CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Dashad Cooper, a Charlottesville native, announced his candidacy for the newly-redrawn 54th House District last week. Cooper says his career was a huge motive for running.

“Working here at social services in the city. We opened up like three months ago. There’s been a lot of our clients with mental health, so mental health really played a part in my decision in running for delegate instead of the council,” said Cooper.

He said if elected he would focus on abortion laws, LGBTQ+ rights, and help fund programs for mental health. 

“The main thing I want to do is be transparent and authentic with the voters and listen to the voters because, at the end of the day, they’re the reason why I am there and I want to push both my agenda, and the people’s agenda too as well,” Cooper said.

He says through this career, he has seen how much housing has played into the well-being and mental health of others. He wants to help programs that work with people to put a roof over their heads.