Holly Hazard is an activist, advocate, attorney, leader and now a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. Her campaign - her life - is based on the principles of compassion, courage and conviction. She has translated these values into a career working for her community and fighting for justice and equity.
What started it all
Holly grew up in a large, loving family that "had everything we needed, just not a lot of what we wanted." When her father lost his job, the family lived on unemployment compensation for almost a year. This shaped her understanding of the struggles many families face and how government can be a lifeline.
For her tenth birthday, she got her first pet, a dog named Skipper. When a neighbor shot and killed Skipper, Holly learned a painful lesson about animal cruelty that sparked her life-long commitment to animal welfare.
Wanting to Change the World
Holly started her professional career as an economist but soon realized she wanted a profession "that could help change the world" and enrolled in law school at The College of William and Mary.
As a new attorney, she focused on fighting animal abuse. She co-founded the first animal rights law firm and the first animal protection lobbying organization in the nation. She saw the power to effect change.
Holly then joined The Humane Society of the United States, becoming their Chief Innovation Officer. Over the next twelve years, with responsibility for a budget of more than $20 million, she worked to build consensus and fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.
Family and Community
Family is the foundation of Holly’s life. She and her husband Rick Clayton are the proud parents of four young adults - two biological children and two who joined their family after Holly’s sister and brother-in-law were killed in a car accident.
Even while traveling the country to fight for animals’ rights, Holly made sure to advocate for her community, fighting for better schools for all the children in the Mason District, and for a cleaner and safer environment. Education and the environment remain two of her top priorities.
A Pivot Towards Direct Political Action
Like so many across our country, 2016 was a turning point for Holly. She saw our country needed progressive leaders willing to stand up and take action.
In 2018, she left The Humane Society and took a job as a legislative director in the Virginia General Assembly. There, she learned firsthand what it will take to be an effective delegate.
Knowing that real, lasting change comes from the ground up, Holly helped form Neighbor2Neighbor, a grassroots advocacy organization, and Network NoVA whose mission is to promote equity, justice and human rights.
She served as co-vice chair central and chair of the Women's Rights Committee for the Fairfax Country Democratic Committee. She used her lobbying experience to help secure passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia.
Now Holly is ready to bring her experience, her compassion, her courage, and her conviction to fighting for a just and equitable future for all Virginians as the Delegate for House District 38. From the time she was a child, Holly wouldn’t take "no" for an answer; today she wouldn't take "no" for an answer when it comes to improving the lives of her neighbors.