top of page
PACE - Virginia (Political Action for Candidate Election)

PACE is NASWVA's Political Action Committee.

The purpose of the VA-PACE committee is:

  1. To help elect candidates to public office who support the goals and objectives of the social work profession and its clients in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  2. To promote NASW legislative policies through support of pro-human service candidates.

  3. To promote political education, full participation, and lawful political actions among members of the social work profession in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Do you want to impact the political process? We are always looking for members to join PACE!


WHAT IS THE ROLE? The main duty and responsibility is to determine where donated member funds given to NASWVA's Political Action Committee should go. Through the PAC, NASWVA supports candidates who support NASWVA policies and legislation that help social workers and those we serve.


WHO IS NEEDED? Members of this committee are critical in furthering NASWVA's political goals, and we are looking for a few members to join this group. You are interested in policy and the issues that affect our work and our clients, and you'd like to meet some of the candidates. If you can research, analyze, and understand candidate stances to make meaningful suggestions on those whom NASWVA's PAC should support, your help is needed.


REQUIREMENTS & TIME COMMITMENT? You must be an NASWVA member in good standing. The committee meets primarily running up to the election cycle. Time commitment varies based on the year, the number of key races, and the needs of the organization.


If you are interested in joining PACE, please reach out to Debra Riggs at

How Endorsements are Made

The goal of any endorsement is to elect candidates who support NASW policy positions and increase visibility for NASW in the process. NASW also gains candidates’ recognition, improves connections with elected officials, advances NASW’s policy agenda, and builds respect for NASW as a powerful and committed activist organization. NASW’s policy positions are based on issues found in NASW’s policy statements as outlined in Social Work Speaks. NASW members vote every three years vote on those policy statements at Delegate Assembly.



PACE - Virginia has the authority to endorse or make financial contributions to candidates for only state and local office. National PACE oversees federal races because of the national strategy that takes into consideration goals of the entire association.



  • Staff consults with the respective chapter and compiles information about the candidate’s viability and support for key issues of concern to the social work community.

  • PACE interviews challenger candidates on the phone or in person.

  • If the candidate has been elected before, PACE researches the candidate’s voting record.

  • The national PACE Board of Trustees endorses candidates for federal office after reviewing staff research and recommendations.

  • Once the endorsement decision is complete, PACE communicates to members, and communicates to candidates in writing, and in person when possible.


Endorsement Criteria

Endorsements of political candidates are done on the basis of several criteria, not by political party affiliation. Agreement with every NASW position is not required. Criteria may include:

  • Issues that the candidate supports or opposes

  • Viability of the campaign, such as money raised and name recognition

  • Whether the current officeholder is seeking re-election

  • Specific assistance in achieving NASW’s legislative goals

  • Building an electoral presence for future campaigns

  • Leadership position of the incumbent, such as committee assignments

  • Affirmative action considerations for candidates from underrepresented groups


Levels of Endorsement

PACE gives one of the following levels of support to each candidate:

  • Letter of endorsement

  • Financial contribution

  • Members to volunteer on campaign phone banks and distribute literature


Contribute Today!

All donations go 100% toward the cost of the Chapter’s lobbying, testifying at the capitol, and mobilizing members through alerts and phone banking. $5 per member would cover these costs but not every member can give, so please be as generous as you can be.

Please contact the Chapter Office if you are interested in making a donation.

bottom of page