Hala Ayala

Key Facts

Party Democrat
Status Challenger

Background

Hala Ayala attained an associate’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix. She worked as a cybersecurity specialist under the US Department of Homeland Security. Ayala founded Prince William County’s chapter of the National Organization for Women, serving as the president. She also has been a member of Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) Advisory Council on Women. In 2017, Ayala was elected to the House of Delegates, one of the first Hispanic women to do so. She served as Vice Chair of the Communications, Technology and Innovation Committee and was a member of both the House Finance Committee and Labor and Commerce Committee from 2020-2021.

Key Issues

Gun Policy

Ayala plans to tackle gun violence by banning undetectable firearms such as “ghost guns”, military-style assault weapons, and domestic abusers’ access to firearms as well as preventing those convicted of hate crimes from possessing firearms. To improve enforcement of gun laws, she wants to partner with federal legislators and repeal the Tiahrt Amendments which have historically restricted law enforcement from fully investigating gun violence crimes. Ayala also supports a legislative declaration of gun violence as a public health crisis. She has previously fought for stronger background checks, extension of wait periods for gun sales, and red flag laws as Chief Deputy Whip in the Democratic Majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Healthcare

Ayala wants to provide all Virginians with quality, affordable healthcare. She plans on supporting rural healthcare and its expansion, tackling prescription drug price transparency and cost issues, prioritizing and decriminalizing mental health, fighting racism in healthcare, modernizing healthcare infrastructure, protecting disabled Virginians, and defending reproductive rights. While serving in the General Assembly, Ayala helped expand Medicaid and capped insulin at $50/month to expand access to healthcare. In support of rural healthcare, Ayala passed legislation aimed to spread broadband access. In promoting equitable healthcare, she assembled a workgroup to create Virginia’s first Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team designed to review and advise the General Assembly, eliminating policies that support Virginia’s gaping disparities. To protect disabled individuals and improve our healthcare infrastructure, Ayala advocated for additional budget funding.

Women's Rights

Ayala supports access to birth control and contraception and womens’ right to choose. She will support policies and legislation that create workspace equity and ensure equal pay for equal work. She helped organize Virginia’s participation in the Women’s March after Donald Trump’s election and founded the Prince William chapter of the National Organization for Women. In 2020, she was the Chief co-patron on the bill that made Virginia the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to get women’s equality into the U.S. Constitution. Hala also introduced a bill to help address fetal and infant mortality rates throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on racial disparities and is working for paid family leave.

Education

Ayala will work with the Administration and General Assembly to expand Pre-K, reduce overcrowding in classrooms, and invest in school infrastructure. She will support measures to make college more affordable for all Virginians as well as lead the charge to create and improve training programs for those who choose not to attend a four-year college. She will also support an expansion of the G3 program as well as increased funding apprenticeship and internship programs, as well as career and technical education certificates.

Endorsements

Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia; Eileen Filler-Corn, Speaker of the House of Delegates; Charniele Herring, House Majority Leader; Dawn Adams, Delegate; Stephanie Lynch, Richmond Councilwoman; Cyndy Neville, Dumfries Councilwoman

Sources

Ayala Hala

GMU School of Policy and Government

Ballotpedia