Safer, Stronger Classrooms
Our education system must be set up to make sure that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed. Virginia has one of the best public education systems in the country, and with your help I intend to keep it that way.
One of the most important ways we can do this is by keeping kids in our classrooms. That’s why last session I was proud to work with colleagues from both parties to pass HB 1600 with near unanimous support, which limited long-term suspensions to 45 days. But our work isn’t done yet, just this year I introduced HB 1685, which will ensure that children on school grounds cannot be charged with disorderly conduct. With your help, we can pass this and other legislation that will help cut off the playground-to-prison pipeline for good.
But the work does not end here. If my four years on the Richmond School Board and my two children have taught me anything, it’s that the job of building a better future for our kids is never done. I’ll continue to fight to equip our teachers with the tools and resources they need, and expand critical opportunities, like the Virginia Preschool Initiative, across our community.
Calling Richmond Home
Virginia is a growth state. I see it when I drive the streets of Richmond every day. But that growth can’t come at the expense of making sure we have housing policies that are equitable for all Virginians. Housing is a human right, and no parent should ever have to wonder if the changing face of their community means they won’t be able to put a roof over their child’s head. Our growth should be a rising tide that lifts up all Virginians.
This legislative session I am proud to have introduced HB 1645 and 1647 which seek to end, once and for all, income discrimination in housing and discriminatory zoning practices. This builds on the work my colleagues and I have done in passing two other bills that strengthen the rights of tenants, including HB 1922, which provides stronger safeguards against landlords who mishandle eviction proceedings and passed with unanimous, bipartisan support.
I hear from constituents all the time who are concerned about where they will end up in a changing Virginia. Know this: we’re not going anywhere. Bill by bill, and brick by brick, we can continue to build a Richmond that is welcoming to all, and has a place for us all to call our home.
Cleaner, Greener Virginia
Standing up to protect Virginia’s natural environment is about more than keeping our grass green. It’s about strengthening our infrastructure by preventing a record number of days with extreme heat that cause roadways to buckle. It’s about preserving the health of our waterways, and the economic development that relies on them. It’s about making sure that we have a Virginia we are proud to leave to the next generation.
I’m honored to have been recognized by the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club with an A+ rating, and by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters as one of thirty-five delegates who stand with them 100% of the time, and that’s a perfect record I have every intention of keeping.
Making Justice For All
In my time working as Deputy Attorney General, I was guided by one principle: equal justice under the law. Now, as your delegate, I pledge to do everything in my power to bring true equity to our criminal justice system in the state of Virginia.
When I brought this experience to the Richmond School Board I saw how the playground-to-prison pipeline was decimating and demoralizing young people, especially in communities of color. For the school years from 2013-14 to 2017-18, disorderly conduct complaints made against Virginia children increased, and two-thirds of those complaints were against children of color. That’s why I sponsored HB 1685, which will ensure that children on school grounds cannot be charged with disorderly conduct, a policy that disproportionately affects students of color.
But this is just a first step. We must continue to strengthen the ties between members of law enforcement and the communities that they not only serve, but of which they are themselves members. Together, we can ensure that our criminal justice system is treating every Virginian equally and fairly.