We have a healthcare system that isn’t working for us. Our insurance costs are too high and there are hundreds of thousands of at-risk Virginians who don’t have adequate coverage or any coverage at all.

As a dental student, I watched my father navigate a complicated Medicaid system riddled with bureaucracy just to get his parents the care they needed in their old age. As a healthcare professional, I often have to watch my patients make difficult decisions about paying their mortgage or addressing their immediate health concerns.

We need a healthcare professional at the table who knows how to hold health insurance companies accountable. As Delegate, I will fight to expand Virginia Department of Health programs, make Virginia’s health insurance market more stable and fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act, preserve the recently passed Medicaid expansion, lower prescription drug prices, and curb the growing opioid epidemic.

The first thing I do when I wake up every morning is check Google Maps to see how long it’s going to take me to drive to DC to get to work. Our roads are congested, our tolls are expensive, and our public transportation system needs to be revamped.

When I was a student at American University, I did not have access to a car. I used the WMATA rail and bus systems to commute everywhere, and I always had the most difficulty traveling back and forth between Northern Virginia and DC.

As Delegate, I will fight to make our commutes better by decreasing travel times, lowering toll costs, expanding our public transportation systems, and encouraging public partnerships with the private sector to make sure that all Northern Virginians benefit from our area’s rapid development.

 

Our community is perfect for young, hard-working families. However, we have failed to adequately fund our pre-K-12 education needs. From personal experience, I know that education is the key to helping our children achieve the American Dream. As delegate, I will fight to make sure that our public education system is fully funded, that universal pre-k is a right, not a privilege, that children always have access to a healthy meal, and that our post-secondary education institutions are affordable and accessible.

 

 

The disparate conditions that exist in the region and the inequities they produce are of consequence not only to the affected groups but to the community at large. They affect the region’s economy, health care costs, social services budgets, and crime rates—and they challenge the community’s tenets of social justice. The solutions to this inequity problem does not come without costs. Investments in marginalized communities are required to reverse the consequences of decades of disinvestment. Cross-sector collaboration is needed to attract employers, create jobs, energize the economy, grow infrastructure (e.g., sidewalks, parks, supermarkets), and engage community organizations.

 

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We must increase the minimum wage to $15/hour, pay special attention to women’s healthcare, create laws that protect our most vulnerable racial, ethnic, sexual identity and religious groups, reform our criminal justice system, and create sensible gun laws.

 

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