Issues & Priorities

Reproductive Rights

I am a firm believer in reproductive rights and I will ensure that they are protected in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a mom and stepmom to four daughters, I recognize how important it is for my children to have the same access to healthcare that I did growing up. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned through the Dobbs decision, we have seen countless attacks and anti-abortion legislation put in place in 27 states. I will ensure that Virginia does not become the 28th.

The reality is when we place burdensome laws on healthcare professionals, it causes them to hesitate and put people in imminent danger. We have already seen Virginia republicans, introduce bills, such as the 15 week ban, eliminating families to make a personal decision when they are presented with the horrible reality that their wanted child is not viable and will not survive childbirth. These personal decisions have no business in lawmaking. We also know that 93% of all abortions nationwide, occur by or before 13 weeks, with only 6% occurring between 13 and 20 weeks. So we need to ask ourselves why politicians are trying to legislate for a single percent (1%) after 20 weeks, which is solely for the purpose of fetal abnormalities and/or maternal mortality. Legislators have no business in our doctor’s offices, making our personal decisions, and putting our healthcare providers at legal risk simply for providing us care. I believe the long-standing law in Virginia which demands healthcare providers respond, quickly and ethically, if a pregnancy is terminated in the 3rd trimester, and to make every attempt and give any and all medical care required to ensure the child lives and thrives. These further arbitrary laws are nothing more than political grandstanding and serve no purpose than to control this deeply personal decision.

Public Education

A community is only as strong as the individuals who comprise it, which is why our public education system is crucial to the Commonwealth of Virginia and especially District 71. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the dismantling of public education, both financially and structurally, through policies like “No Child Left Behind” and standardized testing. The impact has resulted in curricula that are far less engaging, focused on teaching to test, and push students through the system who have missed out on much needed resources. This has also led to distrust in our public education from the community and allowed even more problematic legislation to be introduced under false pretenses and offering false promises. Policies like school choice and book banning are causing further harm to our educators, students, and families. I will always stand for parental rights, for ALL parents.

When families have concerns over a required assignment, I’ll advocate for meaningful dialogue between educators and families to reach the best compromise for all parties. When a book is publicly available in our school libraries that a family doesn’t believe is a good option for their student, I see that as an opportunity for parents to have a conversation with their student about why it’s not a good fit for their family. Banning and censorship of books overall is an infringement on other families’ rights, especially when they may not share another families’ perspective on a particular book. When it comes to school choice, I will speak truth about the ramifications that will come as a result. Private school is not an option for many students even with a school choice voucher system. Private institutions can deny admission for any reason; from overcrowding, to behavioral or educational concerns, to any and all learning disabilities. This means if your student isn’t “good enough,” they are forced to remain in public school. The alternative of homeschooling, can be a struggle for families dependent on two incomes or single parent homes. Thus forcing families into a position of not being able to take advantage of school choice as an option. For every 4-5 students who take advantage of alternate education, that decision eliminates the salary of a single teacher. Having 4-5 students choosing an alternate schooling method may not impact overall class size, however imagine if 100 students from each district made that choice. In that scenario, roughly 20 teachers and approximately 4 classrooms would be eliminated. In a system, that is already proved to be understaffed and underfunded, the further impact would cause long term harm to families, the economy, and inevitably the community. A robust and successful public education means stronger families, a stronger economy, and stronger communities.

Family Care Policies

Workers in Virginia put in long hours to provide for their families and keep our economy moving forward. And yet, many of them lack access to basic benefits that others take for granted. The last few years have shown us, more than ever before, the importance of taking care of the needs of workers. Enacting family care policies is not only good for workers, but it’s the right thing to do.

Paid Family & Medical Leave

Whether a worker is welcoming a new child to the family or having to take care of a sick loved one, paid family and medical leave would guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave, alleviating the worry of missing out on a paycheck or the burden of returning to work sooner than they’re ready for. By taking care of workers with paid leave when they need it, we’re allowing people to focus on the needs of their families during some of the most critical times.  

Earned Sick Time

When workers get sick and go into the office, they not only risk spreading their illness to their colleagues and customers, but they don’t allow themselves the time and space they need to heal. Every worker in Virginia needs a minimum of 40 hours of earned sick time every year so they can prioritize their health needs before returning to work. 

Quality, Affordable Child Care

Families across Virginia depend on quality child care in order to work, but it’s rarely affordable. And often, families find that it’s cheaper for one parent to stay in the home than work because of the costs. No family should have to make this decision. Virginia needs increased access to quality, affordable child care programs in every zip code across the Commonwealth.

Long-Term Elder Care

Living and aging at home should be a viable option for any Virginian who wishes to do so. We need to ensure that Virginia has the infrastructure and workforce in place to meet the growing demand for in-home nurses and care staff and that it’s affordable and available to everyone.

Affordable Prescription Drugs

Drug prices are continually on the rise and people are often forced to ration life-saving medications in order to afford other needs. No person should have to make this type of decision. We must evaluate drug costs and ensure caps are in place so that drug companies don’t line their pockets at the expense of people’s lives.

Gun Safety

As someone who supports the Second Amendment, raised my daughters around firearms and has personally attended gun safety training to attain a concealed weapons permit myself, I know what it means to be a responsible gun owner. With that knowledge, I also know that responsibility extends to preventing senseless gun tragedies from occurring in the first place.

One crucial step we can take towards improving gun safety is implementing universal background checks. This means that anyone looking to purchase a firearm must undergo a thorough background check, regardless of where they buy it from. This would help prevent individuals who have no business owning a firearm from obtaining one.

In addition, we need to address the issue of child access prevention. Again, as someone who raised my daughters to understand proper use and the dangers that guns present, I feel confident in creating laws that hold responsible gun owners accountable if their firearms are used unlawfully by a minor, and risk the lives of themselves or others. Guns should always be stored in a secure manner, locked and unloaded, particularly in households where children are present. We must ensure that gun owners are legally liable if they fail to store their firearms safely and a child gains access to them, resulting in injury or death.

I also support investing in community-based violence prevention programs. These programs can help address the root causes of gun violence, including poverty, trauma, and lack of access to education and job opportunities. By investing in these programs, we can help prevent gun violence before it occurs and build safer, more resilient communities.

And finally, I believe that red flag laws are critical in saving lives and preventing gun violence. Currently Virginia has HB674, which allows family members, or law enforcement, to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals, by providing extensive proof of a viable threat to themselves or others. However the violation of this law only results in a Class 1 Misdemeanor, meaning no more than 12 months in jail and upwards of a $2,000 fine.  The idea that someone is seen as a substantial threat and could face little legal ramifications and endanger members of our community should warrant stricter criminal consequences. This can be a crucial tool, particularly in cases where individuals may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

As the next Delegate in the 71st District, I am committed to voting on and advocating for common sense, responsible gun safety legislation that aims to keep our kids and communities safe.