I support expansion of affordable access to essential healthcare for all Virginians. I have devoted my life to public service in the mental health field and will advocate for community-based mental health and substance abuse services throughout the Commonwealth. Since one in four people is directly affected by mental illness and addiction, these are issues that touch many of our lives. My professional background affords me the expertise to effectively address problems such as the opioid epidemic, mental health crises, and the handling of addiction within our criminal justice system.
I am a steadfast supporter of public schools and believe investing in our children is the best way to prepare for a better future. Most families want excellent public schools and hope their children have an equal opportunity to obtain a first-rate education. To recruit and retain top-notch teachers to provide this education, we need to pay them well. To maintain high quality schools, we also need to lower student/teacher ratios and empower teachers to have greater classroom autonomy, with less focus on SOL testing. A strong, vibrant public educational system attracts families to Chesterfield, ensuring the future viability of our community, and also helps to power our local economy with well-educated young people.
I was endorsed by the Sierra Club in the 2017 campaign for my positions on the environment. I will work tirelessly to protect and preserve Virginia’s valuable natural resources. Most importantly, I fully support the development of innovative, sustainable, and renewable energy and technology sources that will enable Virginia to move toward a better future. I have taken a pledge to not accept funds from Dominion or Appalachian Power to avoid the appearance of undue influence and to focus on serving the people I represent.
As a health care professional, I see gun violence as an epidemic and one of our top public health crises. I support common sense efforts to effectively reduce gun violence, including universal background checks whenever firearms are purchased and emergency protective orders that enable family members to temporarily remove firearms from loved ones in the midst of a crisis.
I am a member of OneVirginia2021, a group that is working to end gerrymandering in Virginia. Currently, representatives can choose their voters rather than voters choosing their representatives. I support an independent commission as the best alternative for providing voters with districts that are compact, contiguous and fairly drawn.
I served as the Chesterfield County Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator for many years. In this capacity, I helped plan, develop, and implement a cross-departmental initiative that equipped police officers, sheriffs, fire-fighters, 911 dispatch officers, and other emergency personnel with the skills to safely de-escalate and defuse situations when people are in crisis. My work has made me a strong proponent of our local law enforcement. I believe people want to live in a safe community with well-trained police officers who respond with compassion and respect when there is an emergency.
I have worked with individuals from all walks of life in my career. I have listened to the issues that are important to the people of this community. These experiences have strengthened my belief in equal treatment for ALL people, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, income level, or religious belief.
I believe significant improvements are needed to campaign finance regulations in Virginia. Our democratic process will be better served if candidates and representatives are prohibited from accepting campaign funds from all corporations and businesses. In addition, we can protect against undue influence on campaigns by capping individual donations at $10,000. And, most importantly, I believe candidates and representatives should NEVER be allowed to use campaign funds for personal use.