Charlotte understands the need to ensure access to quality healthcare for everyone. She has been living with MS for over a decade and lacked insurance when she first became ill. We need to enable people to prioritize preventive care over emergency care. We must address the high cost of prescription drugs and further expand Medicaid to all who want to join. We need to improve access to mental health care and dental health care. We need a holistic approach to healthcare.
Everyone benefits from quality public education regardless of whether or not you have children who are in public schools. We need to end the school to prison pipeline and the over militarization of our public schools. We must ensure equity in our schools and have more diverse hiring practices. We also need to reduce the number of SOL testing and ensure students who are not native English speakers are able to take these tests in a language they understand.
It is imperative that we remove the definition of marriage as being between a man and woman from the Virginia Constitution. Virginia is for ALL Lovers and we must cultivate an atmosphere in which everyone can thrive. We must include our LGBTQ community in hate crime legislation and ban the practice of conversion therapy. Charlotte will champion legislation that would include gender identity and sexual orientation in nondiscrimination policy for housing, public employment, and health care.
The majority of the 33rd Senate district is located in Loudoun County. There is a lack of affordable housing in Loudoun County. This means that many of our teachers and emergency service providers cannot afford to live in the county where they work. Many people who work in Loudoun live in West Virginia commuting 4 hours a day round-trip! I believe it benefits our community when our teachers, firefighters, and deputies are able to live in the community they serve. This will also reduce the amount of time people spend commuting, lessen traffic, and lower air pollution.
Gun violence has been an issue plaguing our country for over 40 years. Progress has not been made and this epidemic has only gotten worse. We need to be looking at gun violence as a public health issue. We must have universal background checks for all gun sales. We need to restore the one gun a month policy to end Virginia's participation in the iron pipeline that sends many handguns north and south of our borders. You need a license to drive a car, to go fishing, and hunting, you should be required to have a license to purchase a firearm. We can also reduce suicides by implementing Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). This will enable concerned loved ones to seek help from our courts to temporarily prohibit a person from accessing firearms if there is a significant danger to themselves or others.
We need to ensure people working full time can live above the poverty line. We need to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We also need to create paid family medical leave and end the gender pay gap. If we are raising the minimum wage we also need to ensure workers can still access affordable, quality healthcare. I believe investment in clean energy jobs, diversification of agricultural crops, and incentives for people to go into the field of home health care will increase our middle class.
Charlotte believes that it is essential that we increase voter participation. We can do this by offering no-excuse absentee voting and same day voter registration. It is critical that we increase voter participation. Virginia would be able to save money and increase voter turnout by eliminating odd year elections. Ensuring fair redistricting will also return power to the voters instead of legislators choosing their constituents. We cannot have election reform without campaign finance reform. We must prohibit candidates from soliciting or accepting contributions from public service corporations.
Virginia has beautiful natural resources which need to be protected to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy them. We must move Virginia towards 100% renewable energy and cease investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure. We need to properly and safely dispose of coal ash and reduce our use of plastics. We need to improve our recycling and ensure that waste is being recycled. However, we cannot protect the environment at the expense of those who are already economically struggling.