Welcome to Project Blue Dominion's final Flip-a-District for the 2017 cycle, the "Why We Fight" Edition.
We have four days left until Election Day. We are all tired. We've knocked on countless doors, phone-banked for hours, reached out to family and friends about the election, made financial contributions, and more. But we can't let fatigue set in.
Now is the time to remember WHY we fight
Our goals are not just words, but a reflection of the deeply held values and priorities that fuel us.
As the House Democratic Caucus Campaign Chair, I'm working every day to pick up seats in the House of Delegates so that we can achieve real progress in Virginia.
Just imagine -- with a majority in the General Assembly we could:
- Roll back partisan gerrymandering:
Whoever sits in the Governor's Mansion and controls the General Assembly will have immense power over redistricting after the next census in 2020. We need to make sure that voters choose their politicians, not the other way around. Let's establish a nonpartisan redistricting process.
- Make it easier to vote:
Voter suppression efforts in Virginia -- with baseless warnings of "voter fraud" -- are relentless, pervasive and a danger to our democracy. We should focus on making it easier for people to voice their opinions at the ballot box by, for example, allowing no-excuses early voting.
- Grow the renewable energy sector:
Virginia has an enormous untapped potential for clean, reliable energy through solar, wind, and more. We need to focus on using our energy more efficiently. We must move our energy portfolio into the 21st century and pave the way for clean energy jobs throughout the Commonwealth.
- Prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change:
Climate change is a real, imminent threat to Virginia's environment, economy, and public health. We should confront this reality head-on by taking steps to reduce our carbon emissions and prepare our coastal communities for severe weather events.
- Expand Medicaid:
Medicaid expansion is long overdue in the Commonwealth -- we've already sent billions of taxpayer dollars to states that are expanding, while hundreds of thousands of Virginians are stuck in the coverage gap. No one should have to choose between paying for food or critical health care services.
- Protect and expand women's rights:
Extremists in the General Assembly try every year to roll back women's access to reproductive health care services. It's time to stop voting on whether to defund Planned Parenthood and start discussing how we empower women in the Commonwealth. The wage gap for women in Virginia, for example, is inexcusable and needs to be addressed.
- Pass comprehensive gun safety legislation:
Virginia has suffered through enough gun-related crime and death. It's time to rally behind commonsense gun safety legislation that puts public and mental health first -- "thoughts and prayers" are simply not enough to prevent the next tragedy.
- Work toward a modern immigration system:
As we've seen in the governor's race, some are willing to exploit racial biases in the immigration debate to score political points with their "base." The fear-mongering must end. We need to talk instead about welcoming new Americans and celebrate the growing diversity of Virginia's population.
- Strengthen Virginia's public school system:
We need to guarantee children's access to a high quality public education system with a focus on early childhood education, drop-out prevention, the STEAM fields, and providing a positive, welcoming environment for all students. We should also work toward better recruiting, training, paying, and retaining our teachers and supplemental school staff.
- Establish Virginia as an inclusive environment:
This election is our first big chance in Virginia to beat back Trump's brand of bullying. We need to confirm the Commonwealth as a welcoming place to live and raise a family.
This is why I'm fighting for 51 in the House of Delegates and to keep Democrats in our statewide seats. Imagine what we could achieve. This is what inspires me to knock on that last door at the top of the steep hill or make that last call to a potential voter at the end of a long day.
We're almost there. See you at the polls.