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The NASW Virginia Chapter has endorsed Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield) for state lieutenant governor, citing her leadership in sponsoring and guiding the Social Work Social Compact through to passage and signature in the recent General Assembly.  


Hashmi, who received the chapter’s 2024 Legislator of the Year Award in March, also is an outspoken advocate for reproductive justice, voting rights, financial aid for students to participate in work-based learning, and equitable healthcare access, especially for underrepresented populations.   


“The commitment and expertise Sen. Hashmi has demonstrated to social workers and to their key social and racial justice issues make her an obvious choice for Virginia’s next lieutenant governorship,” says NASWVA Executive Director Debra Riggs. “We are pleased to endorse her candidacy and to continue working with her to advance NASW policy and professional priorities.”


On May 17, Gov. Youngkin vetoed the senator’s Right to Contraception bill (SB237), which would have codified the rights of all birthing individuals to obtain and use contraception. Youngkin proposed an amendment to add a “conscience clause” to let providers refuse to fill birth control prescriptions due to religious beliefs. His amendment also would have permitted the right to contraception only as “federal law” continues to allow it. Both “gutting” amendments were dealbreakers for Hashmi and the majority of the General Assembly. 


Two U.S. Supreme Court justices have already said they would like the court to “revisit” its June 7, 1965, landmark case, Griswold vs. Connecticut, which struck down the state’s former ban on contraception for married couples. 


Faced again with the original version of Hashmi’s bill, Youngkin vetoed it.


“If we want to protect our freedoms, stand against hate, and build a future that uplifts all of us, including our most vulnerable, we have to always fight for what is right,” said Hashmi in her campaign announcement in May. “When I first ran, I realized that any one of us can make a positive, meaningful difference. We each have a responsibility to raise our voice and stand up against injustice, particularly those injustices that impact our neighbors and our communities.”


“I’m running because we are just one vote away in the state Senate from MAGA extremism overrunning our schools, reproductive health care, gun safety measures, voting rights, and much more,” she continued.  


In addition to NASW Virginia’s Legislator of the Year Award, Hashmi has received numerous organizational honors such as the Defender of Choice Award by REPRO Rising, a leading state abortion rights group; Legislative Champion of the Year Award by the Virginia Education Association for promoting increased public school funding and opposing school book bans; and multiple Virginia League of Conservation Voters Legislative Hero Awards—as well as the Sierra Club’s Environmental Hero Award--for advancing environmental justice.


Representing thousands of Virginia social workers, NASW Virginia is a state arm of the National Association of Social Workers. Its mission is to educate, support, and advocate for social workers in all specialties and settings across their career spans.  

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