I will fight tirelessly for Medicaid expansion, as set aside in the federal budget through the Affordable Care Act, to help working families in Virginia bridge the healthcare coverage gap.
People cannot thrive without adequate healthcare, and our region is being held back by subpar access to coverage. I will work for a greater coverage area of access to hospitals and healthcare facilities across the region. I do not find it acceptable that only one county out of three in the District 1 has hospital access within 30 minutes.
I will work to keep rural hospitals open, not continue to allow them to close by obstructing bills that may ensure their success.
Southwest Virginia needs heightened access to post-secondary education for students of all ages, from those fresh out of high school to those finding their way back again.
I believe in easier access to continuing education for those who have already entered the workforce and either want to further their career or change careers, or for those who have been laid off from their chosen career path.
This would include funding for expanded curriculum on a community college level for a greater range in subject matter taught and times classes are run; ending the cycle of budget cuts that force schools to downsize staff and programming; and ensuring that pre-school and college are as accessible as any other part of the public education system (as TP called it, P-14).
Every student should have the opportunity to go to college without insurmountable student debt. Every parent should have the opportunity to enroll their young children in daycare and preschool programs without added financial stress. This is especially true for those working families whose incomes are too high for Headstart, but for whom the daily costs of childcare are a burden.
I am also an outspoken advocate for the arts and would like to work with the Board of Education in some capacity to make sure that the arts are given their due diligence in an educational setting, alongside STEM studies instead of in opposition thereof.
I believe we need an increase in jobs in healthcare and education. Open hospitals mean jobs.
Access to career education programs and vocational training expands access to jobs.
Further access to post secondary education also increases the qualified pool of workers in the region. More skilled and qualified workers mean outside corporations will have more of a guarantee that they’ll have the workforce they need when considering our region as prospective location.
Solar legislation makes the region more accessible and attractive for businesses and power companies to make an eventual transition to solar.
I would like to see more programs aimed at miners and those who work in the mining industry to help them make smooth transitions to safer and more readily available jobs with competitive pay.
Paid for and authorized by Alicia Kallen for Delegate.