Assaults against the ACA, such as the removal of the individual mandate, are causing rising premiums and losses of coverage across our district and country. I support measures that would strengthen the framework of the ACA such as reinstating the individual mandate, which mitigates risk, and moving the enrollment deadline to align with tax day. To increase coverage nationwide, I support pursuing universal coverage through a public option, specifically the proposed Medicare-X Choice Act currently before the U.S. Senate.
I support Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP and the vital resources they provide to our seniors and most vulnerable citizens and children. I also support protecting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, including federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other providers that ensure essential healthcare to women and men.>>
Addressing gun violence and protecting lives should not be a political issue; it is a public safety issue. I support background checks for all firearm purchases, regardless of where or from whom the purchases are made. States that require background checks for all purchases have fewer suicides by gun, fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed, and fewer women killed by an intimate partner. Ninety four percent of Americans support background checks for all firearms purchases, as well as the Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
I support common sense gun policy, such as HR 2598, the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act of 2017. The implementation of Gun Violence Restraining Orders allow family, friends, and law enforcement to help people facing crisis who, with a firearm in their possession, might be a risk to themselves or others. I support ensuring that states have the ability to provide current information to the NICs database to ensure informed background checks, and I support funding the research of gun violence. I also support the proposed HR 5087, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Members of Congress must have the courage to address this problem and implement policies that will help keep our children and communities safe.>>
I also recognize that, despite living in an era of historic corporate profitability, people are working harder and harder, but their incomes are not keeping up with their expenses. Congress has had more than enough time to reinforce the middle class by prioritizing the people and small businesses that keep our economy strong; I will make them a priority.
I also support organized labor, as unions have historically been a driver of economic stability within America’s middle class. This has been true for my own family, as my grandfather, a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, was able to raise his four children as a young widower because of the stability his union employment provided. As we see a changing landscape of employment opportunities, union apprenticeship programs remain an invaluable asset as they train the next generation of skilled workers.>>
I support protecting women’s access to reproductive healthcare and federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other providers that ensure essential healthcare to women and men. I will work to protect marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. I also support the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. I support the rights of individuals with disabilities and will work to protect the civil rights protects afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
We must pursue criminal justice reform. We are five percent of the world’s population, but have 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. We need criminal justice reform to ensure that our justice system is fairly sentencing offenders regardless of race or economic status, and that we’re addressing issues related to addiction in our jails and prisons. I also support bolstering reentry efforts, which reduce recidivism and ensure that those who have paid their debt to society have the knowledge and resources necessary to become employed and engaged community members.>>
As we’ve increasingly dealt with the effects of special interests in campaign finance, it’s important that all elected officials take a stand against letting a small group of funders influence our elections. And because my commitment to campaign finance reform starts now, with my campaign, I will not accept any corporate PAC donations. I am proud that our campaign has earned the support of End Citizens United, a national organization committed to fighting for campaign finance reform.
As a Virginian, I’ve seen the negative effects of gerrymandering. We need fairly-drawn, non-partisan districts to ensure the health of our representative democracy.>>
We must do everything we can to seize this opportunity. Climate change is real, and we’re already seeing the effects right here in Virginia with rising sea levels, higher average temperatures, and stronger hurricanes. An investment in clean, renewable energy is an investment in our ecosystem, our health, and our economy. These efforts require significant coordination, as well as a shared baseline of facts, and I will stand up to attacks against science.>>
I am committed to understanding the needs of the people of the 7th District. I have strong personal beliefs and principles, but I believe that good representatives take the time to understand the priorities and experiences of their constituents. I welcome your comments as I advocate for the issues that are important to our communities. Please share what issues concern you and provide any additional thoughts you may have with our campaign.