Workers’ Rights and Protections
Justice Reform &
Gun Violence Prevention
Adele believes that every Virginian deserves access to stable, safe and affordable housing so that they may do well at work, succeed in school, and maintain their mental and physical health. Arlington will benefit immensely from Adele’s commitment to this goal. Adele has worked statewide to protect renters and homeowners from eviction and foreclosure. She served as the point person on preventing evictions for the Commonwealth of Virginia at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and currently serves on the Arlington Alliance for Housing Solutions Board, the Arlington Continuum of Care Leadership Board, the Virginia Housing Alliance Legislative Committee, the Coalition for Supportive Housing’s Regional Board, and the Governor’s Coordinating Council on Homelessness. Adele also drafted legislation to cap late fees on rent, expand the rights of tenants in the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, and successfully worked to get historic investments in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. As a Delegate, she will work to create more affordable housing, prevent evictions, expand the rights of tenants, eliminate housing discrimination, and expand access to funds to generate wealth through homeownership. Through her work as a housing policy advocate, Adele has been developing a homeownership funding program for those who have been historically shut out of homeownership.
Adele’s mom spent over a decade as an early childhood educator. From an early age, Adele saw just how hard her mom worked and witnessed the profound impact her mother’s dedication to her students had on the students and their families.
Those early experiences instilled within Adele a belief in the power of a high quality, public education. As Delegate, Adele will prioritize fully funding all educational mandates and support high quality public schools and education through increasing teacher salaries to above the national average. This will help in retaining our educators and attracting new educators in support of our public schools. She also supports securing more resources for schools to hire mental health professionals and other personnel necessary to provide the wrap around services students need in our post-pandemic world.
To truly uplift our working families and to set our youngest Virginians on a path to success, Adele also supports expanding access to affordable child care.
Adele believes that we should fight to support all underserved communities and not pick and choose between them. With that in mind:
- Adele believes in the value of accessible, high quality higher education. She will fight to provide resources and funding to Virginia students in need, whether they are attending a community college, a four year institution, an apprenticeship, or seeking high-skilled job training—regardless of their immigration status.
- Adele will continue to work hard to increase and enhance funding for Virginia’s HBCUs which have been historically underfunded for decades. She will also advocate for a satellite HBCU campus in Northern Virginia to provide greater access to education to students in the region—including training for high tech jobs, nursing, and teaching.
Virginia has emerged as a leader in the Southeast in the fight against climate change, but more progress is still needed to ensure that our state’s clean energy transition is just and affordable for all Virginians. As Executive Director of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, Adele oversaw the expansion of the VLBC’s legislative agenda to include environmental justice bills, including legislation establishing Virginia’s Environmental Justice Council and fighting for increased oversight over Virginia’s utility monopolies to ensure the prices we all pay for electricity are fair. Virginians currently pay the 8th highest energy bills in the country, a cost that can be a huge burden on families and small businesses. That is why as a Delegate Adele will fight for measures like stronger energy efficiency standards in our building codes, increased funding for low-income solar and energy efficiency programs, and much-needed reform to how our utilities are regulated to stop the hundreds of millions of dollars Dominion overcharges Virginians each year. It is also why Adele has taken a principled stance not to take money from the utility monopolies that she will help regulate as a Delegate in the General Assembly.
Adele has seen first-hand how the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the inequities built into our system of healthcare. She will work hard to make quality healthcare more accessible and equitable. As a member of the Arlington Community Services Board, Adele has also been a strong advocate for increased services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, and mental health challenges. The mental health bed crisis that Virginia experienced this summer has cemented the need for more community-based mental health services.
As Delegate, Adele will add valuable experience and perspective to the conversation surrounding the transformation of the Commonwealth’s mental health system. Adele has also dedicated her service-first career towards expanding access and affordability of health insurance and primary care for the most vulnerable Virginians. As Delegate, Adele will fight tirelessly not only to protect the progress that has been made in expanding Medicaid access, but build upon it to ensure that newly-eligible Virginians can more easily access a primary care physician, specialists, and life-saving treatments and procedures. Adele will stand up to the powerful insurance lobby to ensure Virginia’s system of health-care delivery is driven by patient needs, and not corporate bottom lines.
Finally, Adele will stand as an immovable force to protect the reproductive rights of birthing persons in the Commonwealth against any regulatory or legislative intrusion from the newly-elected Republican administration. Abortion is healthcare, and a birthing person’s right to bodily autonomy is fundamental. Adele will strongly support enshrining this right in the Virginia Constitution. She understands the significance of the fight to come and is ready to leverage all of her experience as an advocate to protect these sovereign rights.
Workers’ Rights & Protections
Adele deeply cares about ensuring that every working Arlingtonian and Virginians throughout the Commonwealth earn a living wage with affordable healthcare, paid leave, retirement security, and strong workplace protections. Recognizing that collective bargaining is one of the best ways to reduce economic inequality, Adele will work to ensure that all Virginians have the right to come together with their co-workers and form a union, if they choose to. Through her work as Executive Director for the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, she worked with advocates and legislators to raise the minimum wage, remove Jim Crow era exemptions to the minimum wage, expand collective bargaining rights, and ensure critical protections for workers at the onset of the global pandemic. As a Delegate, Adele will fight hard to further expand the rights of workers by strengthening worker power by repealing the so-called “Right To Work” law, allowing farm workers to earn higher wages by removing the minimum wage exemption for farm workers, and pushing for more guaranteed paid sick leave and paid family medical leave.
Gun Violence Prevention
Adele is passionate about reducing the incidence of gun violence in the state. She will work in the state legislature to make a safer community for all Virginians to live, work, learn, and worship in. Adele will promote life-saving measures like disarming domestic abusers, regulating assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and increasing safe storage requirements, which prevents children from accessing guns. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States, and Virginia has seen increasing numbers of gun suicides and homicides each year. Gun violence is a public health crisis and, in addition to common sense gun safety reforms, we must implement a public health approach to gun violence prevention by investing in community intervention and prevention efforts and programs, mental health, and Commonwealth-wide studies to collect data that studies the effects of gun violence on communities and reveals the root causes. Adele believes that gun ownership does not have to mean gun violence. As Delegate, she will promote legislation to prevent the horrifying shootings that Virginia has experienced.
Justice Reform & Civil Rights
As Delegate, Adele will continue her work to reform the criminal justice and immigration systems and will prioritize restoring and strengthening the civil rights of all who live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Adele is committed to transformative change in these areas. Building upon her extensive work with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and the Arlington NAACP, she will champion the generational reforms needed to uproot systemic and institutional racism everywhere it persists. In recent years, Adele has worked together with communities, civil rights advocates, and legislators to pass a number of transformative measures, including bills to help decrease unjust pretrial detention, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, bring accountability for law enforcement abuses, invest in supportive—rather than punitive—behavioral health and substance use disorder responses, establish true access to justice in our courts, and end the Jim Crow legacy of voter suppression policies.
The criminal legal and immigration systems have an embedded legacy of disproportionately impacting Black, Brown, Indigenous and other traditionally marginalized people and communities, and it is important to acknowledge and face that legacy openly and directly: through community collaboration and deep listening to those directly impacted by these systems. Through her years of policy experience, Adele will work tirelessly and thoughtfully to create restorative systems and supports for all Virginians.