LaKeesha S. Atkinson

Key Facts

Party Nonpartisan
Status Challenger

Background

LaKeesha “Klu” Atkinson graduated from Norfolk State University with aBS majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology [1]. Atkinson is founder of “Believe, Pray, Overcome”, a philanthropic societal issues movement. Fundraising events established through the movement include Haircuts for the Homeless, Pink GridIron 757, Everybody Eat, and VA to MI. The movement includes “We Are Against Bullying”, a program focused on bullying prevention. Furthermore, Atkinson participated in an event with Partners in the Community in which they collected 2,000+ water cases and delivered them to Flint, Michigan [1]. Atkinson is a member of Portsmouth NAACP Chapter and Men Alleviating Negativity Foundation Board. Atkinson also is an honorary director of the Access College Foundation, and a member of STARBASE Board [1, 10, 15].

In 2017, Atkinson was charged with obstruction of justice for interfering with an investigation. Officers say they had detained two people in connection with a stolen car when Atkinson approached and asked how old they were. These charges were dropped after prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence. Atkinson maintained she did nothing wrong [6, 7, 8]. In 2021, Atkinson was charged with a felony after allegedly participating in a demonstration at the Portsmouth Confederate monument and vandalizing it, including pulling the heads off the monument’s statues. The charges were dropped and her attorney argued that Atkinson and other clients were due payment for being “improperly defamed” when there was “no credible evidence to support the charges.” Portsmouth paid out $150,000 to the 10 people that were arrested in connection to the vandalism [3, 5].

Key Issues

LGBTQIA+

Atkinson supports the Portsmouth City School Board’s adoption of Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students legislation developed by the Virginia Department of Education. The policy states that school practices should be gender neutral, and that transgender students should be allowed to use restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity [4].

Safety

Atikinson supports the PPS Office of Youth Risk Prevention and their partnership with StopTheViolence757 concerning gun violence prevention. She believes in spreading awareness about gun violence [10].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Portsmouth Public Schools
2 Ballotpedia
3 Washington Times
4 News 3 WTKR
5 US News
6 ABC 8 News
7 13 News Now
8 The Virginian Pilot
9 VPAP
10 Facebook
11 Instagram
12 Virginia Department of Elections
13 Federal Pay
14 Wikiwand
15 College Access
16 The City of Portsmouth