Nicholas Da Silva
Running for Council
For Nicholas Da Silva, the path to politics started on a late summer day in Charlottesville, when a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the “Unite the Right” rally. One woman was killed and dozens were injured on August 12, 2017. Da Silva was among the crowd. After nearly being hit, he decided politics were the way to make a change.
Less than a month after graduating VCU with a political science degree, Da Silva, former head of the university’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter, has set his sights on the 5th District’s open seat on Richmond’s city council.
“It was such a profoundly life changing experience that I realized I couldn’t ignore the conditions around me anymore,” Da Silva said of the Charlottesville protest.
The alumnus said he intends to implement five policy changes: greater tenant empowerment, equal access to healthy food, an increase in public transportation, increased police accountability and increased funding to public schools.
“It’s time for the city council to grow up and value our next generation,” Da Silva said, criticizing what he considers city council’s unwillingness to update Richmond Public Schools.
Housing must be treated as a right. Our city must invest in additional public and affordable housing to ensure all working-class people have a place to call home. By collecting tax revenue from our largest corporations we can ensure the workers who power Richmond have housing.
5th District resident Marissa Parker signed Da Silva’s petition to enter the election ballot.
University of Richmond associate professor Thad Williamson is also running in the 5th District. Williamson teaches leadership studies and often incorporates social justice into his curriculum. Before pursuing the open seat, Williamson served on Mayor Stoney’s Anti-Poverty Commission and served as co-chair of the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty.
Da Silva is endorsed by Del. Lee Carter, a Democrat who represents Prince William County and the city of Manassas. Da Silva interned for Carter in 2018. The Richmond chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America voted to endorse Da Silva on Tuesday.