"Working for the common good, fighting for what’s right, and putting service to others first. There’s no challenge that we can’t tackle by teaming up and working together."
Good, Local Jobs:
I know what a good, union job, with benefits, meant to my family.
It’s time for Virginia to enact Paid Family Leave so that no working person has to choose between taking care of a family member and making a living. This is not only the morally correct policy, it’s necessary for our economic growth. We can’t achieve a robust economy that works for all of us if people, especially women – Black and Latina mothers – have to leave their jobs to care for their families.
It’s time to raise the minimum wage, so that no one who works full time is living in poverty.
I lived in public housing until I was 8 years old, so I understand what it means to have a stable, safe, clean space where our family could stay together. We need affordable housing so that all people have a decent, safe, and healthy community in which to live and that families have thriving communities to raise their children. When my father got a better job, that provided union benefits, my family was able to move out, and give another family the opportunity for a fresh start in affordable housing.
As housing prices have risen in Northern Virginia, too many families are being priced out. We can bring local people, non-profit organizations, businesses, and the government together to provide for community-based solutions that make housing more affordable, provide support for our community members who are struggling, and contribute to the character of our local neighborhoods.
Access to Health care:
Our people need access to high quality health care, no matter their income or race.
My mother passed away at the age of just 58 from a preventable heart attack. Had her doctor taken her concerns seriously, instead of sending her home to take a Tums for indigestion, she could have gotten the treatment she deserved.
Maternal mortality is higher for Black women, not because there is anything wrong with us, but because some doctors just don’t believe us. I’m encouraged that the state is studying the issue of maternal mortality rates and I’m glad there is a task force, but I am not satisfied. What I do know is that tomorrow, while the task force pours over the data, a woman will need medical care and won’t get it because she won’t be believed. That is wrong. When you send me to Richmond as your Delegate, I’ll bring people together and demand action to confront this public health travesty.
High quality education for every student:
I know the value of a high quality education and equal opportunity, no matter your zip code or income. My experience, and the hopes that so many friends and neighbors have shared with me, inspires my commitment to ensure that all of our children can afford college or have a career or technical education that can set them up for success.
Our goal should be to re-open schools safely as soon as possible – that means following science, vaccinating teachers and educators, funding PPE and safety measures, adding more school counselors and psychologists, and asking local principals and teachers, and local school boards and parents to work together. It does not mean a one-size-fits-all answer from Richmond, or threatening to withhold funding if local school districts make a decision that’s right for their community.
Virginia’s educators are the key to great schools. We must raise teacher pay beyond the national average to ensure that we are attracting and retaining educators who will change our kids’ lives for the better. And we should protect school districts from automatic funding cuts due to temporary, COVID-19-related enrollment decreases.
My family didn’t have the money to pay for a plane ticket, so I took a Greyhound bus for two days to get to Carleton College, in Minnesota. No student should have to travel two days on a bus to have the opportunity to attend a high quality and affordable college. We have incredible public colleges and universities here in Virginia, but we must do more to ensure they are accessible, affordable, and welcoming to our students.
Equal Justice for All:
I have devoted my life to fighting for justice. Long before this latest national conversation on criminal justice reform began, I was fighting for justice, for a fair system that didn’t treat people differently because of the color of their skin or the money in their pockets
While working for Georgia Legal Services, I’ll never forget the day, 36 years ago, when we stopped everything to help a battered woman, thrown out of the car in front of our office by her husband. We fought to get an emergency restraining order to protect her from his violence, a small bit of justice and safety at a time when justice for women abused by their husbands was all too rare. It’s concerning that the recent bill to prohibit people convicted of assault and battery against a family member from possessing guns passed by just one vote.
I traveled around this country recruiting minority law students, giving them the opportunity to serve in the world’s largest law firm, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. I represented clients accused of serious crimes to ensure justice was served in ways that reflected their humanity, too.
I pursued fair and equal justice as a JAG officer and in my time with the United States Sentencing Commission. The fight for true justice, for a system that is fair and humane, is not new to me. I’ve seen it, from the inside, and I’ve spent decades fighting to make it right, to strengthen this country’s promise of justice and make it one that every American can count on. You can be sure that as your Delegate, I will continue to demand justice and deliver results.
Protecting our Democracy:
We must have elections in districts where voters choose their representatives, not the other way around.
We must get dirty money out of our politics, especially from the polluters destroying our climate and corporations looking to buy influence in Richmond.
We must make voting accessible, and oppose attempts to purposely discourage and exclude eligible voters from participating in our Democracy.