Northern Virginia residents need transportation programs to be well-funded without robbing our schools or social services. I will work across the aisle and in partnership with the other urban areas in Tidewater Virginia and Richmond to improve our roads. I will support expansion and upgrading of the Metro system, especially serving Dulles Airport. I will seek more representation for our region on the Virginia Transportation Board.
People using bicycles for transportation as well as recreation need safer avenues and protection on our roads. I will champion the cause of bike safety and support programs to orient cyclists as well as motorists for the need the “share the road.” I will encourage helmets for all cyclists and lights on all bicycles.
Our public schools and teachers are central in our community, and they deserve financial support to benefit our children and grandchildren — our citizens of today and tomorrow. I will work to go beyond relying on superficial testing and encourage the abilities for reading comprehension, composition, and problem-solving.
Immigrants in our community contribute to our tax base, build small businesses, and improve property values; they need to be fully welcome in community life. As Congress and the President move toward comprehensive immigration reform — bipartisan — Virginia needs to prepare its new immigrants for the path to citizenship. I will seek ways to increase English learning opportunities and citizenship instruction. I will reach out to our diverse ethnic groups to build understanding, trust, and mutual appreciation for our rich mixture of cultures. As a religious leader experienced in inter-faith settings, I can be a bridge-builder as we move forward together.
Women should have the right to decide about their own health care and reproductive options and be fully covered by adequate and accessible health insurance. I will work to reduce the legislature’s stigmatizing of women in their life choices. I will support the goal of “equal pay for equal work” as well as equality in promotion and other vocational recognitions.
Equal LGBT Rights
The sexual orientation or sexual identity of any Virginian should not be a factor in employment, adoption procedures, accommodations, or access to marriage rights. I will work with other legislators in banning discrimination toward LGBT citizens in Virginia’s state employment and public accommodations. I will work toward a constitutional amendment that would allow for marriage equality so that a loving relationship can become a legally committed one between any two people, regardless of genders. Virginia is losing out on talent from people who do not find Virginia a friendly environment for their families.
Health care expansion through Medicaid should be fully funded by the federal government for 3 years, and Virginia needs to take advantage of this program that will increase prevention of illness and cut overall health care costs for all Virginians. The return to Virginia of $2.2 billion of federal dollars also makes it worthwhile. I will seek to ensure that all citizens have access to health care in some form.
Gun safety is a priority for our children and communities. Residents of District 40 have been personally impacted by the devastating effects of gun violence, and we need to stop the sale of large capacity magazines and apply background checks to all purchasers. Military style guns do not belong in our homes. Better access to mental health for all ages will be a high priority in my service in the legislature.