FAMILY: Wife, Gretchen; children, Alex (8) and Josette (6)
CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: Amber Pringnitz, Campaign Manager; P.O. Box 106, Fairfax Station, Va., 22039
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-310-6752
OCCUPATION: Environmental Planner
EMPLOYMENT: AMEC Earth & Environmental, Inc., Chantilly, VA
EDUCATION: B.A., Government, College of William and Mary; Master of Public Administration, Virginia Tech; Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.
Qualifications: Elected County-wide to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (1993-Present); Member, former chair, Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission (1996-Present); Member, treasurer, Brain Injury Services, Inc. Board of Trustees (1997-Present); Appointed by Governor Warner to the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board (2004-Present); Co-chair, with wife Gretchen, of the annual Middleridge Neighborhood Night Out crime prevention event; Co-chair of the Fairfax County Occoquan Watershed Task Force (2001-2002); Former member, treasurer, Rotary Club of Annandale (1999-2002) ;Member (2002 and 1997), Area III Subcommittee Chair (1997), Braddock District Area Review Task Force; Volunteer coach/referee, Fairfax Little League and Burke Athletic Club soccer; Former Director of Environmental Services for the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (1991-2002)
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
Leading regional efforts to protect our streams and water quality as an elected member of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board. I served as co-chair of the New Millennium Occoquan Watershed Task Force, which was formed to strengthen protection of the Occoquan Reservoir. For its work, the Task Force received a Citation of Merit for Outstanding Citizen Service from the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations and the Washington Post. The recommendations of this report are still being implemented by a wide range of local government and community groups.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidates in the race?
I am a hands-on, energetic consensus builder with a proven track record of leadership in the community on a broad range of issues. My experience includes serving in leadership positions in natural resources conservation, consumer protection, land use, human services and crime prevention. I believe that we must increase citizen involvement in our State government, and as Delegate I will engage the community in the decision-making process.
3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I promise not to lose sight of the fact that I am in Richmond to represent and advocate on behalf of the people who live in the 37th District. believe that it is critical to get out into the community to understand local concerns. I also promise not to forget how important it is that I make the time to be a good father to my two children.
4. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?
Protecting our quality of life in Fairfax is the cornerstone of my campaign. Our region’s transportation crisis is a top concern. I will work to make investments in reliable public transportation (including rail to Dulles), promote incentives for telecommuting, and use technology (such as improved traffic light timing) to increase existing capacity. We must better integrate land use and transportation decisions to ensure that future development doesn’t overwhelm our transportation network. Other priorities include making sure our schools have the resources they need to succeed and keeping neighborhoods safe from gangs by focusing on prevention as well as law enforcement.
5. Is there any additional legislation in regard to abortion that you would support? Would you make any changes to the current laws and regulation about abortion in Virginia?
I would not seek any changes to the current laws and regulations in Virginia. I would focus my efforts on providing age-appropriate education to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to supporting alternatives to abortion when possible.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?
Fairfax City and Fairfax County have a combined population greater than that of seven states, and yet Virginia’s present tax structure leaves our region ill-prepared to deal with our most pressing issues. We must set priorities and continually streamline government functions. However, because local governments have limited options they are forced to over-rely on the real estate tax. While it is important to avoid a patch-work of taxes across Virginia, the General Assembly must provide local governments with a more diverse revenue base to protect property owners from skyrocketing assessments.
7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?
First, we must continue to fight for Fairfax’s fair share of state tax dollars. We receive only a fraction of our tax dollars back from Richmond, meaning that our local governments must make up the difference to provide basic services and meet state mandates. Second, Virginia must diversify the local revenue base. Our existing structure forces localities to over-rely on the real estate tax, which places a disproportionate burden on home owners. Finally, the State can play an important role by helping localities to take advantage of economies of scale and helping localities to use technology to increase efficiency and productivity.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?
This is a State issue, and existing Virginia law is adequate to support the current definition of marriage. Unfortunately, the debate in the General Assembly has gone well beyond the definition of marriage. The proposed Constitutional amendment that will be considered by the General Assembly takes away a basic civil liberty from same sex couples, the right to contract, that until now has been afforded to all Virginians regardless of marital status. In the home state of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe we must protect this fundamental right for everyone.
9. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize Virginia’s highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?
Public-private partnerships can be an invaluable tool to help Virginia make the critical capital investments that are needed to reduce traffic congestion. Depending on the project, the exact finance model will be different, for example the Dulles Greenway is privately owned and paid for through tolls, while Route 28 is publicly owned but paid for by a special tax on business property. Ultimately, transportation is a State responsibility. Any partnership must be openly debated, supported by a clearly defined public need and result in a long-term net benefit to Virginia’s tax payers.
10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?
Illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia. We are a nation of immigrants and have been continually enriched by newcomers. We value diversity and it is important to honor this tradition by supporting those who have entered legally. Regrettably, our federal government has failed to secure our borders or enforce laws against employing illegal immigrants. Our social services are becoming strained and our communities are left to struggle with the consequences. The real solution is federal immigration reform. However, the local impacts are too real for Virginia to ignore. I support the creation of a specially-trained State Police enforcement unit to work with federal authorities, which will allow local law enforcement to focus on community safety responsibilities.