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Michelle on the Issues

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An Economy for All

Real change happens in the details – making an economy that works for everyone means ensuring that our seniors are not scammed out of their hard earned savings; it means making sure mom and pop stores don’t get stuck with expensive bills from big corporations; it means making sure big real estate companies can’t control what you do with your homes. That's why I passed HB 692 (the VA Senior Safe Act to keep our seniors and vulnerable adults safe), HB 744 (to protect Virginia residents and businesses against suprise contract auto renewals), and HB 1243 (to keep Virginia home owners safe from unscrupulous real esate brokerage firms taking homes away from families). Virginians deserve an economy that works for everyone. As your representative, Michelle will focus on keeping Virginia a best place for business and farming as well as a best place to live and work. Michelle is a small business owner. She understands how to support employees and businesses so they can provide you and your family with the important opportunities and resources you need to work well and live well. When threatened with a shutdown of federal government, no family should be forced to work without pay or wait to be reimbursed. Michelle will fight against pay disruptions for both federal government employees and federal contractors during shut downs. She also will strive to increase opportunities for people living and working with disabilities, and to expand access to SBA loans and funding for small business owners and returning citizens so they may become fully integrated, productive members of society. Michelle knows what creates a healthy, viable Virginia: a strong economy and jobs market; affordable living with attainable housing; tax incentives across the economic spectrum; strategic workforce development to address gaps in readiness and preparedness and to upskill employees, and prepare new and emerging leaders along with transitioning veterans; support for new and young farmers to help sustain our farming industry; and a world-class public school system. She will work hard toward each of these priorities to ensure that Virginia remains a gem of the South.

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World Class Education

Virginia is home to a diverse number of cultures, religions, and ethnicities with multiple foreign languages spoke at home, at school and in our communities. As someone who grew up speaking another language, Michelle knows how important funding is for our public schools to help bridge the language gap. That's why Michelle brought and passed HB 1247 to secure meaningful and needed funding for English Language Learners in Virginia schools. Virginia public schools are among the best in the nation, but there is still work to do. Michelle is the daughter and granddaughter of educators, and has been a member of the Education Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates. She will bring to Congress her experience and a collaborative approach in order to secure and expand funding for school facilities, teacher and staff recruitment, retention, pay, and development, as well as meaningful student debt reduction and forgiveness to make education more affordable. As a parent, Michelle believes in the power of the parent-teacher-student partnership that has long been the model in Virginia to strengthen public schools for our children and their families. She will dedicate her time to make sure that students—regardless of identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, background, or means—feel safe in school, and have the support, opportunities, and resources they need. Because students deserve access to a world-class education regardless of where they live, Michelle will support learning success and outcomes by increasing access to resources in our rural, urban, and suburban communities for students who need additional in-classroom instruction, incuding resources for our English Language Learners, as well as look to boot camp and apprenticeship experiences with ongoing supports to prepare students and learners of all ages before they are placed in a job as well as while they are there to maximize their success and the success of their organizations.

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Healthcare, Mental Health, Maternal Health

As Chair of the Insurance and Financial Institutions committee in the Virginia legislature, Michelle knows more than anyone what it means and takes to hold insurance companies accountable and to partner for accessible and affordable healthcare. An economy that works for everyone is one where healthcare is affordable, accessible, and available to everyone. Virginians need access to affordable and holistic healthcare. Michelle will fight to keep you and your family healthy across their full range of needs—from pre-natal care to elder care, from mental health to behavioral health, from maternal health to reproductive health, from care for veterans to gender affirming care. Michelle cares about the mental health of children in our schools and in our communities. To keep Virginia families healthy and supported, she will focus on funding, programs, and wrap-around services that address depression, abuse, and addiction across our communities. She will advocate for your privacy and bodily autonomy, and work hard to keep prescription drugs, homeopathic care, and veterans coverage benefits both accessible and affordable.

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Infrastructure & Technology

Transportation & Infrastructure Congress provided unprecedented funding for our nation’s infrastructure. We must ensure that Virginians have easy and safe access to transportation from wherever they live to whever they work and more. Michelle will advocate for developing, repairing, and maintaining our bridges, roads, railroads and railroad crossings, transportation hubs, and diverse modes of travel. Michelle worked with the Flint, Michigan, community following the water crisis. She knows what happens when communities do not have clean water, or when aging water pipes with toxic metals and chemicals impact the health—threaten the lives—of residents. Building upon the work and funding provided by the EPA’s State Revolving Fund to underserved and other impacted communities, Michelle will ensure that water infrastructure is updated; safe; clean; and free of lead, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and other contaminants. Technology & Innovation: Drawing on years of experience as both a technology lawyer and business leader in technology, Michelle founded the Virginia General Assembly's Technology & Innovation Caucus. She led efforts to form the statewide AI Technology Initiative in Virginia, while also serving on a steering committee for a nationwide AI Work Group of state legislators. Michelle understands the potential benefits of innovation, and is also keenly aware of the mental health, privacy, and national security issues presented by AI and other new and emerging technologies. From her first day in Congress, Michelle will aid Congressional colleagues in addressing these new challenges and opportunities. As a complement to safe, trustworthy, and transparent technology, Michelle will work to secure reliable broadband access and connectivity in hard to reach rural areas across the Commonwealth.

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Immigration

Michelle is proud to represent one of the most diverse districts in the nation. One of the Commonwealth’s strengths is its broad and deep diversity of perspectives, and in that we can be a model for the nation. Growing up in an immigrant family, Michelle understands the unique experiences of first, second, and third generation Americans from other countries who contribute to the rich and vibrant fabric of our nation. Michelle believes we must work together to attract and retain teachers and English Language Learner resources in our schools, establish common sense, comprehensive immigration reform which includes protecting our DREAMers, strengthening deportion action for criminals who are violent, and developing pathways and wrap around services for newly arriving immigrants. As someone who has worked with U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents, Michelle also understands the need for resources and funding to protect our nothern and southern borders and to hire and train new border agents and their leadership.

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Protecting Our Planet

Virginia has been a forward-thinking Commonwealth on environmental issues. We know that by protecting our environment we invest in the future of our Commonwealth, nation, and the world. Michelle understands that everyone can help address climate change and today’s environmental crises. She will advocate for cleaning our streets and highways; converting to electric vehicles, with a clear manufacturing, reuse, repurpose, and disposal strategy for car batteries; creating more bicycle lanes; utilizing recycled materials in innovative designs; and promoting alternative energy sources. As your congressional representative, Michelle will also focus on protecting our environment as we explore energy efficiency, grid expansion, and flexibility. She believes in a creative, comprehensive approach, and will build forward from the Virginia Clean Economy Act to explore new solutions. A collaborative approach with our farming, business, and residential communities could integrate green mobility options, impact our carbon footprint, and address smart local land development and use—all while addressing environmental justice issues.

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Public & Community Safety

Nothing is truer than the maxim that personnel is policy. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, nothing made it more clear how important it is to have judges that reflect our values. As chair of the Courts of Justice's Judicial Committee in the Virginia legislature, Michelle oversaw some of the most diverse and progressive appointments to judgeships throughout Virginia. Judge appointments aren’t a sexy topic, but it's appointing the right judges that will protect all of our rights. We need to root out the worst impulses of our criminal justice system wherever it is and sometimes that takes someone who knows the policy inside and out. That’s why Michelle closed the ticket quota loophole this past session to make sure we reduce the number of interactions between everyday working people and the criminal justice system. It is important for all families in Virginia to reimagine public safety, community policing, and criminal justice. Michelle believes we can create better systems and policies for our families and communities. Whether we eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, establish co-responder and community policing programs, provide mental health and suicide prevention resources for both both residents and law enforcement professionals, or offer restorative programs for our youth, we have many opportunities to effect change. Michelle has worked with both community members and law enforcement to ensure that our residents and law enforcement professionals are healthy, trustworthy, and safe. She will bring experience, compassion, a collaborative approach, and accountability to Congress to improve public safety for all Virginians. Michelle will continue to focus on firearms and community safety, gun storage laws, and gun violence prevention because she knows that no one is truly safe unless we all are.

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Good Government

Michelle has dedicated much of her career to bridging across conflict, treating people in the U.S. and abroad with dignity and respect, and seeing the humanity in others. She moves people toward solutions with civility, accountability, and compassion. Today, a small minority of extremists has prevented Congress from coming together in bipartisan fashion to seek progress for the American people. Michelle commits to bringing to Congress her deep ability to skillfully navigate conflict and polarization. She pledges to work with fellow legislators to keep our government moving forward, as we restore confidence in our representatives, transparency in the process, accountability for decision-making, and professionalism in our discourse. As Michelle works to ensure good government, she will be steadfast in her protection of voting rights, and will also ensure that voting in the Commonwealth is made more accessible to people with different abilities and for returning citizens.

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