Virginia Union University graduate Nadarius Clark has made history both as a Black man and as a young man by winning the seat of the 79th District House of Delegates. According to 13NewsNow, “Clark is officially the youngest Democratic delegate in all of the Commonwealth’s history to be elected to the General Assembly. He is also the first African American to serve the 79th District.”
Learn more about Nadarius Clark from his candidate profile recorded prior to his win in the by Adrienne Mayfield from Virginia news station WAVY10 below.
Nadarius Clark is a progressive community activist, organizer, and Democratic nominee for delegate in the 79th District. He comes from a military family with a background in business entrepreneurship. Clark grew up in a strong faith community, and his family attends Holy Light Church of Deliverance in Portsmouth.
Born in Norfolk, he attended I.C. Norcom High School in Downtown Portsmouth. He worked his first job at the age of 14 at his local 7-Eleven. After a house fire destroyed his family home in 2013, he went on to college and graduated from Virginia Union University, an historically black university in Richmond. These experiences gave Clark the necessary perspective and commitment to improve the livelihood of the people of Hampton Roads.
In 2016, after a KKK march disrupted classes at VUU, Clark co-founded the charter chapter of Generation Now Network, an organization committed to faith based activism, advocacy, and education. Clark has organized to elect Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover with the nonprofit organization Virginia For Our Future, and organized with the Virginia Democratic Party to help elect Rep. Bobby Scott, Sen. Tim Kaine, and President Joe Biden.
Clark got into this campaign to bring the same passion for community empowerment, racial justice, and the working class perspective to the Virginia General Assembly. If elected, Clark would also lend his perspective as the youngest delegate in over 200 years. Clark believes that representation matters, and that this is an opportunity to prove that Virginia is ready for the next generation of leaders in Richmond.
What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
Clark got his start in political organizing as an advocate for racial justice, and he will continue to prioritize this issue in the Virginia House of Delegates. He will also fight for inclusive entrepreneurship, offering opportunities for people historically left out of government incentive programs and education credits to open up opportunities for all Virginians.
Clark supports financial reparations to the descendants of slaves and supports initiatives to utilize the emerging marijuana industry to invest wealth into communities decimated by the war on drugs.
Across the south, 1,747 monuments celebrating the Confederacy still stand in public view. Clark not only supports the removal of these statues, but their replacement with celebrated black leaders and heroes of Virginia, such as decorated war hero Sgt. William Harvey Carney and union spy Mary Richards Bowser.
What is the most important issue facing your district, and what is your position on it?
For Clark, the fight for climate justice is personal. As the youngest person on the ballot in Virginia this year, Clark is personally interested in the future of this planet. Born and raised in the Tidewater region, Clark has seen the disastrous impact of climate change and rising sea levels in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.
Clark opposes continued construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and pledges never to take fossil fuel money. He will support green infrastructure initiatives, like the ones found in HB-2292, that would put a moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects by 2022.
What is your position on Virginia’s overall response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what might you have done differently?
Clark brings the perspective of a community organizer and an expert in Democratic field organizing to the education and dissemination of the COVID-19 vaccine. Clark will fight for a state vaccine field initiative to educate citizens one-on-one in their own communities to ensure everyone understands the safety and importance of this vaccine.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
Protecting Hampton Roads residents from higher eviction rates, fighting to protect and grow workers’ benefits, and investing in the economic growth of our communities are the three best ways to provide COVID-19 relief to the people of Hampton Roads.
Four of the top-10 highest eviction cities in America are found in the Hampton Roads area. Clark believes we need statewide rent control and stronger investments in public housing. Additionally, Clark supports expanding tenants’ rights to ensure no Virginian is taken advantage of by predatory landlords.
Additionally, Clark has learned from, and organized alongside, labor leaders from all over the country and he will continue this advocacy in the Virginia House of Delegates. Especially in the wake of COVID-19, Clark understands we must fight to repeal Virginia’s disastrous Right to Work laws and join other states, like Maryland, in establishing a $15-an-hour minimum wage.