Shelly Simonds

Shelly Simonds

Summary

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Democrat

My husband, Paul, and I moved to Newport News in 2000, when he was hired as a NASA engineer. We soon realized that Newport News was the perfect place to raise our two daughters, Georgia and Tessa. And after my second daughter turned two, I returned to the workforce as a Spanish teacher at their school, Hilton Elementary, and discovered a new passion for teaching. I had never had a workplace where I felt like I was part of a team with such purpose. We spent our lunch breaks talking about our students and how we could encourage them.

I’ve also been a longtime environmental activist. I got my start in Virginia politics as a member of the Legislative Contact Team with the League of Conservation Voters. This work is also incredibly important to me, and something that I want to fight for in the General Assembly, if elected.

About

Shelly Simonds 1

Source: Campaign page

When I was in high school, I had some wonderful teachers who ignited my curiosity about the world and an excitement for learning. That curiosity has guided my life, pushing me to experience education around the world, from Spain, to Chile, to Palo Alto, California, and to Newport News, the city where I have built my life and started my family.

And it’s why I’m running to be your Delegate in the Virginia State House today. I want to bring that inspiration and passion for education to the people of Virginia.

My love of learning first emerged when I had a chance to spend a year in Spain as an AFS Exchange Student. And after graduation, I went on to study International Relations and Latin American Studies and at Bucknell University, where I also earned a Rotary Fellowship to spend a year at the University of Chile. It was there I discovered a love of writing and journalism that led me to Stanford University for a Masters in Communications.

My husband, Paul, and I moved to Newport News in 2000, when he was hired as a NASA engineer. We soon realized that Newport News was the perfect place to raise our two daughters, Georgia and Tessa. And after my second daughter turned two, I returned to the workforce as a Spanish teacher at their school, Hilton Elementary, and discovered a new passion for teaching. I had never had a workplace where I felt like I was part of a team with such purpose. We spent our lunch breaks talking about our students and how we could encourage them.

In 2012, I was elected to the School Board on a platform of support for teachers and workforce development. I still feel like I’m on the teacher’s team because I’m fighting for their resources, and I understand, first-hand, the challenges and joys of their important work in our community. Through the Virginia School Board Association, I’ve been a vocal advocate for education, and I helped write the final report for our Challenged Schools Taskforce in 2015. This report helped secure funding for extended learning programs in the Commonwealth.

I’ve also been a longtime environmental activist. I got my start in Virginia politics as a member of the Legislative Contact Team with the League of Conservation Voters. This work is also incredibly important to me, and something that I want to fight for in the General Assembly, if elected.

As a mother, an educator, an activist, and an entrepreneur, I know I can hit the ground running to bring positive change to my community when I become a member of the General Assembly.

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter

Politics

Recent Elections

2019 State DelegateArray

Shelly A. Simonds (D)11,56357.72%
David E. Yancey (R)8,07040.28%
Michael D. Bartley (L)3761.88%
Write-In (Write-in)250.12%
TOTAL20,034

Issues

Civil Rights

Shelly is a strong advocate for civil rights and will always stand up to defend vulnerable members of our community. We need stronger leadership in the General Assembly to stand up to hatred and bigotry now more than ever.

Shelly is committed to addressing racism and religious bigotry, as well as LGBTQ rights.

Racism and Religious Bigotry
As a longtime member of the NAACP, Shelly knows we need a leader in Richmond who isn’t afraid to stand up to racism in all its forms. At a time when racism and religious bigotry are on the march across America, getting too close to home, Shelly knows we need a Delegate who will stand up to prejudice, divisiveness and hatred. Shelly will always stand strong with our minority communities and will always vigorously oppose and protest efforts to sow division based on race or creed.

LGTBQ Rights
Shelly believes members of the LGBTQ community must have equal rights before the law. She’ll always defend non-discrimination protections in the workplace. She knows how important it is that we work to create a society where our LGBTQ youth are happy and healthy, instead of disproportionately affected by mental health issues and suicide. In Richmond, she will support LGBTQ anti-discrimination bills in public service and housing.

Economy

As Delegate, Shelly’s number one priority will be creating a Virginia economy that works for everyone. Too many of our citizens miss out on the American dream. This is why Shelly is dedicated to bringing good, well-paying jobs to Newport News, and why she strongly supports raising the minimum wage. Economic growth should benefit everyone.

And to turn that belief into a reality, Shelly is committed to developing our workforce, investing in working families, strengthening small businesses, and empowering women at work.

Education

As a Newport News School Board member and former Spanish teacher, Shelly has the experience to fight for the highest quality education for our children. She is a longtime advocate for excellence in public schools, and will bring bold ideas and meaningful programs to our children’s education.

Shelly is focusing her efforts on investing in teachers, connecting students to careers, and closing the achievement gap.

Environment

Shelly got her start in politics as an environmental activist working with the League of Conservation Voters. As Delegate, Shelly will be a staunch defender of our environment, and will fight to make Newport News a green city with a bright future.

She will focus her efforts on fighting for sustainable, green communities, supporting clean energy, funding City Farm, and reducing traffic by expanding transit solutions.

Health Care

Shelly believes healthcare is one of the defining issues of our time. Too many Virginians don’t have access to the care they need and drug prices are too high.

As Delegate, Shelly will make a priority of defending Healthcare and reducing drug prices, and making sure we protect women’s healthcare rights.

Safety

Criminal Justice Reform

Shelly knows criminal justice reform in Virginia needs to be a bipartisan effort, and she looks forward to getting to Richmond to work with Republicans on this crucial issue. Virginia has the 8th highest incarceration rate in the country, with many people convicted for nonviolent drug offenses. We spend $25,000 per inmate per year—money that could be used to fix our roads and bridges and invest in our children’s’ future. We as a state can reduce crime and save money on incarceration if we work together on adopting reforms that have already worked in other states.

Among Shelly’s priorities for Criminal Justice reform are advocating for preventative reform, and strong community policing.

News

Twitter

Videos

Other Videos

Shelly Simonds Thanks Sister District
Sister District
Published on April 3, 2019
By: Sister District

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