For too long Black American communities, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, have been subject to systemic racism. As your senator I will fight for police reform; including legislation that will require all police officers to use body cameras. I will also fight for those videos to be more accessible to the public. I will fight to make sure police unions do not dominate the discussion. I will work with the members of the General Assembly and the Governors office; to bring equality to the education and the criminal justice system. So that the African American community will be fairy represented in local, state and federal government, I will also work diligently to recruit minority candidates to run for public office. Fair representation from all people are needed, and now is the time to make that happen.
A look back at history shows that women have made great strides in the fight for equality, including women’s suffrage and inroads in equal opportunity in the workplace and education. Despite the tremendous progress made in the struggle for gender equality, women still face violence, discrimination, and institutional barriers to equal participation in society. Harriet Wilson became the first African-American to publish a novel sounding the theme of racism. Lucretia Mott, was one of the most powerful advocates of reform, who acted as a bridge between the feminist and the abolitionist movement. Amelia Bloomer began publishing The Lily, which also advocated "the emancipation of women from temperance, intemperance, injustice, prejudice, and bigotry." As your senator, I will actively listen to the voices of women within the community. It is important to hear the disparities of women across the 21 district and work to make sure they do no exist anymore.
As a proud product of public school education system, I know that every child deserves a world-class education. A strong public education system isn’t just the backbone of the economy throughout Virginia, it is the basis of the civic community. One of the most important jobs of an elected leader is to ensure that every child, parent, and teacher get everything that they need to fulfill the promise of an amazing education. That education should not depend on family income or the zip code of the family.
Right now, in Virginia, someone can work a full-time job and still make less then $15,000 a year. While I applaud the General Assembly in 2020 for raising the minimum wage, it is not enough and falls far short of what it needed. The amount needed to live in Virginia for a married couple with one child is $55,161 according to MTI’s living wage calculator. We much work together to raise the wages for the working people of the 21st district. I am proud to stand with union leaders and members throughout the Virginia to help increase wages and benefits throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. As your state senator, I will fight to repeal the Right to Work and expand workers rights, increase the pay and make sure every Virginian is treated with dignity and respect in the work place.
I understand the importance of providing quality healthcare to our most vulnerable citizens. As your 89th District Delegate, I will fight hard for health care for all. Healthcare is not a privilege but a right. We need to expand our mental health programs; ensuring that those needing the help, receive the help in a timely and humane manner. Healthcare policy affects the cost citizens pay, and the quality of the care they are receiving. A top concern for policymakers is the rising cost of healthcare, which has placed an increasing strain on the disposable income of citizens.
Housing is a right and not a privilege. Too many Virginians struggle with housing insecurity and that's not right. Affordable housing has become much too limited here in the state and we need to give incentives to landlords and developers to have them provide the affordable housing that is necessary for so many Virginians. I have and know the crisis of housing insecurity and I will work hard to bring true housing security here in Virginia.