House District 79 (Richmond)
- If elected, will you support the repeal of “Right to Work” legislation in Virginia?
- How will you actively advocate and support the repeal of “Right to Work” laws and promote the freedom of association for workers?
First and foremost, we must repeal so-called ‘Right to Work’ legislation here in Virginia. Not only do right to work laws result in worse outcomes for workers, they are also an affront to the freedom of association, which should allow employees to coordinate with one another to achieve their collective goals. If the Democrats win back the majority in the House of Delegates, I won’t allow anyone to twist my arm—I would be proud to introduce, co-sponsor, endorse and vote for legislation to repeal right to work laws in the Commonwealth. My office will provide advice to any group of workers, whether in my district or not, who are interested in organizing a union through the NLRB. My office will call out and confront union busting. My office will elevate cases of retaliation against workers & students attempting to form a union. I will regularly attend local meetings. I will be a vocal proponent of organized labor in my district and at the statehouse. I believe that the individual who is elected to the 79th District seat has a unique opportunity to champion issues that will improve the quality of life of working families across the Commonwealth. To that end, I will proudly speak on behalf of organized labor on the floor of the House of Delegates, and use the words ‘union’ and ‘organized labor’. I will be on the picket line with striking students, and offer to mediate disputes between unions and administrators within my district, if it would be beneficial. On behalf of unions, I will send letters encouraging admin to negotiate in good faith during bargaining.
- If elected, will you actively support legislation and initiatives to ensure universal access to high-quality early childhood care and education?
- How will you actively advocate and support legislation to ensure universal access to high-quality early childhood care and education?
I will speak on the issue on the floor of the House, and would be happy to introduce, sponsor, and support legislation to that effect. I will also speak about the issue in my district. I believe universal early childhood care is essential. I am blessed to have parents who are able to watch my daughter while I’m working, but as a single parent, I know how difficult it would be to have to pay for childcare. It’s important for the parents, who are working to provide for their families, but also important for children to have access to social and learning environments early.
- Do you support setting a minimum wage for public employees in Virginia?
- How will you actively support fair wages, benefits, and the right to organize for public employees in Virginia?
I will speak on the issue on the floor of the House, and would be happy to introduce, sponsor, and support legislation to that effect. I will also speak about the issue in my district. I also encourage workers and students to organize towards that end, and would support them in their right to do so.
- What are your thoughts on the appointment process for governing boards of public institutions of higher education in Virginia? Are any changes necessary?
I’d be interested to see policy papers about the states that you’re mentioning. That may be the correct solution, but I’d have to look into it more. Rest assured, however, that unions like yours and the VEA / REA would be my first call when concerning education policy. What the Governor has done to our public schools through his so-called ‘school choice’ policies is abhorrent. I believe education is the basis of success–that’s why fully funding public education is the focal point of my platform, to ensure each high schooler is ready to matriculate to affordable higher ed or to a good paying, union-protected job.
- Can you share any personal experiences or connections to organized labor and public education that inform your commitment to working families?
My mother was a 35-year elementary school teacher and VEA member. I know firsthand the power of public education and organized labor. These two institutions form the pillars of quality of life for working families across the country. Virginia has some catching up to do, but believe that I am the candidate to make it happen.