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Candidate Responses




Click here for Mr. Ed Gillespie's (Republican) responses to VOICE's Priorities.


Click here for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam's (Democrat) responses to VOICE's Priorities.



List of Voice Statewide Asks and Solution Ideas

Lead our Nation in Reducing Discrimination, Hate Acts & Bullying.

1.     Zero Tolerance for Discrimination, Hate & Bullying. Pledge to stand with VOICE clergy, denominational leaders, area Superintendents and CEO’s and others to publicly and forcefully condemn hate & bullying when they occur in our schools, communities, and politics.  

2.     Strengthen Reporting & Increase Training. Convene  Police Chiefs, Superintendents, educators to a gathering where VOICE will bring members from our different faith communities to discuss and then implement with you, concrete ways to strengthen the reporting of hate acts and the training of law enforcement and school officials to address discrimination.   

3.     Implement the best of the Commission's Recommendations. Work with VOICE to implement the recommendations from the Governor’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion due in November 2018.


Restorative Criminal Justice.

1.      VA felony level outdated & discriminatory. Move VA’s felony level from $200 that is currently tied for last place in our nation to $1500 & change misdemeanor law for ½ once of marijuana.

2.      School to Prison Pipeline. Over the next 4 years, work with VOICE on concrete actions to dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline and invest in young people. 


Public Education. 

1.     Achievement gap & growing needs. Create $5 million pilot specialized grant program in this year’s budget for Title One schools and/or for programs for English language learners to encourage school-based creativity & improve classroom outcomes. 

2.     Teacher Shortage.  Commit to work with VOICE over the next 4 years, to address this need by recruiting and retaining top-flight and diverse educators that our children deserve. 

3.     Dire need for Pre-K for low-income 4 year olds. Increase funding for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program and remove the condition of a 100% match obligation for new slots. 


Reliable Transit.

1.     Ensure our Washington Metropolitan Area Transit is an affordable, reliable and equitable transit system.  Create pathway for state and/or local jurisdictions to create $500-$1billion in new dedicated funds. Lack of new funding solutions will crowd out local funding for housing affordability public education and other vital public services and issues. 

2.    Uphold Metro’s Middle Class Jobs. We need more good jobs in our region, not fewer. Metro's funding problems will not be and should not be solved by turning middle class jobs with benefits into working poor jobs whether through privatization, or other mechanisms. According to Secretary LaHood's report, labor costs for Metro are in-line with the industry average, and compare favorably to similar systems in US major cities.


Housing that is affordable for workers & families.  Support building affordable housing on publicly owned land (local, state, and federal) and increase the VA Housing Trust Fund annual allocation from $4M to $25M over the next 4 years.  For the health of our economy and working families, Northern VA needs more housing that is affordable. Our counties lag far behind their regional peers in addressing the need for and investing in affordable housing. Too many Virginians including our police officers, teachers, health care workers, child care workers, military & many others are paying more than 40% of their salary for housing and/or must live hours from where they work. 


Immigration.  Support keeping families together! 

1.     Support DREAMers. Use your position and leadership to pull together the Virginia US Delegates with Virginia US Delegates, VA CEO’s who employ DREAMers, VA denominational leaders, & DREAMers to hear first hand why DACA is critical.

2.     Keep hard-working, tax paying immigrant families together.  Use the power of your office to obtain a commitment from our regional ICE Field Director, that ICE agents in VA will arrest violent criminals and not rip families apart.