Post submitted by Aaron Rodriguez, former Rapid Response Deputy Press Secretary
HRC celebrated Danica Roem’s swearing-in to the Virginia House of Delegates as the next representative of District 13. Roem is now Virginia’s first out transgender public official and the nation's only out transgender state representative.
“Delegate Danica Roem’s victory was a game changer, sending a clear warning to anti-equality lawmakers across the country that the days of attacking LGBTQ people to scare up votes are over,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “HRC was proud to endorse her candidacy and to mobilize around her campaign. Today, as she is sworn in to the Virginia House of Delegates, Danica Roem is giving hope to LGBTQ people -- especially transgender young people-- all across this country. We congratulate Delegate Roem on this historic achievement and look forward to working with her to advance equality for all Virginians.”
En route to her historic victory, Roem unseated former Delegate Bob Marshall, who had a vicious, anti-LGBTQ record. In addition to working to make Virginia a more inclusive commonwealth for all, Delegate Roem is committed to moving Virginia forward by passing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, improving affordable access to health care, updating the Virginia Human Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation, and removing outdated, unconstitutional language on marriage equality that still exists in the Virginia code.
Working hand-in-hand with Equality Virginia, HRC worked aggressively in the commonwealth to get out the vote for Roem. HRC also worked to turn out the vote for Ralph Northam for governor, Justin Fairfax for lieutenant governor, and Mark Herring for attorney general — all of whom claimed victory in their respective races. HRC’s efforts were strategically targeted and included voters in all of the 15 legislative districts that elected new pro-equality candidates. HRC’s efforts more broadly targeted an estimated 185,366 LGBTQ voters and hundreds of thousands more allied voters in the commonwealth. The organization engaged fair-minded Virginia voters through targeted social media, emails, text alerts, direct mail, phone calls, door-to-door canvassing, and other crucial efforts.
HRC’s work in Virginia is part of a bold, proactive grassroots expansion called HRC Rising — the largest grassroots expansion and earliest deployment of resources in its 37-year history. The campaign has already hired a dozen new staff to lead the effort, aimed at expanding and mobilizing its grassroots army of 3 million members to bolster pro-equality candidates and initiatives in key states across 2018. To get involved or learn more about HRC Rising, visit hrc.im/rising.