Q: What are your top 3 issues? Why?
Community food enterprise centers and tools for small farmers. We can help make small farming a little less risky by encouraging communities to invest in tools such as mobile slaughterhouses, pasteurization salons, and community commercial kitchens that can lower the barrier of entry into the market for aspiring food entrepreneurs. The Carver Agricultural Research Center here in our district is a model project of this kind and was jumpstarted by a simple $63K grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development. I want to make sure it succeeds and that it inspires other similar projects around Virginia.
Vocational training. Not everyone needs a 4-year degree. We need plumbers, carpenters, electricians. That’s why I support more opportunities and more dedicated funding for high school and post-secondary vocational training and apprenticeship programs, where no new high school graduate is turned away for inability to pay, and a P-14 public education track that culminates in apprenticeships, vocational certification, job training and placement, and/or an associate’s degree.
Criminal justice reform. We over-criminalize, over-punish, and enforce our laws unfairly. I believe we need sweeping reforms to our criminal justice system, ranging from legalizing marijuana, to ending incarceration for minors for all nonviolent offenses, to raising the public defender and larceny limits, to reforming pretrial release and bringing back parole.
To learn more about Ben, be sure to visit his website https://benhixon.com/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/benhixonVA for more details.
What are your top 3 issues? Why?
Education, social justice, and the environment.
I have been on the school board for the past 7 years. As a school board member, I know the importance of early childhood education, and I fully support universal Pre-K and expansion of broadband. That is because I know that when kids come to school behind, it is that much harder for them to be successful.
I am passionate about social justice because I want to build the world we want for our children and ourselves. The hate and bigotry we saw in Charlottesville cannot be the story of our Commonwealth or our nation. We need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and end the policies of mass incarceration that are preventing many of our community members from succeeding and preventing many people from voting.
We need to build a better world for the next generation by protecting the environment. The current intentional ignorance around climate change is unacceptable, and our children will pay the costs of our current disposable culture. Clean energy can grow our economy through high-paying jobs and lessen our dependence on utility companies.
To learn more about Amy, be sure to visit her website https://www.lauferforvirginia.com and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LauferForVA/ for more details.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.