3 Ways We Made Virginia Better in 2018

2018 was a big year for progressives in Virginia! After our victories in 2017, we were all ready for something good to happen during the 2018 General Assembly session and beyond, and it did. Read below to learn more about the top three things we accomplished in 2018 to make life better for people in our communities.

Medicaid Expansion

After fighting for six long years, we finally expanded Medicaid in Virginia. Now, more than 400,000 Virginians can afford to see a doctor when they get sick without having to worry about the huge bill that will come afterwards. Passing Medicaid Expansion means we helped people like Rebecca, Donna, Vickie, and thousands more.

SEIU Virginia 512 member Julia Newton holds a sign in support of Medicaid expansion at the State Capitol.

Student Loan Ombudsman

Navigating student loan repayment options can be confusing, and it is all too easy for scammers and predatory companies to take advantage of borrowers. To solve this problem, we passed a bill during the General Assembly session that created a Student Loan Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will serve as an impartial resource and educator to help borrowers learn about all of their repayment options, help them get enrolled in income-driven repayment or public service loan forgiveness programs, and will ensure borrowers can’t be taken advantage of by scammers. This was a huge victory, and we’re excited to work next year to pass the Borrower’s Bill of Rights to make sure student loan debt holders are protected and able to repay their loans quickly and easily.

The Blue Wave Started In Virginia

In the midterm elections, the blue wave started in Virginia. Activists from across the Commonwealth knocked doors, made phone calls, and talked to their neighbors to make sure that everyone knew how important the November elections were and how they could make their voices heard. We elected progressives who support healthcare for all and flipped three House seats thanks to your hard work. While this was an enormous win for progressives in Virginia, we need to keep the momentum going and keep talking to our neighbors because in 2019 we have a real opportunity to flip both the State House and State Senate so we can make real lasting change in Virginia.

What’s Next?

2018 was a great year for progressives, but I’m ready to make 2019 even better. So we’re launching the Virginia for All of Us campaign to ensure that all of our friends and neighbors have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of skin color, zip code, or income level. This will be a multi-year campaign to hold legislators accountable and ensure they are representing everyone, no exceptions.

Join us at one of our three launch events to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved!

January 3rd at 9:30 am in Fairfax

January 4th at 11 am in Norfolk

January 7th at 10:30 am in Richmond