On the Issues
Rights & equality
Every man, woman, and child is born free and equal. Our state ought to recognize every person’s dignity regardless of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
The right to vote ought to be defended everywhere. The Commonwealth should adopt same-day voter registration to make democratic participation more accessible. Sixteen and 17 year-olds should be allowed to pre-register to vote, encouraging them to engage in civic life. Virginians in the military stationed abroad should have a secure electronic absentee ballot to spare the hassle of mail.
Women deserve the same part in every aspect of our society as men. Virginia must ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.
LGBT people are not currently covered by housing or employment discrimination laws, which allows them to be denied a lease or a job simply for whom they love. Virginia must add LGBT people to state Fair Housing and employment discrimination laws.
Our broken healthcare system has hurt millions of Virginians, including my family: my cousin died because he couldn't get coverage for a treatment he needed. The hidebound majority in the General Assembly has forgotten how urgently we need the system fixed.
The recent expansion of Medicaid brought healthcare to 400,000 Virginians. Along with the bipartisan advocates of healthcare in the General Assembly I will defend the Medicaid expansion against efforts to walk it back.
The opioid crisis has claimed far too many lives in our state. Virginia's policy should show compassion to addicts while educating the public about the dangers of abuse and prosecuting providers that prescribe painkillers recklessly.
Virginia should authorize special dockets for non-violent offenses committed by mentally ill people and drug offenders. In other states, these dockets have reduced recidivism and reintegrated patients into their community.
"Conversion therapy," which tries to change a person’s sexual orientation, has been banned in many states and rejected by the American Psychiatric Association. Virginia should care for LGBT youth and ban conversion therapy.
Gun suicides are a public health crisis. Virginia should allow relatives to ask a judge for a protection order to take guns away from someone showing signs of danger to themselves or others.
Mass shootings, especially in schools, are forcing a generation to grow up in fear. Universal background checks should be applied to gun sales, and bump stocks should be banned.
The current balance between the state’s and localities’ contributions to each school district is a product of the recession. Virginia needs to revise its funding formulas so that the Commonwealth pulls its weight in supporting our schools.
Teachers deserve higher pay, fairer assessment standards and better training to reflect the critical role they play in society.
The state should partner with localities to fund free public transport tickets for middle and high school students. Many students, especially those from marginalized communities, have limited transportation options and need ways other than inflexible school bus routes to get to and from school.
The student loan debt crisis needs to be addressed by a special office to lower costs and deal with claims and stricter regulation on predatory for-profit schools.
labor and business
- Employee misclassification and payroll fraud rob hardworking Virginians of millions of dollars of the pay and benefits they deserve. The legislature should clearly define employees and independent contractors and specify fines for misclassification, while issuing stop work orders for any state contractors who misclassify their employees.
- Virginia can stand up to the federal abolition of net neutrality by passing state level net neutrality provisions like incentives for neutral ISPs.
- Virginian tobacco is frequently trafficked to other states because of our very low taxes on it. Virginia should raise the cigarette excise tax and put the funds to a good use.
- The construction of gas pipelines is disrupting the lives of many Virginians, and marginalized communities are the most at risk to be harmed. The legislature should act to stop the pipelines.
- Our beautiful Chesapeake Bay is on the mend after years of effort, but we need to keep it up: Virginia must protect the Bay and its rich ecosystem.
- I oppose the Green Ridge trash dump on the Powhatan border, which would disturb the peace of many people in our district.