We face critical choices in the coming years about our commitment to public education, effective transportation solutions, and economic development. Throughout my career, I have balanced budgets and helped organizations prioritize and operate more efficiently, and I want to go to Richmond to make sure the General Assembly focuses on the issues that are important to you. As I go door-to-door in Loudoun and Prince William, families continue to voice their concerns about the lack of progress on the issues I have listed below. I served our country in the Air Force for over twenty-five years, and I'm honored to serve you now as the Delegate for the 87th District.
Fighting for Full-Day Kindergarten for Every Student
Northern Virginia sends more tax dollars to Richmond than any other region in Virginia, yet the education funding we receive has not kept up with our needs. Despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, Loudoun County still does not have full-day kindergarten for all students. I have been a consistent advocate for full-day kindergarten, and I will work with the Board of Supervisors to bring more of our money back to Loudoun and Prince William so that our children can experience the world-class education they deserve. We need to know the costs of implementing full-day kindergarten for every student so that we can be
Lowering Greenway Tolls by Ending Corporate Ownership
Each year brings a new increase in tolls on the Dulles Greenway, with no end in sight. The only permanent solution that will bring real relief to families in the 87th District is to buy the road from its current owners. We can do this by issuing bonds and taking advantage of our current low interest rates. With the savings from road maintenance and snow removal and the cost of the taxes the owners currently pay, we could institute distance-based pricing and reduce the cost of tolls dramatically. This would be at no cost to the taxpayers and would allow the people to control their own fate going forward.
Promoting Economic Development
Northern Virginia needs to continue to attract new businesses so that we can diversify our economy and provide our children with access to good-paying jobs. We need to explore public-private partnerships so that we can encourage and grow green industries and reduce the cost to government. We also need to invest in growing industries such as cybersecurity and green technology so that we don't have to rely as much on the federal government for jobs and investment in Northern Virginia.
Finding Cost-Effective Transportation Solutions
I favor prioritizing transportation investments to relieve choke points to both maximize taxpayer dollars and produce the most benefit for Northern Virginia families. I am also a strong advocate of innovative solutions like bus rapid transit and ride-sharing programs like Slugging, and I would like to institute a greater ride-sharing program in the western Loudoun corridor, at no cost to taxpayers. The Commonwealth Transportation Board and VDOT need to accelerate projects that reduce congestion, especially in some of the most traffic-clogged areas of Loudoun and Prince William.
Protecting Virginia's Natural Beauty
I know that I won't be around to see most of the adverse affects of global warming and climate change, but I worry every day that my children and grandchildren will. We need to invest in alternative forms of energy, so that we can end our dependence on fossil fuels and also create new jobs and industries that will help diversify our economy. We shouldn't give massive tax breaks to coal companies and other polluters while making it more difficult for clean energy providers to get off the ground in Virginia.
Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare
I want my daughters and granddaughters to be able to make their own health care choices. That is why I am so disgusted by Republican efforts to close health clinics and interfere with individuals' private medical decisions. I trust Virginia's women and doctors to make those decisions, not politicians. As legislators, we need to increase access to health care, not restrict it.
Ensuring Equal Rights for all Virginians
Every individual deserves equal protection under our laws, and that includes our LGBT brothers and sisters. I have been a longtime supporter of marriage equality, and I am extremely proud of the progress our Commonwealth has made in recent years on this issue. However, there is work to be done to ensure that no person is discriminated against because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. If Virginia wants to continue to attract businesses and grow its economy, we cannot allow discrimination in any form to stand.
Taking Steps to Prevent Gun Violence
When I served overseas in the Air Force, I frequently carried a gun on my hip in combat zones, so I respect the rights of law-abiding citizens to own a firearm. However, we need to take commonsense steps to reduce the tragedy of gun violence in our society. While closing the gun-show loophole and instituting universal background checks will not stop every death from firearms, it will be a positive move to ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands.