The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Aug. 15 announced its first round of 2019 political candidate endorsements, stating its support for various individuals running for Virginia state-level seats.

In the Virginia House, the coalition endorsed 27 individuals from districts spanning the state. Among those endorsed included Indian American Suhas Subramanyam, who is vying for a seat in the 87th Legislative District.

Meanwhile, in the state Senate, the coalition has backed 16 candidates, including Ghazala Hashmi of the 10th District.

Subramanyam won his Democratic primary handily in June with 47.3 percent of the vote in the four-candidate race (see India-West article here: https://bit.ly/31L6Pty).

The Indian American has dedicated his life to serving his community and solving some of the country’s biggest challenges. While at Tulane University and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, his community service work in the aftermath of the storm propelled him into a life of community service. He helped organize volunteers to rebuild and revitalize communities affected by the storm and, as president of the college's environmental club, pushed local officials to prioritize environmental standards during the rebuild. Subramanyam graduated summa cum laude and turned down lucrative corporate opportunities to help get Democratic leaders elected.

He has since worked tirelessly to improve the health and prosperity of all Virginians and Americans. He served on Capitol Hill as a health care and veterans policy aide, where he worked to expand and improve health care access to millions of Americans and drafted legislation to increase job opportunities and funding for veterans.

He later earned his law degree with honors at Northwestern University School of Law, volunteering at the Center for Wrongful Convictions. There, he was part of the legal team that freed a man who had spent 21 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He also clerked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped re-introduce the DREAM Act and worked on criminal justice reforms.

Subramanyam serves as a volunteer firefighter at Ashburn Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, and he is an active member of the Rotary Club of Ashburn. He was also appointed by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to the Loudoun Health Council, where he works to address some of the most pressing health care issues in Northern Virginia.

Hashmi won her Democratic primary by taking in 49.4 percent of the vote, nearly 10 points ahead of second place finisher (see India-West article here: https://bit.ly/31L6Pty).

Hashmi is an experienced educator and advocate who has spent over 25 years working within Virginia’s college and university system, her campaign site says.

She currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Reynolds Community College.

Hashmi immigrated to the U.S. from India 50 years ago. As an immigrant living in a small town in the South, she saw first-hand how community building and fostering important dialogue can bridge the cultural and socioeconomic divisions that we face, the bio says.

She later earned her doctorate in English from Emory University, and she and her husband moved to the Richmond area in 1991.

Their daughters were born and raised in Midlothian and educated in Chesterfield County Public Schools. Hashmi is guided by the principles of integrity, social justice, and ethics in government in her approach to public service. She is the first Muslim American woman to serve in the Virginia State Senate, according to her bio.

“These candidates will help bring a gun violence prevention majority to Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” the coalition said in a statement.

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