By Taylor Boyd
Martinsville native Chance Trevillian, a Democrat, is challenging incumbent Del. Les Adams for Virginia’s 16th District seat in the House of Delegates.
Trevillian, 31, said the public education system is one of the most important challenge facing the state. “I know that Virginia’s teachers rank pretty low in teacher pay in the country unfortunately. I think we’re 32nd, according to one ranking I’ve seen. That needs to be raised higher,” he said.
Trevillian’s campaign has also been endorsed by the Virginia Education Association (VEA), and while he currently does not have any funding proposals in mind, he said he would work with fellow Democrats who have already been in office to find funding opportunities.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to properly find any funding programs,” he said.
In addition to the issues facing the state’s public education, Trevillian said the lack of union rights is a major challenge.
“I believe expanding union rights would be a definite thing that we could improve on in Virginia,” he said, but did not explain how he would address that issue.
Virginia is excelling at voting rights, Trevillian said. “We’re now one of the more friendly and accessible states to vote in. It’s definitely a huge boost to the area, with a month to a month-and-a-half of early voting. It’s just excellent.”
In the 16th district, Trevillian said residents have excelled at persevering throughout the pandemic.
“I’m really proud of our district for fighting through and doing what we can to work where we can and stay safe where we can,” he said, adding jokingly that “my district has excelled at managing to stay sane for the past year-and-a-half.”
The downside is there is a lack of community activism.
“I want to get more people involved, I want to get more people activated, and improve advocacy in the area,” he said.
Trevillian said the desire to get more people involved in politics is one of the main reasons he decided to run for the district seat.
“If they see their delegate regularly trying to reach out to them, speaking with them, conversing with them, and hearing their needs, it would motivate people to get more involved in the political process,” he said, and added that he would have an open-door policy for constituents and is open to holding regular town halls throughout the district.
Trevillian also wants to work to dispel the notion that every politician is corrupt and restore faith in politicians. He believes being as transparent as possible will help in this endeavor.
“One of the popular sentiments among people is that the system’s all full of crooks and all of that unfortunate rhetoric. I’m running to show that there are people who generally want to help improve our communities and positively improve people’s lives,” he said.
In addition to wanting to improve public education and expand union rights, Trevillian wants to continue the minimum wage raise fight and assist in Medicaid expansion.
“We need to continue to see the wages rise instead of staying stagnant,” he said, adding that he also is interested in fighting against climate change.
“I know that there’s a pipeline being proposed for the area, I think it’s the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We don’t need any more pipelines here in Virginia. We need to hold the progress and work towards decommissioning the current pipelines so we can get to a clean slate” and then expand green energy jobs in the area, he said.
Trevillian said he would also represent those in the disability community, because he primarily uses a wheelchair to get around.
“I know the struggles working with a disability can involve and can show people that anyone can run for office; that you don’t need to be a fancy lawyer or have a doctorate degree or anything fancy, and if you want to make a difference in your area, you can run and get more people engaged. I just want to be that positive influence,” he said.
Trevillian currently works as a switch board operator at Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC). He graduated from Magna Vista High School in 2009 and obtained an associate degree in liberal arts from Danville Community College. He also worked on his teaching degree in elementary education at Longwood University.
Trevillian currently lives with his mother, two dogs, and one cat, and is close to his uncles. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music, particularly Pink Floyd, playing video games, being around his friends, and taking bubble baths.