Today Veena Lothe, Executive Director of Emerge Va joins us to talk about the increasing diversity of women candidates for office and how Emerge VA is training women to run.
Ms. Lothe is a proud first-generation Indian-American. Her parents moved to rural West Virginia in the early 1960’s, where her father served as a physician. He dedicated his life serving the impoverished population of the Appalachian coalfields, which taught her the value of service. These lessons of service stayed with Veena throughout her life.
After graduating from Cornell Law School, Veena followed in a career of service by working as a civil rights, union-side labor, and immigration attorney. Veena has been in the Greater Richmond area since 1999, raising her two kids and putting them through public schools. Veena is active in the community as a school volunteer, serves as a board member at the Shady Grove Y, Re-Establish Richmond and volunteers as a grassroots activist and immigration advocate. She is active in the local democratic committee, having served as a magisterial chair and campaign volunteer.
Veena ran for the Virginia State Senate in 2019, gaining over 40% of the primary vote as a first-time candidate of color. Her campaign brought together diverse groups from across the Richmond area, including many first-time voters from immigrant families.
You can follow Veena on Twitter at @VeenaforVA