Equitable School Funding
Virginia continues to trail behind other states when it comes to funding schools in low income areas. Prioritizing increased access to high-quality educational opportunities can reduce economic achievement gaps. Students should have the resources they need to be prepared for college and the workforce. As delegate, I will prioritize efforts to equitably fund schools through the taxation of marijuana so that every student has access to a quality education.
Empowering Student Choice
Every year college hopefuls weigh the pros and cons of degrees in their field of interest from various universities. Providing easier access to alumni career data from Virginia Universities can help students make the best decision for their futures and fight degree inflation.
Providing Grants and Loans
In 2019, the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) disbursed only 10% of available funds for loans, grants, and bonds to help small businesses – holding on to $28 million. I will provide VSBFA the support they need from the General Assembly to get needed funds disbursed to businesses.
Reducing Fees for Low Income Businesses
Fees to register a business have doubled in the last few years. This makes it more difficult for low income individuals to start a business. I will reduce those fees to prevent them from hindering families ability to earn extra income.
Removing Barriers to Enter the Workforce
Hair braiders were required to obtain a cosmetology license in Virginia until 2018 when the profession was added as an exclusion. Many low income professions continue to be overburdened by gratuitous requirements of hundreds of hours of training and fees. Ensuring occupational requirements are set appropriately will assist our workforce in obtaining jobs they desire and are qualified for.
Educating on Social Media Best Practices
The advancement of technology and ubiquity of information has presented many new challenges. School curriculum should incorporate digital citizenship to encourage social media best practices and prevent the spread of misinformation.
Doxxing is the act of publishing a person’s address without their consent. Penalties should be incurred by those who engage in doxxing with intent to harm.
Restricting Use of Deep Fakes and AI
Deep fakes are videos in which a person’s face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else. They have a potential malicious use in spreading false information. Use of deep fakes should be prohibited for political campaigns and the media must have stricter requirements to label them.
Banning Cyber Flashing
The bill to ban the unsolicited sending of nude photos was killed in the 2021 session. I will fight to get it passed in 2022, so that no one has to be subjected to this sexual harassment.
Women continue to receive subpar medical care compared to men due to a lack of informed medicine around sex and gender. Women have a 50% higher chance of having an incorrect diagnosis during a heart attack and are more likely to have a late diagnosis for autism because symptoms present differently. The next phase in the fight for equality rests on understanding biological differences. Some researchers have been subjected to retaliation or steered away from the subject out of fear. I will examine how policy makers can support researchers who fight for progress to ensure politics does not interfere with their work.
I support Virginia’s plan to transition to green energy, which is led by subject matter experts from Virginia and is specifically designed for our state. During the 2021 session, new clean car standards almost failed to pass after they were confused with air emissions standards. Having an engineer’s eye to examine new policies and communicate them between legislators and the public can help avoid the pitfalls of California and Texas while we move forward.
Northern Virginia is currently experiencing a housing shortage. Occupancy restrictions in many cities are not written to take into account the size or layout of the home. This is leaving houses with empty rooms and artificially reducing the supply of rentable housing. By reasonably modifying occupancy restrictions around universities and public transit, existing housing can be utilized.
It is estimated that marijuana legalization will bring in $698 million to $1.2 billion annually, with around $274 million in tax revenue. The General Assembly delayed marijuana legalization until 2024, but I will work to move up that timeframe.