Debra is focused on the fundamental issues that are crucial to the people of Henrico County.
No family should have to choose between their health and their financial stability. Debra will make sure that Henrico families have access to affordable healthcare by expanding Medicaid and implementing programming to ensure that 100% of children have health coverage. Delegate O’Bannon opposed Medicaid expansion and has publicly stated his support for Trumpcare, which would jeopardize protections for 3.4 million Virginians with pre-existing conditions.
Every student in the Commonwealth should have the opportunity to learn and succeed, and to do that, public education should be fully funded and fully staffed. Debra wants to raise teacher pay to ensure that the best and brightest teachers come to Virginia-and stay here. She also wants to increase accountability for charter schools and prevent them from coming into communities against their will and at the cost of existing public schools.
Delegate O’Bannon has voted repeatedly in favor of charters and against local interests. He has also allowed a significant staff shortage-15,000 educators-to persist since the recession of 2008.
As a mom with a special needs child and as an educator herself, Debra deeply understands the impact and frustration caused by budget cuts and out-of-touch policies. As Delegate, she will defend our schools, colleges and universities to make sure they get the funding they need and that teachers get the salaries they deserve.
Nothing else matters if you can’t find a job, and no one working two jobs should still struggle to pay the bills. Debra will fight to make sure that Virginians have access to jobs that pay fair, family-sustaining wages. To accomplish this, Debra will expand job training programs, both for the young and those looking to transition from declining industries, and will push the Commonwealth to embrace industries of the future, like renewable energy.
Debra also believes that Virginia should also work to make college, both four year and community college, more affordable so that our future workforce doesn’t start their careers in massive debt. By investing in a stronger education to career pipeline, Debra will not only deliver better jobs for today’s workers but also will lay a better foundation for the next generation of Virginians.
We all want to keep our air and water clean for our children and grandchildren. Debra believes local communities should decide whether they want fracking or pipelines. However, Debra also supports common sense protections for the public that prevent fracking companies from hiding potentially toxic or dangerous ingredients they are using to extract oil and gas.
Our community is at its best when we’re interconnected, and this requires well-maintained roads, bike lanes and sidewalks. As Delegate, Debra will work to make Henrico more bikeable and walkable, so that all families can enjoy our beautiful parks. Further, Debra believes that these investments aren’t purely about improving our community’s well-being, but they are also good business. Debra knows that investments in our roads and bridges grow businesses, increase home values and create good jobs.
The opioid crisis has taken its toll on families across Virginia and our community’s response to date has been woefully insufficient. Debra believes that we should better assist families and provide treatment for those suffering from addiction, offering supportive environments that encourage rehabilitation over incarceration.
At a time when vital healthcare for women is under attack by politicians in Richmond and Washington, D.C., Debra will never waver from her conviction that women should always be able to make their own decisions about their bodies. Delegate O’Bannon, on the other hand, has consistently worked to restrict women’s freedom of choice. He has voted to defund planned parenthood, voted for trans-vaginal ultrasounds, voted for waiting periods to restrict funding for abortion across the board and has voted for a religious exemption for pharmacists to provide Plan B.