Delegate Hala Ayala spoke on the House floor in observance of Black History Month on Friday afternoon honoring Black women who are facing a national emergency in the midst of COVID-19. Ayala, who is an Afro-Latina running for Lieutenant Governor and would be the first woman of color elected statewide in Virginia, was endorsed last week by Higher Heights, the only political action committee exclusively dedicated to electing more Black women.
Higher Heights for America PAC is the only political action committee exclusively dedicated to electing more progressive Black women at the federal and statewide levels and as mayors in the 100 most populated U.S. cities. With the support of their rapidly growing network of members, activists, volunteers and supporters, Higher Heights PAC has helped Black women grow their political leadership and representation. You can read more about their electoral successes here.
"For our Commonwealth to heal and move forward into an equitable just future, we need to understand our past and its pain. We need to know and uplift the story of the more than 300,000 African-Americans who were sold into slavery, tortured, and killed at Lumpkin’s Jail. I’d also like to thank Governor Northam for including $9 million in this year’s historic budget to build a memorial in remembrance of these souls."
“More than 1 in 4 small businesses have closed in our Commonwealth during COVID-19, and many more are struggling,” said Ayala. “HB 2266 will help our small businesses and localities recover from COVID-19 and come out of this crisis even stronger. Thank you to my colleagues--Delegate Lamont Bagby, Delegate Jeff Bourne, Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler, and Delegate Martha Mugler--for working with me to pass this important legislation.”
Our House’s historic budget shows that we are focused on providing our Commonwealth the support that is needed for Virginians during this crisis. It ensures that more families have the economic security they need as we look to recover from the pandemic. I know the struggles that a lot of our families are facing throughout COVID-19 because I’ve lived them. Our budget will help our families and small businesses weather this crisis and move Virginia forward.
HB 1891, to require public health training by state employees unanimously passed out of the Senate today. This bill will require the Department of Human Resource Management, alongside the Department of Health and Human Resources, to develop public health online training, including a pandemic and communicable disease preparedness, as a part of the safety and disaster awareness training already mandated for Commonwealth employees.
Virginia has consistently been a leader throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and our vaccination process is no exception. As we surpass 1,000,000 doses administered, I want to thank to Governor Ralph Northam, Dr. Norman Oliver, and Dr. Danny Avula for their continued leadership throughout the pandemic.
Delegate Hala Ayala announced today that 5 of her bills to help working families and small businesses passed out of the House of Delegates and will now be considered by the Senate. Ayala’s bills will support the Commonwealth’s workers, women, and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and will move Virginia forward to a strong future as we recover from this crisis.
“It is my hope that this month we can have an open and honest dialogue where we need to go as a nation to heal our scars and create a more just and equitable society.”
Delegate Hala Ayala spoke on the House floor yesterday honoring the one year anniversary of the historic vote in the General Assembly making Virginia the 28th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Delegate Hala Ayala was the Chief Co-patron on the bill and spearheaded the effort with women’s activists across the state.