Candidate for State Senate District 36
Town of residence: Mount Vernon
Family: Erinn Madden (Wife), Eva (15), Leia (13), Mara (10), Colin (9)
Education: J.D. University of Virginia School of Law, 1996; B.A., Magna Cum Laude, James Madison University, 1993; Advanced Studies Diploma, West Potomac H.S., 1989
Offices held, dates: House of Delegates, 44th District, 2010-Current
Occupation and relevant experience: Attorney/Founding Member, Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
Community involvement: Girls Soccer Coach, Lee-Mt. Vernon Soccer Association, 2007-2013; Secretary, Treasurer & Director, Tauxemont Community Association, 2001-2008; Member, Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, 2006-Present, Legislative Committee, 2006-2009; Board Member, Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce Education Partnership, 2007-2008; Member, Fairfax Bar Association, 1996-Present, President, Fairfax Bar Association Young Lawyer's Section, 1998-99; Ex Officio Member, Fairfax Bar Association, 1998-99
Member, Virginia State Bar, 1996-Present; Fifth District Attorney Discipline Committee, 2005-2010; Member, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, 1996-Present; Chairman, Family Law Section, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, 2007-2008; Fairfax County Public Schools Community Leadership Council from 2008-2009; Fairfax County Public Schools Community Advisory Council starting in 2009
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter handle: www.twitter.com/ssurovell
Name three favorite endorsements: Virginia Education Association, Senator Toddy Puller
What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?
My #1 focus since I was elected was the improvement of the U.S. 1 Corridor. I have lived in our community since I was born in 1971 and I am dedicated to making the U.S. 1 Corridor and our community a place that my children will want to live in 2030. Senator Puller and I funded and completed the U.S. 1 Multimodal Study which recommended the extension of the Yellow Line. I am working to make this a reality sooner rather than later.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why should voters choose you?
I believe the success of our community in the future will originate from investing in first class transit, fully-funding K-12 and early childhood education, regulatory measures to rid our community of predatory blight and businesses, and investing in people. In the last six years, I have proven that I know how to move the ball forward on these issues, and in the future, I will work towards measures to adequately fund these projects. My opponent believes that the private sector holds the solutions to Route 1's economic development problems and that we can have everything we want without paying for it.
Given the political makeup of the state legislature, what examples from your own experience suggests you can successfully bridge the intense partisan differences there?
I have passed over 20 pieces of legislation in the six years I have served. I pass legislation without securing at least 18 Republican votes in the House of Delegates. I have also worked with Republican colleagues to defeat legislation on the floor of the House including last year's execution secrecy legislation. I have developed friendships, relationships, and the experience necessary to maximize our community's opportunities in Richmond.
In order, list your top 5 specific legislative priorities.
- The improvement and expansion of first class transit to promote redevelopment of the U.S. 1 Corridor.
- Raising K-12/early childhood/higher education funding. We need lower class sizes, higher teacher salaries and digital devices for all students.
- Predatory Lending needs to be severely regulated on U.S. 1. Interest rates capped, locations limited, and bait and switch tactics abolished.
- Virginia must expand Medicaid.
- Promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and a green economy.
How has your district changed in the last 10 years? What caused those changes?
Traffic has exploded on U.S. 1 due to employment growth at Fort Belvoir and Marine Corps Base Quantico. 36th District's school populations have exploded due to population turnover from elderly to young families and housing growth in Prince William County.
Will you support legislation restricting high interest lending including car title loans?
Predatory lending is completely out of control on U.S. 1. Short of abolition, I have consistently supported (1) interest rate caps, (2) giving local government the authority to regulate the number of predatory lenders that can locate in an area, and (3) prohibiting multiple predatory lending entities from co-locating in the same storefront.
Will you support funding for Fostering Connections which would result in an influx of federal funding for foster children aging out of foster care?
I have always been supportive of measures to fully fund Virginia's safety net. Expanding Medicaid would free up $180 million of Virginia taxpayer dollars because the federal government would pick up 100% of the cost of fourteen programs currently 100% funded by Virginia taxpayers. Those monies could be used to fund programs such as this one.
Do you support expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and if so, what would you do to make that happen?
Closing the healthcare coverage gap is probably the #1 thing we can do to improve quality of life in the short term in the U.S. 1 Corridor. The U.S. 1 Corridor has the largest existing Medicaid population and the largest concentration of working adults that would benefit from expansion in Northern Virginia. Expansion will create 30,000 jobs in Virginia, nearly 1,000 jobs in the 36th District, and will free up $180 million of Virginia taxpayer dollars to spend on other priorities. I have never voted for a budget without Medicaid expansion, and I will continue to advocate for Medicaid expansion as a necessary condition for any biennial budget passed this year.