Arlingtonian Victoria Virasingh has thrown her hat into the ring to challenge Rep. Don Beyer for the 8th District Democratic primary next year.
Beyer has held onto the 8th District, which includes parts of Arlington and Alexandria, since he won a crowded primary for former Congressman Jim Moran’s seat in 2014 and the general election later that year.
Virasingh was born and raised in Arlington and is the vice chair of outreach for the Arlington Democrats. She was previously been part of Communities in Schools at Barcroft Elementary School. Her professional resume includes work for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the IRS Criminal Investigations Unit, and controversial tech company Palantir.
“I was born in Arlington to immigrant parents,” Virasingh said. “My mom is from Ecuador. My dad was born to Punjabi Sikh refugees in Thailand. They are immigrants who worked minimum wage jobs here in Virginia’s 8th. I became the first in my family to go to college by getting a full scholarship to Stanford University. My story represents the American Dream, the belief that no matter where you come from, if you work hard you can achieve your own success.”
Virasingh said her return to the area for work highlighted that some of those support systems have gone.
“When I came back to work in Arlington it became clear to me that the structures — living wage, affordable housing — that helped my family succeed are gone,” Virasingh said. “We need to create opportunities for people to have healthcare and to live and work here. We need a $18/hour minimum wage, housing for all, equity in education and Medicare for All.
Virasingh said her life experience has shown her the need for “true progressive policies to level the playing field and provide opportunity for all.”
According to Virasingh’s website, some campaign priorities include:
- Housing for all
- Equity in education
- Securing a living wage
- Medicare for all
On Twitter, Virasingh noted that is she wins, she will be the first woman to hold the 8th District seat.
🚨 It’s official🚨 I’m running in VA-08! If elected, I will be the FIRST woman to represent my district! Fund the fight here!
— Victoria Virasingh (@vvirasingh) July 20, 2021
Virasingh listed the following as some examples of involvement in the 8th District.
I am the Vice-Chair Outreach for Arlington Democrats which means I work closely with our 9 caucuses.
I believe voter registration and education is an essential pillar of our democracy and as a precinct captain, I work to increase voter participation.
I was deployed to Barcroft Elementary School through Communities and Schools and worked side by side with the Site Coordinator there on family engagement, distribution of resource vouchers, and lead student programming.
During the pandemic, I lead Hispanic outreach for Rides to the Vaccines.
I strongly align myself with the mission and vision of Bridges to Independence, and they have called on me to jump in on projects and meetings.
I am a member of the Arlington County Economic Development Commission.
Additionally, I attend meetings and events with LULAC, Latino Caucus, ASHPA, community events put on by interfaith communities in Arlington.
I am also part of Arlington Young Dems and the NAACP-Arlington Branch.
I built private-public partnerships at Palantir Technologies which led to the founding of the Future of Work Team. Leading the team took me to working in Europe while being based out of Germany.
While in California, I sat on the Youth Board of City Youth Now, a non profit organization that provides support to youth in the Juvenile system transitioning into independent living.
I have been an advisor for the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority which I was a part of in college.
“I think that our district deserves to have a representative that takes leadership on progressive issues and drives the conversation on issues affecting our constituents everyday,” said Virasingh. “I thank Representative Beyer for his service. I think it’s time for new leadership that matches the composition of our district. I think it’s time for new leadership that is not reactive to adopting progressive policies, but is proactive in leading the charge for progressive policies that lift our communities up.”
Beyer told ALXnow that he has also supported Medicare for all for years, and his plan for now is to focus on doing his job as best he can.
“The seat belongs to the people of Virginia’s 8th District,” Beyer said. “[Competitive elections] make our community stronger, our democracy stronger, and makes me a more effective candidate and leader. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. God bless her and I never want to discourage anyone from being involved.”
The 8th district seat is up in the 2022 election, and the Democratic primary is on June 21.
Photo via Victoria Virasingh/Facebook
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