WHY I’M RUNNING for Delegate in Virginia House District 50

A revolutionary movement that began almost half a century ago has brought us to a crossroad where our democracy meets fascism, and it is critical that citizens exercise their right to vote to keep us on the path of democracy.

To protect our fundamental rights and freedoms that so many patriots fought and died for, citizens must be given the opportunity to vote for someone who stands for democracy and will fight to keep fascist policies out of the legislative process. I am that someone.

At a time in our history when Republican-majority state legislatures are passing anti-rights and anti-freedom laws, we must all understand that these laws adversely affect everyone; there are no laws segregating Republicans from Democrats or conservatives from liberals. This is evident in states’ abortion ban laws that have passed across this nation since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade – these laws don’t specify to whom these bans apply; therefore, they apply to everyone. We must be mindful that when we vote for candidates, we vote for their policies: do their policies align with our values, but at the same time and more importantly, do they protect everyone’s rights and freedoms?

CONSTITUENT CONCERNS are non-partisan. There are no Republican issues or Democratic issues; only people issues – problems in need of solutions.

Economy: Every issue is an economic issue – having an income, paying for education, healthcare, and housing, having the ability to live a quality life free from gun violence, inequality, and injustice.

  • Jobs: Our rural communities need local jobs.
  • Wages: The only wage should be a living wage.
  • Paid Apprenticeships: High school students can earn a diploma and get paid while learning a trade.
  • Taxes: Working people pay taxes; the greater number of people at work should lower the amount of taxes individuals have to pay.

Education: Education is the foundation of a prosperous economy – learning the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make a living in addition to learning how democracy works and how important, and sometimes critical, it is to vote.

  • Physical Infrastructure: All school buildings should provide a safe and healthy space in which to learn.
  • Teacher and Staff pay: Fair wages lower or prevent turnover and reduce the cost of new teacher and staff training.
  • Student Breakfast and Lunch: Free meals ensure that all students get fed and proper nutrition helps students focus on lessons.
  • Trades training: Putting more career training courses in middle and high schools introduces different jobs to students and helps lead them to a career that they enjoy.

Health: Healthy families lead to healthy communities lead to a healthy economy.

  • Well-equipped local medical facilities: Our rural communities need access to local facilities that offer more specialized treatment to preclude the need to travel to distant facilities.
  • Affordable treatment: Local facilities reduce travel costs to see a medical professional and eliminating for-profit hospitals further reduces the cost of healthcare.
  • Lower insurance costs: High profit margins increase the cost of healthcare and reduce the number and quality of insurance companies that serve rural areas.
  • Clean environment: Clean air and water prevent health risks and reduce the need for medical treatment.

Better Living: Equality, justice, and availability of basic needs improves the quality of life.

  • Equal opportunities: Our rural communities deserve the same opportunities as more populated and affluent communities to attend local schools and to work locally.
  • Safe and affordable housing: Lack of affordable housing throughout Virginia is at a critical level. Investment companies and organizations must be prevented from buying up homes on speculation of increasing their monetary portfolios. We must rein in profits made on housing projects.
  • Criminal Justice reform: More training, better training, weeding out “bad apples”, will help reduce deaths by law enforcement officers (LEOs). Ensuring equitable, if not equal, treatment of people of color who commit crimes will help build trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Have “get to know your local LEOs” programs in schools will help build healthy relationships between young people and LEOs and, maybe, cause young people to think twice before committing a crime or act of violence.
  • Reduced gun violence: Our safety while out in public spaces and the safety of our children while in school is more important than someone owning a military-style weapon that shoots body-shredding ammunition in seconds just because someone can. Just because you can own one, doesn’t mean you should own one. Egos and bravado must take a backseat to public safety and life itself. Everyone is law-abiding . . . until they aren’t. Banning “assault” weapons, closing gun show loopholes, enacting universal background checks, strengthening mental health awareness and treatment – all will help reduce gun violence.