3 Questions With Virginia Del. Alfonso Lopez
Affordable housing is a top issue for the minority whip.
In November, Virginia state delegate and minority whip Alfonso Lopez, a Democrat, was handily re-elected to a fourth term representing Virginia’s 49th district, which includes Seven Corners, Bailey’s Crossroads, Crystal City and Pentagon City.
Describe an accomplishment you’re proud of.
When the Department of Motor Vehicles on Four Mile Run [was going to be moved in late 2015], I worked…to stop that because I knew it would mean folks would have to drive [farther] away to get to the nearest DMV. We not only kept the DMV [in that location], we saved the state money, increased the number of booths, made the process faster and added another DMV in North Arlington.
Name a colleague you respect, but don’t always agree with politically.
Israel O’Quinn [R-5th District]. He and I were classmates together and elected the same year. We enjoy each other’s company, [but] he and I have gone toe-to-toe on the environment a lot. Also, Steve Landes [R-25th District]. We are on the opposite sides of almost every vote, but he really values the institution of the General Assembly.
And a big challenge facing Arlington?
Access to affordable housing—apartments, rents and mortgages. I’m proud that my legislation created the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in Virginia in 2016. But now we need to go further.
Note: This interview was condensed for brevity from two conversations in December 2017 and February 2018.