Opinion: Commentary: Reviewing Accomplishments This Session

Opinion: Commentary: Reviewing Accomplishments This Session

I am running for re-election as your delegate to the Virginia General Assembly. It was just four years ago when I turned in my first set of petitions to run to be the delegate representing the 44th district. I once again have filed the necessary signatures from constituents on petitions of qualified voters. This means I’ll be back on the ballot for a third time, and will work very hard to get re-elected and to earn your vote once again. Over the next eight months I will continue to knock on doors throughout the 44th District, organize events, listen to constituents and advocate for our community. I will have a strong grassroots effort to run an organized and expansive campaign.

As your delegate I have worked diligently to make our community safer and more efficient. A few years ago, I brought the DMV 2 Go to Sherwood Hall Regional Library once every month. This allows us to receive all the same services (including in Spanish if needed) we have at the DMV with the convenience of it here in our neighborhood. Additionally, I hosted, along with Mount Vernon at Home and Senator Warner’s office, a cyber security workshop for seniors. In 2017, 2.68 million Americans reported fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission. During the workshop we reviewed these scams and how to respond to and avoid them. The event was a great success and I plan to host another one in May, which you will hear about in this weekly column in the Mount Vernon Gazette where I endeavor to update constituents on legislation and issues of importance and interest to our community and across the Commonwealth. And, I continue to work with our congressman and local leaders to fight against the often unbearable airplane noise that plagues our community.

As your representative in Richmond, I have succeeded in passing many bills that will make for a stronger and more just Commonwealth. Just this session I passed legislation to create a Sex Trafficking Response Coordinator within the Commonwealth. In 2017, the Human Trafficking Hotline reported 156 human trafficking cases in Virginia, 70 percent of which were sex trafficking cases. My legislation, which will become law on July 1, will combat this problem by creating a centralized point of contact to help coordinate efforts among stakeholders to prevent trafficking in the Commonwealth. Additionally, I launched the Grow Your Own Teacher Pilot Program in Virginia. The program will allow low-income students who want to teach at Title I schools the opportunity to receive scholarships in order to attend four-year colleges and earn their teaching degree.

I am especially proud of my efforts as the lone Democratic conferee in the House to pass the historic independent redistricting commission bill this session, our successful expansion of healthcare last year, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee negotiating against a plan to concentrate the benefits to the highest earners by providing a nearly $1 billion tax relief package that positively impacts all Virginians regardless of income level.

I will continue to work hard to create an economy that works for all Virginians, promote renewable energy to protect our planet and grow our investment in our children through quality public education. I will never stop fighting for what is right because I know that the hardworking people of our community and across Virginia deserve the best.