RICHMOND, Va. — In the weeks leading to Election Day, candidates for Virginia's highest offices will answer questions about their qualifications on the CBS 6 News at 7.
Princess Blanding is the Liberation Party candidate running for Governor of Virginia. Scroll down for a transcript of her interview with Bill Fitzgerald.
BILL FITZGERALD: So tell us what is this election about?
PRINCESS BLANDING: Absolutely. This election is about the people is about the community members, the most marginalized community members, working-class community members, you know, across the Commonwealth, it's about ensuring that liberation is a human right. Not a privilege for all Virginians.
BILL FITZGERALD: Well, I was going to ask you about that. Because as a third party candidate, typically they struggle to get some traction because obviously politics is dominated by the two big parties. What does it mean to be a part of the Liberation Party? And what does that mean for Virginians? Who might be saying, Hey, what is this about? Maybe I should give it a shot?
PRINCESS BLANDING: Absolutely. So I decided to run for governor due to the continuous failures of the two-party system, specifically the Democratic Party, which has historically taken advantage of the votes of our most marginalized community members of our Black and brown community members. And so you know, after the unjust murder of George Floyd in 2020, I made the decision along with so many others, that we will no longer beg our oppressors to be our saviors, and that we must expand our fight from the streets into the seats of these key elected positions to ensure that liberation is a human right, for all Virginians, and not a privilege.
BILL FITZGERALD: Now you have a very elaborate platform on your website, starting with criminal justice reform, are the reforms that we have seen in these past sessions or two with a democratically controlled legislature and of course, a Democratic governor. They fall short and just too many areas is that what led to an obviously the moment Memorial Day 2020 was an explosive day where a lot of the world suddenly saw what might be happening. It's just not enough. Is that what it is? Is that why you need to go further?
PRINCESS BLANDING: Sure. So what we're dealing with is politicians who continuously put profit in politics over people, and they keep delivering us crumbs. We're dealing with performative politics. So we have legislators that we have entrusted to uplift the voices, needs and concerns of all Virginians, but they only take the path of least resistance. So for example, you know, twice within six months, although the Virginia Democratic Party has a majority in the House, Senate, and we have a Democratic governor, they killed the bill twice to end qualified immunity, and they pass the weak watered-down Marcus Alert bill in a week, watered-down enabling independent, severe review board bill, what are all bills, you know, these are all cries from community members across the Commonwealth.
BILL FITZGERALD: So what else would you like to see in terms of criminal justice reform? Obviously, you said those three bills, one of which named after your brother who was killed by a police officer during a mental health crisis, the Marcus Alert, for example, now does bring in a social worker, or at least a qualified behavioral health expert to such incidents. That's not enough, though, for that bill.
PRINCESS BLANDING: It's not enough, simply because what we were fighting for is, again, mental health professionals along with peer recovery specialists to take the lead. If a police officer is to be in a stand-down position unless the scene became unsafe or unstable. We were calling for them to mobilize an unmarked, nonpolice car, you know, with no sirens and lights. Because we understand that even community members with things such as autism, the lights, the loud sirens, they can trigger a person to start moving and that can be perceived as a threat to the police officer. And so with us not ending qualified immunity, they're able to keep taking the stance that they feared for their life. Again, what we're fighting for is for our legislators to prioritize community care and safety.
BILL FITZGERALD: And when you talk about criminal justice reform, you talk about racial justice and environmental justice, it seems a lot of it is about getting equity out into the underserved community, largely the Black and brown community.
PRINCESS BLANDING: You're a smart man. What we're essentially fighting for, and all of our policy stances is equity and humanity. And I think that's what hurts so much. And that's what touches so many community members across the Commonwealth, Democratic, Republican, Independent is that they see they understand is that what we're essentially fighting for when we say ensuring that liberation is a human right, not a privilege is housing for all, you know, food sovereignty, Medicare for all that's at the bottom of Bloom's Taxonomy just to meet our basic needs for survival.
BILL FITZGERALD: We are running out of time, but what is day one gonna look like if Princess Blanding is the next governor of Virginia?
PRINCESS BLANDING: Absolutely. So we will have a mass mobilization to the polls to ensure that I am the governor, that I am the governor for the people of Virginia and as governor, I will immediately declare a climate emergency, I will immediately pass the bill to end qualified immunity and I will work diligently collaboratively with community members across the Commonwealth to prioritize and to uplift and address the voices and user concerns of opportunities.
Go in-depth with more Virginia candidates in our Virginia Voter Guide to the 2021 Election.
🗳️In-Depth Coverage Election 2021: Candidate Interviews
Virginia Lt. Governor's Race
Winsome Sears (R)
Virginia Attorney General Race
Mark Herring (D)
To learn more about key local elections, click here for the CBS 6 voter's guide.
Watch CBS 6 News at 7 p.m. with Bill Fitzgerald on TV, WTVR.com/LIVE or now streaming on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV. Just search "WTVR Richmond" in your app store.
Key Dates and Deadlines in Virginia
Friday, Sept. 17: Early, In-Person Voting Begins
Thursday, Oct. 12: Voter Registration Deadline
Friday, Oct. 22: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline
Saturday, Oct. 30: Early, In-Person Voting Ends
Tuesday, Nov. 2 is Election Day: In-Person Voting from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 2: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date
Friday, Nov. 5: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date