Rents for lower income households across Virginia have risen faster than incomes in recent years. Many families can only find housing in their budget that are long distances from where they work, increasing transportation costs, straining Virginia’s transportation infrastructure and adding to carbon pollution. Virginia can do more to ensure that its communities have a range of housing options available to all of its citizens.
We need to be good stewards of the Earth and manage our finite resources in a conservative manner. Our short-sightedness and addiction to fossil fuels has allowed our planet to become sick. This is not acceptable. The problem is huge and much of it will have to be addressed on a national and global level. We must put a price on carbon to encourage the development of alternatives to fossil fuels. The Commonwealth can establish goals and fund infrastructure projects for wind and solar for our homes and businesses. Funding charging stations in every community in the Commonwealth would encourage the acceptance of electric vehicles. Subsidies to taxpayers to insulate and upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes need to be explored. Bringing an Amtrak stop to Bedford would link us into public transportation and is a priority of mine. We all have a stake and a responsibility in the outcome of these efforts for the future of humanity and the planet.
Access to broadband for every household in the Commonwealth is as necessary today as a telephone line was to our grandparents. Children use the internet for schoolwork; telecommuting jobs are the future of work. We need to make sure everyone has the tools to succeed. The success of our local economy depends upon fast internet (broadband availability) for homes and businesses. State and local governments should provide an option when telecom companies will not or cannot do so. I will work to make sure broadband is accessible to all.
Education is the foundation of every healthy community. Funding schools to provide STEM and liberal arts training will allow our students to compete for jobs and our businesses to hire qualified workers. Property taxes alone cannot provide what is needed, especially when these taxes are reduced or waived to attract large businesses and we only receive low wage jobs in return. Fair education funding from the General Assembly is a key concern of mine.