Alfonso H. Lopez
Alfonso H. Lopez (born July 28, 1970) is an American politician, former Obama administration official, and member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He has served in the House of Delegates since January 2012, representing the 49th district, which includes parts of southern Arlington and eastern Fairfax Counties, in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. He is a member of the Democratic Party, a former at-large member of the Democratic National Committee, and has served as the Virginia House Democratic Whip since 2016.
Alfonso H. Lopez
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
from the 49th district
|Assumed office |
January 11, 2012
|Preceded by||Adam Ebbin|
|Born||July 28, 1970|
|Committees||Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources; Militia, Police, and Public Safety; Science and Technology|
Early life, family, and educationEdit
Alfonso Hoffman Lopez was born on July 28, 1970, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to Carole (née Hoffman) and Alfonso Chacón Lopez. His father, a former undocumented immigrant from Venezuela, came to the U.S. at the age of 19 and worked as a busboy before teaching himself English and working toward a management position with the Marriott Corporation. He is now retired. His mother, an American woman of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, taught and counseled in the Arlington Public Schools system for thirty years before passing away in 2008.
As a young child, Lopez's family traveled extensively, living in Liberia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Venezuela, before settling in Northern Virginia. He attended Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, graduating in 1988. He received a B.A. degree from Vassar College in 1992 and a J.D. from the Tulane University Law School in 1995. While in law school, he twice served as an intern in the Clinton administration, first in 1993 for the Domestic Policy Council and again in 1995 for the Council on Environmental Quality. Lopez credits the experience of interning at the White House for igniting his interest in politics and policy.
After graduating from law school, Lopez worked on policy issues for Physicians for Social Responsibility, before joining the staff of Senator Robert G. Torricelli as a legislative assistant in 1999. He later worked as a lobbyist for the Arlington-based firm Alcalde & Fay, representing clients such as the city of Virginia Beach.
During this time, Lopez became active in Virginia politics. In 2004, he served as the president of the Arlington Young Democrats and helped found the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia, the Latino caucus arm of the Democratic Party of Virginia, serving as its first president. That same year, he was named the “Virginia Young Democrat of the Year.” In 2005, after the election of Lt. Governor Tim Kaine as governor of Virginia, Lopez was appointed Deputy Policy Director for the governor-elect's transition team.
In 2006, Lopez was named by Governor Kaine as the Director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington, D.C., a cabinet-level position responsible for directing and supervising congressional and federal relations for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that role, Lopez also served as the Governor's representative to the National Governors Association, Democratic Governors Association and the Southern Governors Association.
In 2010, after the conclusion of Kaine's term as governor, Lopez joined the Obama administration as Assistant Administrator for Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Small Business Administration (SBA). While at the SBA, he worked with Congress and Obama administration officials to pass the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Virginia House of DelegatesEdit
In 2011, Virginia Delegate Adam Ebbin announced that he would not seek reelection to the House of Delegates in order to campaign for the Virginia Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Patsy Ticer. On May 4th, Lopez announced his candidacy for the House of Delegates seat being vacated by Delegate Ebbin, representing Virginia's 49th district. He won with nearly 66% of the vote in a two-way Democratic primary on August 23rd and ran unopposed in the general election.
He has won every general election since, never falling below 78% of the vote in this heavily Democratic-leaning district.
In February 2014, Lopez announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Jim Moran. Lopez ended his candidacy the following April, before the Democratic primary.
Lopez was sworn in on January 11, 2012, as the delegate from Virginia's 49th district.
In the House of Delegates, Lopez has prioritized legislation focusing on environmental issues, immigrant rights, and small businesses. His first several years in the House of Delegates, Lopez pushed for legislation granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who had grown up in the Commonwealth, modeling the legislation after the federal DREAM Act introduced in the U.S. Congress. In 2013, he passed legislation creating the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, which provides loans and grant funding for affordable housing projects in Virginia. In 2018, Lopez passed legislation extending a state tax credit for jobs created in the field of renewable energy.
In 2015, Delegate Lopez was selected to serve as the campaign chair and political director of the House Democratic Caucus. In 2016, he was appointed Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and currently serves in this position. Appointed by Speaker of the House of Delegates, Lopez serves on the Virginia Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation and the Virginia Small Business Commission.
Committees and caucusesEdit
Lopez serves on the House committees on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources; Militia, Police and Public Safety; and Science and Technology.
Lope has remained active with caucus memberships, founding the Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus in 2015 with then-Senator Donald McEachin and Delegates David Bulova and Rip Sullivan. In 2018, following the elections of the first two Latina members of the Virginia General Assembly, Lopez founded the Virginia Latino Caucus with Delegates Hala Ayala, Elizabeth Guzman, Patrick Hope, and Jason Miyares — the first of its kind to represent Virginia's Latino population in the General Assembly. He currently serves as chair of both caucuses.
In late 2017, Lopez was criticized for performing work for ICA-Farmville, an immigrant detention facility in southern Virginia, during the later years of the Obama administration. Outside of his service in the House of Delegates — a part-time legislature — Lopez serves as a partner at two consulting firms focused on business and government management. The employment for the ICA-Farmville facility was indicated on publicly released financial disclosures dating to 2014, 2015, and 2016. A collection of activists and various immigrant student groups released a petition with over 200 signatures demanding Lopez sever any ties to the facility, apologize for his association with the facility, and pay reparations to the undocumented immigrants housed at the facility.
Lopez responded to the criticism with a statement pointing to his pro-immigrant legislative record, as well as his leading role in fighting against conservative legislation to ban sanctuary cities and mandate local police compliance with detention requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Several Virginia Latino community leaders and activists released statements expressing their support for Lopez.
The ICA-Farmville facility did not appear on his public financial disclosure released in early 2017.
|Virginia House of Delegates, 49th district|
|Aug 23, 2011||Democratic primary||Alfonso H. Lopez||2,143||65.93|
|Stephanie L. Clifford||1,107||34.06|
|Nov 8, 2011||General||Alfonso H. Lopez||Democratic||7,005||95.89|
|Adam Ebbin was elected to the Senate; seat stayed Democratic|
|Nov 5, 2013||General||Alfonso H. Lopez||Democratic||13,087||77.98|
|Terry Modglin||Independent Green||3,505||20.88|
|Nov 3, 2015||General||Alfonso H. Lopez||Democratic||7,904||100|
|Nov 7, 2017||General||Alfonso H. Lopez||Democratic||19,308||81.30|
- "Meet Alfonso". alfonsolopez.org. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- "Sarah Zevin and Alfonso Lopez". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "In Re-Election Bid, Alfonso Lopez Hopes to Keep Advocating For Constituents". ARLnow. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "49th District contenders see areas of agreement, dispute in first forum". InsideNOVA. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "The Voice Vol. 33, No. 8" (PDF). arlingtondemocrats.org. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "Lopez, head of liaison office, is still awed by opportunities in U.S." alfonsolopez.org. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "New Contender in 49th House Race Rips GOP Majority in Richmond". alfonsolopez.org. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Blue Virginia Interviews with 49th House of Delegates District Candidates: Alfonso Lopez". bluevirginia.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Lopez Announces Congressional Run". WTOP. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Va. Del Alfonso Lopez drops out of 8th congressional district Democratic primary". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Lopez Reintroduces DREAM Act Legislation". WTOP. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "McAuliffe awards millions for affordable housing in Virginia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "2013 General Assembly Wrap-up". Better Housing Coalition. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Legislature extends tax credit for 'green' job creation". InsideNOVA. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Legislation". alfonsolopez.org. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Lopez Launches Caucus to Tackle Environmental Concerns in Virginia". Arlington Patch. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Lopez Announces Formation of Virginia Latino Caucus in General Assembly". ARLnow. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Local delegate founds Latino caucus in Richmond". InsideNOVA. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Pro-immigrant activists pressure Democratic state lawmaker over ties to Farmville detention center". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "Alfonso Lopez Cut ALL ties to Private Immigration Company and Pay Reparations to Migrants". mijente. Retrieved 2018-02-23.
- "Statement from Del. Alfonso Lopez, Statements of Support Responding to "La ColectiVa" Criticisms". Blue Virginia. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
- "August 2011 Democratic Primary Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "November 2011 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "General Election: Nov. 5, 2013". Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "General Election: Nov. 3, 2015". Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "General Election: Nov. 7, 2017". Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2018-03-15.