Richmond, VA — The national advocacy group Food & Water Action is endorsing Karishma Mehta and Richard Walker in the races for House District 49 and 71, respectively, citing their bold climate and environmental justice policies. Both candidates endorse the Green New Deal for Virginia, and support a moratorium on fracking and new fossil fuel projects. Both candidates have also pledged to take on corporate interests from Dominion to pipeline developers.
Karishma Mehta is running as the first woman of color to represent Virginia’s 49th House District. The daughter of immigrants, Mehta grew up in a working class family, with a childhood fraught with xenophobia and racism. Having experienced firsthand the intersectionality of these issues and environmental injustice, Mehta is well poised to serve as a climate champion in the Virginia House of Delegates. In addition to bold environmental justice policies that will move Virginia rapidly off fossil fuels through a just transition, Mehta also supports strict factory farm regulations that safeguard public health, curtail air and water pollution, and bolster Virginia’s independent food and farming economy.
A strong opposition leader to the destructive Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Richard Walker brings a critical focus on criminal justice reform, and a firsthand perspective on environmental justice policy to Virginia’s 71st House District. Walker has fought to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated Virginians and runs Bridging the Gap where he helps people move beyond systemic barriers to find meaningful employment. Beyond victories in leading pipeline fights, Walker’s environmental policies and background include victories in Union Hill to bring internet access and solar economy jobs to the community.
With the endorsements, Food & Water Action Southern Region Director Jorge Aguilar issued the following statement:
“Karishma Mehta is the climate champion Virginia needs. Mehta has the vision to end the commonwealth’s destructive reliance on fossil fuels, and the power to stand up to corporate monopolies like Dominion. Her commitment to ban fossil fuel infrastructure, move rapidly to 100% renewable energy statewide and ensure a just transition represent the bold leadership that Virginia sorely needs. We are proud to endorse her candidacy for Virginia’s 49th district.
For years, Richard Walker has been our fierce ally in the field fighting against the dirty Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Walker will bring to the House of Delegates the same tenacity, strength and clear vision to see Virginia through a rapid and just transition off fossil fuels into a cleaner future that works for everyone. From criminal justice reform to enacted environmental justice legislation, Union Hill knows Walker’s power — it’s time the rest of Virginia had the privilege of his representation. We are proud to endorse his candidacy for Virginia’s 71st district.”