No pipelines. No fracking. The beautiful Shenandoah Valley needs to remain a pristine and healthy area for generations to come. We need to try to utilize any federal funding that supports our environment, but we should try to raise the amount of state resources and funding that the environment receives.
In addition, our farmers deserve practical regulations and the best resources that we can offer. Our whole community has benefitted from a greater influx of Virginia Farm-to-Table initiatives, but I also want to explore more options like grants to plant cover crops and opportunities to expand Farm-to-School entrepreneurship.
Mental Health & Physical Well-being
As a survivor of postpartum depression and other depressive episodes, I understand how deeply sad and disconnected one can be from the world. Depression and other mental illnesses have been stigmatized for ages, mainly because it seems harder to care for the brain than to have a bone knit itself back together. But both types of injuries require care and mental illness has not garnered any appreciative funding. We need to change this, to de-stigmatize the illness, and to allow sufferers to access the help that they need—whether it is medicinal, therapy, or a combination.
The national healthcare situation is still in flux, but we need to take action to protect Virginians' healthcare. I want to help keep our whole community healthy, and I believe that we need to preserve and expand Medicare rather than privatize or voucherize the program. According to the Commonwealth Institute, 4,600 individuals in District 26 could gain coverage to quality, affordable healthcare by expanding Medicaid. This needs to be a major priority. I also want to preserve and increase funding for essential medical research.
All children should have the opportunity to lead happy, successful lives, and education allows personal growth while also strengthening the economy and the nation. As Virginians, we can advocate for our children to have access to a quality public education experience and for college to be affordable. As the global marketplace grows more competitive, higher education and job training needs to expand and college-completion rates should increase. I will work to make this a reality. Our community recognizes that both Harrisonburg City Schools and Rockingham County Schools have excellent leadership and teachers, strong parental support, and brilliant students, and I want to ensure that they receive the competitive education resources that Richmond can provide. Specifically, we need to support our teachers so that they have the space and strength to encourage our children to pursue their dreams.