Occupation: Executive director, Atlantic Intra-Coastal Waterway Association
Town of Residence: Alexandria
What do you believe are the major issues in the 39th district?
The three single biggest issues in the 39th district, and indeed throughout Virginia and the nation, are education, transportation and health care.
We must find common-sense solutions to the education crisis that we face in our public schools. The crumbling schools, "temporary" classroom trailers, overcrowded classrooms and pathetically low teacher salaries can no longer be ignored as my opponent has steadfastly ignored them for the last 10 years in the House of Delegates. As your senator, I will fight hard in Richmond to guarantee full funding for our public schools. We must renew and rebuild Virginia's education system at all levels to ensure that our public schools and universities remain the envy of the nation. I began my career of service in education as president of Rose Hill Elementary School PTA and Edison High School PTA and have served as president of the Fairfax County Council of PTA's. I am committed to ensuring a safe, quality education for all our children. I am the only candidate in the 39th district with the experience and understanding to know that, with the full education funding worth fighting for in Richmond, our public schools will retain their top standing. For almost three decades, I have been a strong advocate for our public schools. I bring this determined advocacy to Richmond as your senator.
I also have been a tireless advocate of the bipartisan transportation referendum. As a founding member of the Committee for Better Transportation, I have led the way to finding solutions to Northern Virginia's transit needs and transportation woes. My opponent in the 39th district Senate race is the only Republican elected official in Northern Virginia who is against the transportation referendum. Gov. Mark Warner, United States Sen. John Warner, U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, Board of Supervisors Chairman Kate Hanley and Supervisors Dana Kauffman and Elaine McConnell — among many others — are all on board with me in supporting the transportation referendum. I know that I can work with all of these politicians on bipartisan transportation solutions that we need here in Northern Virginia. The transportation referendum will raise money in Northern Virginia for transit and transportation projects in Northern Virginia. As your senator, I will continue my strong advocacy for innovative solutions to Northern Virginia's transportation problems.
A breast cancer survivor, I understand the importance of fighting for health care issues that matter to Fairfax County citizens. Our seniors deserve more health care choices and lower prescription drug costs. I am the only candidate in the 39th district who will provide the leadership in Richmond that we need on health care reform.
What is your stance on the proposed sales-tax increase?
I reiterate my strong and unwavering support for the bipartisan transportation referendum. A half-cent increase in the regional sales tax will generate nearly $2 billion in local transit and transportation revenue. This new source of transit and transportation revenue will go a long, long way to alleviating traffic congestion, extending Metro to Dulles Airport and providing for long-term transit and transportation needs throughout Northern Virginia. All of this will be done without the interference of the "dead hand" of VDOT, a department that was mismanaged by Republicans and whose reputation for delivering on transportation needs has been damaged — perhaps fatally. I believe it is far better to trust locally-raised revenue to pay for local transit and transportation solutions than to rely on the uncertain support of inattentive politicians in Richmond like my opponent in the 39th district.
If I'm elected, I will ...
As your senator in Richmond, I will seek common ground with Northern Virginia's other elected leaders on solutions to issues affecting our quality of life such as transportation, education and health care. I will ensure that the bipartisan transportation referendum gets the support that it needs from Richmond and, perhaps more importantly, the non-interference from Richmond in regional transit and transportation affairs that it promises. I will fight for full funding for our public schools so that all of our children receive a solid education. And I will fight against any misguided attempt to narrow the health care choices available to all of us and especially the most vulnerable among us like our seniors.
Why should people vote for you?
I believe that I deserve the strong support of Northern Virginians who want to change the climate of inattention and inactivity pursued by "business as usual" politicians like my opponent, who has essentially sat idly by in the House of Delegates for the last decade while our transportation systems became severely clogged and our public schools fell apart. We cannot afford the luxury of electing politicians determined to pursue a policy of non-interference in issues like transportation even as our daily commutes grow longer and our quality of life deteriorates.
People who care about finding solutions to Northern Virginia's transportation problems should vote for me. The voters must understand that a vote for the bipartisan transportation referendum and a vote for me on Nov. 5 is the only way to guarantee that our transportation needs will be met now and in the future. Parents and indeed all Northern Virginians who care about the education of our children — the future of our region, our state and our nation — must know that a vote for me on Nov. 5 is the only way to secure needed funding for our public schools and stop the rot in education that has occurred while my opponent has been sitting on his hands in Richmond. Finally, people with health care concerns now and in the future must understand that, by voting for me on Nov. 5, they will get an effective and sympathetic voice in Richmond with a fierce determination to provide for the critical health care needs of all of our citizens.