Virginians deserve a modern, 21st century government that involves them directly in a fair democratic process.
As a former investigator who worked with Rep. Elijah Cummings on the US House Oversight Committee, I have a passion for honest government that is rooted in service and integrity. One glance at Virginia’s system of elections and lawmaking reveals deep flaws that rig the game against regular people who want to be active participants in their democracy.
Our “anything goes” campaign laws allow big corporations and wealthy donors to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political candidates and make their voices the loudest on the critical issues facing our Commonwealth. Political campaigns and their donors lack transparency to the public. Although we’ve made groundbreaking progress on securing the right to vote, there’s more we can do to shake the legacy of voter disenfranchisement.
Virginia’s General Assembly, where all laws are written at the state-level, is stuck in an 18th century model of legislating, where our Delegates and Senators are part-time officials who are only expected to be in Richmond a few months out of the year.When the General Assembly is open for session, legislators have to cram extremely complex and consequential decisions into a small window of time with limited resources, which leaves regular people like you and me crowded out of the process and without the constituent services we deserve.
Both the successes and failures of other states that have reformed their processes show us that there is a common sense way forward for Virginia.
- Getting big money out of politics with serious campaign finance reform, including reasonable contribution limits, bans on contributions from public utilities, and restrictions on what campaign funds can be spent on.
- Modernizing Virginia’s government and professionalizing the General Assembly, allowing Delegates and Senators to treat their duties to the people as a full time job while removing barriers to public service.
- Establishing stronger transparency and ethics standards for government officials to be held accountable to.
- Protecting and expanding voting access for all Virginians, including providing funding to support fully automatic voter registration.
- Finding a lasting solution to the redistricting process that ensures districts are representative of the real communities they encompass.
- Providing voters a stipend through the tax code to give to campaigns of their choice and help level the playing field for candidates without wealthy donor connections.
- Moving towards ranked choice voting that gives Virginians more freedom to vote for candidates they believe in.
- Protecting our Commonwealth and the vote with cybersecurity leadership.