Virginia Capitol Connections, Winter 2023 29 for consumers and incentives for localities to expand urban green space, an increasingly important social determinant of health. She is currently a small business owner specializing in alternative pain management, medical cannabis, and internal medicine. While her chapter serving in the House of Delegates may be ending, you can still expect Delegate Adams to remain active and influential in the policy debates in Richmond — providing counsel to those who ask. Brandon Jackson served as legislative aide to Dawn Adams. Delegate Elizabeth R. Guzman is a true force of nature. An amazing public servant, she cares deeply about her community and our Commonwealth. When she sees injustice or the remnants of antiquated structural and systemic unfairness, she is unstoppable. I’m proud to call her my friend and colleague. While I hope her life in public service is not finished, I join the many thousands of people from every corner of the Commonwealth who are sad that her voice will not be in the General Assembly next year. This is because she brings a unique perspective to advocacy and public policy that, before her, was not typically seen in Virginia. Immigrants, New Americans, workers, and those seldom heard from in the corridors of power know that they are losing a champion. They are losing someone who understands their struggles in a deeply personal way. That is because she has lived them herself. Delegate Guzman was elected to represent the 31st District in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, flipping a long-held Republican district covering parts of Prince William County and Fauquier County. In a historic freshman class, Elizabeth was the first and only Latina immigrant and one of two of the first Latinas to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly in its 400-year history. Elizabeth immigrated to Northern Virginia from Peru as a young, single mother with only $300 in her pocket. She worked three minimum-wage jobs to pay for her classes at Northern Virginia Community College. She eventually went on to earn two master’s degrees. Elizabeth first got involved in politics in 2006 as an activist fighting the County Board Chair’s efforts to bring the 287(g) partnership with ICE to Prince William County. Nearly a decade and a half later, Elizabeth successfully led the charge to end the program and was appointed to be a member of the county’s Jail Board. Shortly after her election, Elizabeth was invited by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to give the 2018 Spanish-language response to President Trump’s State of the Union address. She was also elected by her colleagues to serve as Chair of her Freshman Class and campaigned across the Commonwealth as the Virginia Co-Chair of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Later in the year, she proudly accepted an invitation from the Biden campaign to serve on now-President Joe Biden’s National Latino Leadership Council. During her time in the General Assembly, Elizabeth distinguished herself through her work on public education, immigrants’ rights, and workers’ rights. During her tenure in the House of Delegates, she consistently advocated for increased funding for English Language Learners and introduced legislation to provide paid sick leave for all Elizabeth R. Guzman Delegate 2017-2024 BY ALFONSO LOPEZ Visit cardinalnews.org to have our newsletter delivered to your inbox, to see who supports us, and to join the growing list of donors. Markus Schmidt Political Reporter markus@ cardinalnews.org (804) 822-1594 Introducing Cardinal News - an independent, nonpro t, nonpartisan online news site telling the important stories of Southwest and Southside Virginia. Our mission is to provide in-depth reporting on the political, economic and cultural trends shaping and re-shaping our region. employees in Virginia. Among her many legislative accomplishments during her six years in office are ending the decades-long ban on collective bargaining in Virginia, providing paid sick leave for home healthcare workers, and raising the age at which juveniles are automatically tried as adults from 14 to 16.