Senate Democrats are Ready to Listen and Lead

Richmond—Today, Senate Democrats released the following statement: 

"The events that unfolded over the past week are deeply upsetting.  There is no place in our Commonwealth for racism or sexual assault and as more information comes to light we are committed to holding those in power accountable for their actions.

"Even as our faith in our executive leaders has been shaken, we are determined to continue our fight in the Senate for a better Virginia, one that represents our shared values of equity, inclusion, and opportunity for all.  Yet, we know that no single action or piece of legislation can serve as the necessary reconciliation that these times demand.

"Our Commonwealth has a painful and regretful history, one whose reach extends much further than many of us may have grasped. Let us be clear: we condemn the racist use of blackface and treat these revelations with profound disappointment and concern.  We believe, too, that any instance of sexual assault is abhorrent and that all allegations deserve to be heard and treated seriously. In the wake of these many hurtful and developing stories, we are hopeful that a broader conversation can take place so that change can come.

"As a caucus, as a party, and as Virginians -- our diversity is our strength.  As we continue our work here in Richmond for our constituents, we hope, in partnership with our colleagues in the Legislative Black Caucus, to step up and help lead this conversation as much as we listen. This weekend we will return to our districts and begin this dialogue, but that can only be the first step to reconciling our past with the bright future we envision as Democrats. As we acknowledge this, we also know that the road is long. We understand it will not be our words that will lead us through these tough times, but our actions that will lift up the voices that for far too long have been silenced."

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