|Holly Hazard (right) talks to residents about their concerns.|
Hazard, a Mason District resident for more than 30 years, wants to bring a new viewpoint to the General Assembly.
“Richmond works better with people with a fresh perspective,” Hazard says. “When we do that, we get an infusion of new ideas.”
To promote equity, Hazard would take a “deep dive into the criminal justice system.” She praises the General Assembly for abolishing the death penalty but says, “we still have a significant problem with solitary confinement and the way women are treated in prison. Women need the same opportunities as men for training.”
“I’m not talking about letting murderers out of prison, but Virginia has the seventh-highest population of prisoners. Something is fundamentally wrong with that system,” she says. “That is extremely expensive for taxpayers. We should be lifting people up.”
To support workers, Hazard would promote unions and collective bargaining. “Unions were the backbone of America. The loss of unions has been the biggest factor in the nation’s economic decline.”
Hazard would set climate change as a key priority. “With a budget of over $60 billion, everything the General Assembly does should go through a filter of whether it’s good or bad for the environment.”
Regarding education, she plans to push for more alternatives to high-cost four-year universities. Not everyone needs a bachelor’s degree to have a successful career, but “anyone who dares to think they have a different path in life gets the short shrift.”
“We learned during the past year that students can learn at home and still be part of a community,” she says. Distance learning could be incorporated into a college education, so some people could opt for “four years of college for the price of three. That would greatly reduce costs.”
Hazard, a former PTA president at Bailey’s Elementary School, Glasgow Middle School, and Justice High School, is working on launching a pilot program at Justice. A coach would be assigned to help students interested in technology and the trades but not interested in a four-year degree.
In another local project, she put out a huge bin on the street to collect groceries for needy families and to “remind people every day that there are people a few blocks away in Culmore who are hungry.”
|Hazard at the Network |
NOVA Women’s Summit
As an attorney, she co-founded the first animal rights law firm and the first animal protection lobbying organization in the nation with actor, singer, and animal welfare advocate Doris Day.
Later, the group merged with the Humane Society of the United States, and Hazard was named senior vice president.
She took a leave of absence to work on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and from that effort, co-founded the grassroots advocacy organization Network NOVA with Stair Calhoun.
Two years ago, she was the legislative director in Kory’s office, where she learned about state government and decided to run for office herself. Kory has represented the 38th District (covering much of Mason District) in the House of Delegates for 11 years.
Hazard believes people should have opportunities to elect delegates with a different point of view. “The General Assembly has become a full-time career for many legislators. We function better as a commonwealth if people who serve then go back to working in their community.”
“I look forward to the campaign and hope people will look at my background and give me a call,” Hazard says. She can be reached at (703) 338-9590, firstname.lastname@example.org.