Neri For Delegate

Neri Canahui-Ortiz is the Democratic Candidate running for the House of Delegates in the 54th District and proud member of Carpenters Local 197.

About Neri

Neri Canahui-Ortiz was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1976 during the countries 36 year long civil war. From an early age, Neri worked to break himself out of the cycle of poverty while growing up in one of the most dangerous sectors of the city. In 1994, at the age of seventeen, Neri realized that to escape poverty, danger, and make an honest living he would have to leave his home.

Later that year, Neri arrived in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During his first few years in the United States Neri learned English while working as a general laborer in the residential construction market. However, like many hundreds of thousands of workers to this day, Neri was a victim of misclassification and wage theft at the hands of his employer. Eventually, Neri found the Carpenters Union and began building a career as a union carpenter with good wages and benefits that helped him to start a family.

Realizing the important role that the union had played in lifting him out of poverty and exploitation, Neri became heavily involved with his Carpenters Union Local 1665. As recording secretary, Neri solidified his mastery of the English language and proved himself as a valuable leader within the union. In 2006, Neri was elected president of his local and began work to grow his locals membership and organize workers into the union. Recognizing his talent, the parent council of his carpenters local brought Neri on as a council representative.

Since 2007 Neri has fought to protect construction workers in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland from the same exploitation he suffered early in his career. Until 2018, Neri served as President of his Carpenters Local and on the Executive Board of the Northern Virginia Labor Federation.

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Stance on Current Issues

Jobs & the Economy

The Virginia economy is booming, but working families are being left behind. It’s time that we raise the minimum wage and expand collective bargaining rights to ensure employees have a less reliance on the government and more ability to negotiate their wages and benefits. I also support reforming the state procurement process to allow for local hiring requirements and best value contracting to ensure our tax dollars come back into our communities and put our neighbors to work.


The expansion of Medicaid in Virginia was a huge step in providing medical insurance to the nearly 400,000 Virginians who could not otherwise qualify. Still, there are hundreds of thousands of our neighbors who go on uninsured. No family should be one unexpected medical bill away from bankruptcy. I believe we have a moral obligation to change this and find a way to cover all Virginians.

Transportation & Infrastructure

The opening of the VRE station in Spotsylvania has solidified our area as a bedroom community of Washington, D.C. Our county will only continue to grow. I will support funding to update our transportation infrastructure to ensure that our community has the resources to avert traffic congestion and provide walkable neighborhoods.


Public education is the core of our community. We must fully fund our schools and give our children more pathways to careers that will support a family, regardless of whether you attain a four year degree. I support expanding vocational and trade apprenticeship programs that allow our students to enter the workforce debt free after high school.

Friends and Supporters

I am honored and humbled to accept the Democratic nomination to the 54th District of the House of Delegates in Virginia. For too long our voices have gone unheard by our elected representatives in Richmond. Together we will build a movement that cannot be ignored. We cannot afford the alternative. Our commonwealth has been ranked last in the nation for workers rights. Women’s rights to govern their own bodies are under attack. Thousands of our neighbors and fellow Virginians suffer from opioid addiction. When our first responders develop cancer from exposure to chemicals in the line of duty they are being denied coverage under workers compensation. The list goes on. We have the power to change these realities for the better. We have the power to protect our friends and neighbors. We have the power to win a majority in the Virginia Legislature to change lives.

Thank you all for your continued support,

Neri Canahui-Ortiz
Virginia House of Delegates 54th District