General Assembly to remove restrictions on late-term abortions is a cruel and callous assault on the right to life of the pre-born. That push included doing away with the ultrasound requirement, which provides an opportunity for the prospective mother to see the life in her womb. We must not allow Virginia to adapt the horrible laws that New York and other states are implementing that take away all protections of babies in the womb. Further, Virginia should prohibit abortion of pre-born babies who can feel pain and prohibit selective abortion altogether based on race, sex, or disability. Our society can be judged on the basis of whether we respect the lives of the most vulnerable, defenseless, and voiceless. What are the implications down the road for the vulnerable elderly when life becomes so disposable?

In a continuing effort to reduce abortions, Virginia should bolster resources for adoption and foster care.


Promote Community Engagement

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, observed that “Information is the currency of democracy.” That currency is often in short supply today. Too many people know too little about what governments are doing for them, to them, or in their names. Too many are unaware of changes in civic structures; too few engage in making the changes they want and need. I pledge to inform constituents as often as possible and to meet at least annually with my constituents in each of the 17 precincts of this 49th Legislative District.

Authorizing Initiatives, Referenda, and Similar Actions

Numerous states have already established the right of their citizens to propose legislation and present it for the electorate’s consideration. These actions – frequently termed initiatives or referenda – represent democracy at its roots. Virginia presently does not offer its citizens any opportunity to generate legislative direction, even if a substantial majority seek to do so. Virginia should offer its citizens the opportunity to play a more direct democratic role in law and governance. The state should form a commission to study the range of citizen-generated legislative actions in use today and hold public hearings on these concepts as well as conducting educational outreach. The commission should have one or more fixed reporting dates and produce a final report on its work and research findings as well as its recommendations for legislative action to establish this citizens’ right.


Building a 21st century economy requires recognition of the changes that have taken place and continue to do so throughout the Old Dominion (and indeed the nation). Shifts in sector growth and in industries phasing out, the emergence of sustainable “green jobs” in a number of categories, increased reliance on computer skills beyond “typewriting electronically,” – these are just some of the skills and capacities that Virginia must help its citizens gain or improve in order to enhance their ability to provide to the 21st century economy. Connecting schools, business sectors, and state and local agencies that can address the shifting face of today’s economy is critical to ensuring Virginia’s continued economic vitality.

Wage levels are another challenge that Virginia must face. In urban and suburban areas, there is no question that the current minimum wage is too low, especially if the wage earner has a family. It is arguable that the current minimum wage is too low in many less-populated areas as well. A $12.50 per hour minimum wage should be the base requirement, with exceptions for temporary, agricultural and teen employment.

One interesting option – job sharing – could provide more employment opportunity for younger workers while enabling senior workers to reduce their work hours but still pass along their legacies of skills and expertise to younger generations.


Education is a key to the future both for children and adults. Every child, regardless of race, background, socioeconomic status, or geographic location, deserves an exceptional education that will prepare him or her for higher education and maximize the potential of the workforce of tomorrow. Children need to be equipped to develop their talents to the utmost and find careers that make the best use of their talents for both themselves and their communities. We need to recognize that adults may need continuing education to update skills, equip themselves to deal with emerging technologies, and enable them to adapt to new career opportunities.

We should encourage innovative formats for education, including charter schools. We must continue the tax credit for those who give to qualified private and religious schools because that expands choice leverages the resources of parents and communities. We must invest in strategies to help children who are economically disadvantaged and assist children who are physically and/or mentally challenged. Family financial needs sometimes cause young people to drop out of school to the detriment of their futures. We need to find educationally sound ways to allow these young people to help their families learning for their futures. These young people can be – and generally want to be — productive citizens. Our investments in literacy, mathematics, history, and other key subject pay enormous dividends. These investments need to include meeting needs of physically and intellectually challenged young people as well. Lack of education costs everyone – not just the youth involved, not just his or her family, but each of us. We can ill afford to waste our children’s talents or squander opportunities for them to succeed.

Teachers who work to meet students’ needs while helping them maximize their potential, who not only teach but coach and mentor, and whose students exceed expectations should be rewarded, because their work not only enhances current performance but builds a brighter future for both youth and their communities. These teachers inspire, inform, and encourage young people. They build intellectual, emotional, and physical capacities and lay foundations for lifelong learning, which many experts see as the key to our future as a Commonwealth and a nation.

Virginia’s state-sponsored university and college system is among the strengths of the Commonwealth. Standards for this system should be maintained or enhanced, and the system should continue to sustain strong teaching institutions. This major asset should continue to play a vital role in preparing Virginia’s young people for the jobs of the future in the Commonwealth even as it attracts students from other states and countries. Young people should not only be academically prepared for higher education, but they should also be able to afford it, which means that tuition levels must be kept in check and scholarship aid must continue or grow.

Grade schools need to use a wider range of technologies to serve a diverse student population, to improve academic standards, and to provide affordable education while maintaining standards, accountability, and community connection. New technologies can help make education more cost effective while preparing students for work in a world more dominated by technology.

The value of good-quality pre-kindergarten education is well documented. Every child deserves access to this introduction to learning. If thoughtfully prepared and properly executed, these programs lay a lifelong foundation of skills and know-how. Such programs must be grounded in tested, effective practices and strategies and must be taught by well-prepared instructors.

The Common Core Standards for education have been developed with input by both public and private sector organizations. They set standards for moving education forward while preserving key learning processes. They should continue to be used as a reference point for academic goals and achievement in the Commonwealth.

Programs that develop multiple pathways combining academic and work experience are an excellent educational strategy, especially for those who may not seek four-year college degrees. Community colleges (providing terminal programs as well as links to higher education opportunities) can be extraordinary resources both for higher education of all sorts. Providing academic credit for volunteer activities can offer excellent opportunities for young people to try out career paths and for older workers to test possible career changes. Night and weekend classes as well as on-site classes sponsored by employers can help workers maintain and upgrade their skills or explore new skills.

Parental involvement and support are keys to educational achievement especially for young people. Schools and school systems need to develop 21st-century initiatives to increase parents’ connection with their children’s education, including videos, projects that involve parents (and other family members) and even neighborhoods, as well as electronic links. Regular communication with parents using email, voicemail, and other up-to-date strategies (especially those that go directly to parents instead of getting lost in students’ backpacks) need to be a key part of the system. Support can and should go beyond a recitation of grades or behaviors. For example, there is nothing wrong with suggesting family-based activities that can link to classroom work.

State-level assessment of Virginia’s schools is an important means to improve achievement statewide. These assessments (“grading”) must be fair and relevant. They must account equitably for various challenges facing the schools in question. For example, fair recognition should be given to the achievements of students who do not currently speak English as their primary language and to progress by children with documented learning challenges.


We are the stewards of our earth.  While we recognize that we must begin to think globally, we must act locally – and statewide. If we do not protect the quality of our air, water, and food, who will?  What we take from the earth, how we take it, and how we use it are issues that affect that long-term viability of our species. What can the Commonwealth of Virginia do? We can support public transportation, tax credits for use of solar and wind power, more walkable and bikeable communities (with traffic protections), and incentives for research that will make Virginia one of the nation’s green leaders.   Virginia’s unique geographic situation and its leadership in technology provide an opportunity to enhance the welfare of Virginians and can be a gift to the world as well.

Health Care

Medicaid expansion helps Virginia’s citizens and health care systems as the expanded primary and preventive care can help eliminate waste brought about by emergency room visits and the availability of better funding will deliver better quality health care to Virginians who otherwise cannot afford it.

As hospitals struggle financially and aging patients need greater hospital and long-term care, it is imperative that residency programs are expanded in order to train more doctors as well as bolster assistance for current practitioners to alleviate the pressure on hospitals. It is also worthwhile to consider new types of positions for long-term care, if it is possible to do so at reasonable cost and with effective supervision.

With the increased availability of health insurance and the increasing numbers of aging population, the need for more primary care practitioners must be addressed as soon as possible if quality health care is to be maintained, let alone improved. This includes, of course, training of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals to meet demand and limit costs. Nurse practitioners should be able to provide a greater range of care than they are presently allowed.

Health care systems should reward quality of care, not merely quantity. The current fee-for-service system incentivizes unnecessary (or overly costly) tests and procedures. A system in which health care providers are compensated based on results and on prevention-focused medical care, as well as sound patient education, offers one way to support effective, preventive care. This strategy will reduce costs faced by chronically ill patients, reduce emergency room visits, and make health care in Virginia more cost-effective.


When society sleeps on evident and potentially explosive problems, the rule of law is eventually jeopardized. Such is the case with the crisis at the Southwest Border and illegal immigration. The very large number of unaccompanied children coming across that border will end up in communities like ours. We know the tragic results when youth are disconnected from family and the costs that local government must bear. The immigration crisis is not our fault but it becomes part of our problem, for services, taxes, and community integration. Immigrants have been the lifeblood of the development of our country, but ignoring illegal immigration undercuts the legal system. Failure to deal with the problems of large numbers of illegal persons entering the country at the federal level is and will have a significant effect on state governments and our communities. While it only makes sense to engage all youth in advancing their education, becoming involved in positive activity, and integrating into their community, the current trend in which illegal immigrants are a larger number than legal ones cannot persist.



Transportation, especially in Virginia’s urban areas, has become a morass of congestion, pollution, and frustration. There is no question that transportation snarls affect commuters, businesses that rely on highways and city streets to meet customer needs, and even the safety of children going to and from school – not just occasionally but on a daily basis. Increased financial support for mass transit alternatives, including study of and progress as merited on Metrorail service between East Falls Church and Pentagon City with potential stations at the Seven Corners Area and Skyline, will boost the economic future of the Arlington-Seven Corners Area and reduce congestion. But addressing transportation issues also means upgrading major highways and improving traffic circulation on various local and regional secondary roads, as well as enhancing bus transportation throughout the region. In high-traffic areas, there is considerable work to be done in improving pedestrian safety.

Arlington has one of the best bicycle path systems in the region and use rates that are among the highest in the metropolitan area – possibly in the nation. Improvements for bicycle traffic along the main traffic corridors in Arlington and Fairfax Counties should be a priority, as well, especially in linking bike riders to existing trails.

Early-age licensing of drivers is associated with higher rates of fatal car crashes. Increasing the qualifications for learners’ permits from 15 years and 6 months to 16 years can help reduce injury and fatal crashes among this group.

Statistical evidence shows that reducing the number of teens allowed in a car driven by a teen reduces the odds of fatal incidents. The number of non-family passengers under the age of 21 in a car driven by a teen should be restricted to one person. Young people who are driving on restricted licenses should not be permitted to have any non-family passengers under 21 in their vehicles.

To reduce the number of incidents of driving through red lights and to increase safety in light-controlled intersections, Virginia should increase the number of red-light cameras in these intersections. However, the light and camera timing should allow adequate time for drivers to pass through intersections on yellow lights. Revenues from camera-detected violations should be placed in a trust-style fund for traffic safety rather than in local jurisdictions’ general revenue streams.

The statute that makes texting while driving a primary rather than secondary offense will significantly reduce vehicular crashes and fatalities in Virginia by keeping drivers’ attention on safety in traffic. It should be vigorously enforced.

Impaired driving – whether because of alcohol or medication or use of illicit drugs – needs to be treated by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and the courts as the serious threat to public safety that it is. Virginia needs to develop a “dram shop” law, which holds bars and restaurants (and other places that serve alcohol) to a degree of liability if the facility allows a drunk person to drive off. Other states have these and many mandate intensive server training to help prevent deaths – the drunk driver’s death or those of others.

Older drivers (65 and over) experience fatal crashes at a rate second only to that of teen drivers. In the interest of both older drivers and the general public, Virginia should move to a system that requires more frequent checks of the visual acuity and reaction times of older drivers.



The Commonwealth should, without infringing on citizen rights to have a firearm for self- defense in the home, use a number of tools to limit the presence and use of firearms, particularly by criminals, those with a propensity to violence, and/or youth. Such tools include a range of actions from regulation of all sales to longer prison sentences for using a gun in a crime to mandatory background checks on all purchasers of firearms, no matter where or how they purchased their weapons, to “red flag” laws that allow family members to have firearms removed. Virginia needs to ensure that it effectively collaborates with other states and with Federal authorities to halt such threats as interstate gangs, firearms smuggling, armed criminal gangs (including drug cartels and sales forces) and illegal firearms sales.

All licensed or non-licensed firearm dealers should conduct a national instant criminal background check prior to any firearm sales or transfers, including the sales or transfers of any firearm at a gun show. Appropriate penalties should apply for violations.

A person should be held civilly liable for injury to a person or property of another or for unlawful death resulting from the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime, if it can be shown by clear evidence that the firearm came into possession of the offender because of the failure of the gun owner to effectively secure the firearm from theft or unauthorized possession.

Virginia residents should not be able to buy ammunition online nor should it be lawful for Virginia-based firearms dealers to sell online. Ammunition ordered over the Internet should be delivered in a face-to-face transaction with a firearms dealer. The purchaser should go through a background check prior to acquiring the ammunition.

The circumstances in which firearms may be owned and held vary greatly from one local Virginia jurisdiction to another. The governing body of any county or chartered city should have the authority to adopt local ordinances regulating the sale of firearms and ammunition in their localities.

It should be unlawful to carry firearms into a local public meeting, except for law enforcement officers and/or qualified, registered armed security personnel whose duty it is to protect participants at the meeting as determined by the local government. Open carrying at these meetings by private citizens is intended to and simply intimidates the public, wastes law enforcement resources, and increases the risk of injury and death due to the accidental or intentional use of firearms.

Because there are hundreds of millions of firearms in this country, and so many are stolen or trafficked by unscrupulous sellers, these advances, even when combined with other needs such as mental health reforms, are unlikely to stop the mass murder shootings that the country has been experiencing. The common-sense reforms will gradually whittle down the number of homicides and suicides, however.

Public safety is a core responsibility of the Commonwealth and of local government as its agent. It is necessary to recognize and engage other partners in addition to law enforcement, including state agencies that can contribute to public safety (such as state police, mental health professionals, drug abuse prevention experts, highway operations, and education).

Experience has shown that comprehensive approaches using community policing, problem-solving, and community engagement, as well as involving multiple agencies of the government can dramatically reduce crime. Similarly, when law enforcement and other community-focused agencies work with such private sectororganizations as neighborhood associations, condominium and rental community associations, churches, and businesses can result in powerful partnerships to prevent and reduce crime and address community challenges that may be linked with crime.


Youth Development

Youth development initiatives  (programs to help young people build skills and explore their strengths) can both deter young people from crime and help them extricate themselves from troubling situations. Positive, structured programs of this type should be available to the significant majority of youth in our communities. These programs should develop youth leadership and provide skills training that each youth can excel in. These programs also need to be grounded in the day-to-day environments and experiences of youth and engage youth in the program and its processes. As your Delegate, I will recruit a youth advisory board to help inform me about interests of youth and about the issues and challenges facing them, as well as to help them develop positive leadership skills.


Virginia needs to enact so-called “dram shop” laws, which establish at least partial liability for bars, restaurants, and other places that serve alcohol to customers who come into the establishment drunk or are served so much alcohol that they become drunk. These businesses should be held liable for their role(s) in death, injury, or property damage caused by the person who leaves the premises and drives drunk when the driver’s condition was or should have been obviously hazardous to the drunk driver and any drivers or pedestrians in his or her way.

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