Most importantly, we must treat all citizens with dignity and respect. All citizens deserve equal opportunity, justice and fairness. We cannot compromise on this concept. We will never truly be the Commonwealth we are meant to be until we do exactly as our name implies – come together for the common good, without drawing distinctions by race, age, ethnic background, religion, income, sexual orientation or country of origin.
Individuals who do the crime should serve the time. However, we also need to ensure that those with mental health problems receive treatment. We need a system that helps juvenile offenders so they don’t become repeat, lifetime offenders. Inmates need to be prepared for re-entry into society and given job training so they can become productive citizens.
We need to invest in our children and our schools. We should support our teachers so we can attract and maintain the best educational workforce in the country. We must do everything we can to ensure our children have the skills they need, either higher education or vocational training, to be ready to succeed in the twenty-first century economy.
For me, my faith demands stewardship of this earth and to leave it a better place for my children and grandchildren. To do this, we need to make certain we have clean air and water, that we protect the land and not strip our natural resources. We need to recognize the dangers of climate change and address them before it is too late.
As a supporter of the Second Amendment and the Constitution, I understand the importance of guns in our nation’s history and the feeling many have that they need a gun for self-protection. However, that is not in conflict with the need for universal background checks so we can ensure guns are not in the hands of those mentally ill, those who have been convicted of a violent crime or other individuals who are not supposed to have firearms.
We are a nation of immigrants. One way or another virtually all of us have ancestors who came to this country from somewhere else, frequently with nothing but the clothes on their backs and perhaps a few small possessions. All these immigrants and their children and grandchildren have come together to form the wonderful fabric that is theseUnited States.
ALL Virginians are entitled to equal opportunity, fairness and justice. Employees should be judged on job performance alone, not on other “characteristics”, including race or sexual or gender orientation. Virginians should be able to choose who they love and with whom he or she wishes to start a family. The government should not be telling Virginians who they can marry.
Out citizens should not be victimized by onerous and egregious loans from which they have little chance of recovery. These loans, both payday lending and car title loans, frequently put Virginians into an endless downward spiral and cycle of debt form which they cannot recover. This kind of lending preys on those who are already struggling financially and often become the fiscal issue that defeats them.
Let’s not predetermine who or who is not a good parent and let’s make sure all our children have every opportunity to excel in school. I intend to be vigilant, to ensure the best for all our children and to give every Virginia family the opportunity to succeed.
Ensuring that Virginians can get to work , prayer and play without hours in crippling traffic jams is an imperative goal. Without resolving our transportation crisis, not only will we continue to lose valuable hours stuck in traffic, but families and companies will not chooseVirginia.
Voting is the most basic right of any citizen in this great country. Our democracy is strongest when more people participate. Instead of trying to suppress the vote with exaggerated claims of voter fraud, we should be working to expand the vote - early voting and no excuse absentee voting.
Women must be able to make their own decisions about their health needs and have access to affordable, quality health care, including preventive screenings and tests. Women must have access to contraception so they, in conjunction with their partner, can decide when to start a family and how many children to have.