Local Voter News

Important Research from the Commonwealth Institute

The Commonwealth Institute in Richmond provides nonpartisan policy research and analysis to advance the well-being of Virginia communities, and improve the economic security and social opportunities of all Virginians. Their values include:

  • Independence
  • Fairness and Equity
  • Integrity
  • Empowerment

Here are a few of their most recent easy-to-understand half sheets:

Voting Rights: Recent Decisions

Have you noticed the US Supreme Court’s three recent decisions about voting rights? The League of Women Voters advocates for voters’ rights and has press releases on each of these major decisions.

    1. Supreme Court Upholds Ohio Law Allowing Voter Rolls to Be Purged After Missing Two Elections
      June 11, 2018
      Should a registered voter ever be removed from a state’s voter lists, and how does a state know when to do so? Ohio has a strict standard for removing voters – missing two consecutive years of November elections can get you un-registered, even if you haven’t moved – and the Supreme Court upheld the state law. (Virginia also removes voters after missed elections, but not as quickly as Ohio – read a short discussion of the process on a William & Mary blog here.) The League’s statement here is opposed to the Ohio law.

2. Supreme Court Clarifies First Amendment Protections at Polling Places
June 14, 2018
Should voters wearing political clothing be allowed in a polling place? Minnesota had a law against it, which the Supreme Court struck down because it was too vague. A future law could prohibit political clothing, if it was more specific about what was not allowed. Read the League position here; read a blog post from the non-partisan Scotus Blog here.


3. The Supreme Court Sends the Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case Back to District Court
June 16, 2018
Who gets to allege that gerrymandering is harmful, and how much proof do they need – and how much time will all that take? Wisconsin voters will need to make a stronger case if they want the Supreme Court to weigh in. Read the League statement here and a helpful blog post from Scotus Blog here.

 

New citizens, newly registered voters

On June 15, 2018, ninety-nine local people became naturalized American citizens, and the Williamsburg League was on hand to register the new citizens to vote. We had twenty-five applications! A big congratulations to all the new citizens: we appreciate your hard work, dedication, and your contributions to our society.

‘I get to have a say in the future’: 99 granted U.S. citizenship at Williamsburg naturalization ceremony

Absentee Voting: Final Countdown!

We are in the last week before the primary election on June 12, and the options for absentee voting wane. Absentee voting is great if you know you will be unable to vote because of a commitment on Election Day.

However, as of June 5, 2018, it is too late to request an absentee ballot by mail.

You can vote in the election office for your locality between 9am and 5pm this week. All three offices are open this Saturday, June 9, 9am – 5pm, as well. You cannot vote absentee on Monday, June 11, right before the election, so don’t wait till then!

Absentee Ballot Form


You will need to fill out this piece of paperwork before casting your absentee ballot. You can do it at the office; you can even download the form here and bring it with you.

York County:

(757) 890-3440

City of Williamsburg:

(757) 220-6157

James City County:

(757) 259-4949

 


COMPLETING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION
– https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html

Am I eligible to vote absentee?
– http://www.williamsburgva.gov/government/department-i-z/voter-registrar/absentee-voting

You may vote absentee if you are unable to go to the polls on Election Day because you …

  • are a student or the spouse of a student outside the City of Williamsburg
  • will be away from the City of Williamsburg on business
  • will be at your workplace for 11 or more hours between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • will be away from the City of Williamsburg on personal business or vacation
  • are unable to go to the polls because of illness or disability
  • are the primary caretaker of a confined family member
  • have a religious obligation
  • are confined awaiting trial are confined having been convicted of a misdemeanor
  • are an election official
  • are on active duty in the military
  • are the spouse or dependent residing with a member of the military
  • are an overseas citizen whose most recent United States residence was in [Williamsburg, James City County, or York County]

COMPLETE IN-PERSON

Before visiting your local registrar’s office, check your registration status or call your registrar’s office (phone numbers available on Virginia voter registration application). Also review the application to insure you have all of the information necessary to complete the process. If you are not already registered, you will have to wait five days after registration before you can be issued an absentee ballot (exception for military and overseas voters only). If you have a Virginia DMV license or ID card, you can register online using our OAB application.

  • Within 45 days prior to the election in which you wish to vote, visit your local registrar’s office to vote absentee in-person.
  • At the registrar’s office, fill out an Absentee Application. You must show an acceptable form of photo ID. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our Voting In-Person page.
  • After completing the application, you will be allowed to vote absentee in-person using a voting machine in the registrar’s office. Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

An application completed in person can be made up to three days before the election in which the applicant wishes to vote and completed in the office of the local registrar. The applicant signs the application in the presence of a registrar or the secretary of the electoral board. Some large localities offer satellite locations for in-person absentee voting. Check with your local registrar for locations and times.

An applicant generally cannot both register to vote in person and vote absentee in person at the same time. If you register to vote in person, your absentee ballot cannot be issued until five days after you are registered. The only exception is absent military and overseas voters eligible under a federal law.

Registered voters who vote absentee in person are subject to the same rules that apply to voting at the polls. If acceptable identification is not provided, a provisional ballot will be offered and the voter is allowed until the following Friday by noon after the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.

 

Sources:

http://www.williamsburgva.gov/government/department-i-z/voter-registrar/absentee-voting
https://www.elections.virginia.gov/Files/Forms/VoterForms/VirginiaAbsenteeBallotApplication.pdf

 

Sample Ballots: June 12 Primary

 

Know what’s on the ballot before stepping into the poll booth, because it’s difficult to learn about candidates once you’re about to mark the
ballot. Local jurisdictions provide sample ballots to inform voters before Election Day.

Since it’s a dual party primary, you can only pick one party election in which to vote!

If you live in James City County, there are different ballots depending on where you live. Check your precinct here:

https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation

 or here



sources:
https://www.jamescitycountyva.gov/1044/Voter-Registration-Elections
https://www.williamsburgva.gov/government/department-i-z/voter-registrar
https://www.yorkcounty.gov/1379/June-12-2018-Democratic-and-Republican-P

12jun6:00 am7:00 pmFeaturedJune Primary Election: Find your polling place at vote411.org

Dual Primary confusion: be prepared!

When you vote on June 12, 2018, you are required to choose a Republican or Democratic ballot to cast your vote. Depending on where you live, there may only be one party race in which you can vote. (Check your options on our sidebar at vote411.org).

Virginia doesn’t require party registration to vote in a party primary, so you can pick either party’s ballot no matter who you plan on supporting in November. However, you can pick only one party ballot, so be prepared when you get the question at your voting precinct!

At the polling place, you will be asked

“In which party’s primary do you wish to vote?”

Primary elections, held in June, are different from General elections held in November. Officially “party business,” the ballots have candidates from the same party running against each other for a particular office candidacy – the winner goes on the November ballot.

From Virginia’s official elections website:

If party nominating primaries are being held, [you have the right] to tell the officials which primary you want to vote in. You may vote in either primary, but not both primaries held on the same day.

Primary – One of the methods by which a political party may nominate its candidate.

Held in February or March of presidential election years to nominate candidates for president.

Held in June for all other offices regularly scheduled to be elected in November.

Sources:

  • https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/voter-rights-responsibilities/index.html
  • https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/registration-faq/

03may(may 3)11:00 pm21(may 21)5:00 pmFeaturedVoter Registration Deadline is May 21 for June 12 Primary

12jun6:00 am7:00 pmFeaturedJune Primary Election: Find your polling place at vote411.org

Proposed LWV-WA Board Members for the 2018-2019 season

This slate of candidates will be presented and voted on at the Annual Meeting on June 7, 2018.

07jun4:30 pm6:30 pmFeaturedWilliamsburg Area League Annual Meeting

LWV-WA will elect those candidates noted in bold below to two-year terms. The remaining officers’ and directors’ terms continue for another year.

Officers:

President: Mary Schilling (2018-2020)

Vice President: Les Solomon (2018-2020)

Secretary: Lucy Painter (2018-2020)

Treasurer: Lonnie Mattes (2017-2019)

Parliamentarian (Appointed): Mary Swain

Elected Directors (6 allowed):

Outreach/Public Relations: Mary Ann Moxon (2018-2020)

Great Decisions: Don Schilling (2018-2020)

Advocacy and Activism: Linda Rice (2018-2020)

Membership Co-Chair: Susan Carron (2018-2020)

Voter Service Co-Chair: Rubyjean Gould (2017-2019)

The Voter Co-Editor: Madeline Vann (2017-2019)

Directors Appointed by President (6 allowed):

Voter Service Co-Chair: Maryann Simpson (2018-2019)

Great Decisions Co-Chair: Bobbie Falquet (2018-2019)

Hospitality: Jan Keady (2018-2019)

Member at Large: Phoebe Kent, The Voter Co-Editor(2018-2019)

Member at Large: Mary Bull, Webmaster (2018-2019)

Member at Large: Kathy Casey (2018-2019)

Ex-Officio: Anne Smith

Nominating Committee:

Chair: Carol Deakins (2017-2019)

Member: Judy Knudson (2017-2019)

Member: Ann Tetreault (2017-2019)

Two members appointed by the board

2018 Nominating Committee:

Chair: Carol Deakins

Member: Judy Knudson

Member: Ann Tetreault

Board-appointed Member: Phoebe Kent

Board-appointed Member: Les Solomon

Your next election

hands voting
November elections are familiar, but what’s going on with these spring elections you’ve heard of? Visit the Virginia Department of Elections website for the official source on where and when these elections are held.

The Citizen Portal shows the next election in which you can vote, and which offices, candidates, and issues will be on the ballot. Research information before entering the polling place, since once you’re inside the voting booth it’s hard to get information about the candidates and issues on the ballot.

Most of us have a hard time remembering which congressional district we’re in. Go to vote411.org and enter your address for a quick reminder.

The next election will be the June Primary (June 12, 2018) and both the 1st and 2nd District in Virginia (affecting City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County) will have Democratic and Republican primaries for the National House of Representatives. Read more about candidates here (links go to vote411.org, a site run by the educational non-profit wing of the League of Women Voters):

Congressional District 1 Republican incumbent Rob Wittman does not have a primary challenger.

Congressional District 1: Democratic Candidates

Congressional District 2: Democratic Candidates

Congressional District 2: Republican Candidates

As we all learned in the last November election, ballots can be confusing. The Virginia Department of Elections publishes a guide to marking the ballot.

03may(may 3)11:00 pm21(may 21)5:00 pmFeaturedVoter Registration Deadline is May 21 for June 12 Primary

12jun6:00 am7:00 pmFeaturedJune Primary Election: Find your polling place at vote411.org

 

Members: join us at the June 7, 2018 Annual Meeting!

by Phoebe Kent, The Voter Co-Editor

Members at the W&M homecoming paradeCome join us from 4:30-6:30 pm at Legacy Hall in New Town for a lively, interesting Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 7. In addition to the opportunity to converse with fellow members, the meeting features Kelly Thomasson, Governor Northam’s Secretary of Administration, who will share her insights with us. Her responsibilities are many: management of clemency petitions, restoration of civil rights, extraditions, authentication of documents and commissioning of Notary Publics.

Kelly is a graduate of Lead Virginia, a statewide leadership program that gives a select group of professionals the opportunity to learn about regional differences and statewide needs, creating a nonpartisan network of informed, active leaders with a shared vision for the Commonwealth’s future. She currently serves on the Lead Virginia Board of Directors. She was named to Top 40 Under 40 by Style Weekly in 2017.

We will also conduct our formal business – hearing a report from President Mary Schilling, voting for new officers, and approving a budget for 2018-2019. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be available. We hope to see you there.

07jun4:30 pm6:30 pmFeaturedWilliamsburg Area League Annual Meeting

Candidates for the Congressional District 1 Democratic Primary

Learn more about the candidates in the Congressional District 1 Democratic Primary through their answers to this survey. The survey was sent out by Vote411, run by the League of Women Voters Education Fund. This document is provided for ease of reading.

Rob Wittman, the incumbent Republican in Congressional District 1, does not have a primary challenger.

03may(may 3)11:00 pm21(may 21)5:00 pmFeaturedVoter Registration Deadline is May 21 for June 12 Primary

12jun6:00 am7:00 pmFeaturedJune Primary Election: Find your polling place at vote411.org

Virginia Congressional District 1 Democratic Primary: June 12, 2018

 This is a dual Primary so voters will have to choose either a Republican or a Democratic ballot.

Elected to a two-year term each U. S. Representative serves the people of a specific Congressional district by introducing bills, serving on committees and providing constituent services among other duties. The annual salary of each Representative is $174,000.  Virginia has eleven Congressional Districts.

The Democratic Party Primary election on June 12, 2018 serves to select the one Democratic  Party candidate to be on the November 6, 2018 ballot for the 1st Congressional District.

There is also a June 12th Republican Party Primary to select the U.S. Senate candidate to be on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

See the Virginia Department of Elections website for all the races and candidates. https://www.vote.virginia.gov

Also see www.vpap.org for more candidate information.

 

Candidates (choose 1):

Edwin Santana Jr

Party: Dem
Biographical Info:

Email Address: santanaforVA1@gmail.com

Website: http://santanaforcongress.com/

education: Edwin Santana studied at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME. He received his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Power Engineering in 2012.

experience: Santana served as a Battalion Supply Officer in the US Marine Corps beginning in May 2012. He and his family were stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA. After serving our country, Santana worked as a logistics analyst.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SantanaforCongress/

Twitter: twitter.com/SantanaforVA1

Questions:

Q.1: What policies do you propose to ensure election integrity in the U.S.?

A: Ensuring that our elections are free and fair, while encouraging widespread voter participation, is vital to maintain the legitimacy of our democracy. Congress must take swift action to protect the election process. Several issues need to be addressed in future legislation. First, we must improve our cybersecurity abilities to combat foreign attempts to undermine election integrity. Second, we must expand access to voters and fight modern-day “Jim Crow” laws that dissuade minorities groups from voting. Third, Congress should take an active role in combating false information shared with citizens that attempt to mislead voters.

 

Q.2: What changes would you support in our healthcare system to ensure high quality, accessible, affordable health care for all Americans?

A: Health care is not a privilege, it’s a human right. Yet 44 million Americans still lack any form of health insurance. Our healthcare system is fundamentally broken. Unchecked growth of private sector transformed the health and well-being of citizens into a commercialized product. Access to medical treatment can mean the difference between life and death. Allowing insurers to place a price-tag on life, is morally unjustifiable, especially when that price is greater than most citizens can afford. We cannot allow American families to continue to live in fear of a medical emergency and debt caused by unaffordable medical bills. A single payer is necessary as health care is a human right and the current system fails to provide health care in a universal and affordable manner. In Congress, I will work to streamline medical access and treatment option through a single-payer framework.

 

Q.3: What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence in the U.S.?

A: In 2016, over 38,000 Americans died from gun-inflicted injuries, according to the CDC. We cannot afford to push the debate on gun control back any further. Our nation needs comprehensive gun reform that will protect all citizens from gun violence. To stop gun violence in our country it is critical we take action now. There are several changes we can implement within a short time-frame to reduce violence. First, implement and require universal background checks for all gun and ammo buyers. Second, reintroduce the ban on the sale of assault weapons. Third, bar sales of guns to violent criminals including individuals with charges of domestic abuse and assault. Fourth, require training and certification for any citizen to own or operate a firearm. Fifth, require gun manufacturers to incorporate existing safety mechanisms into guns to prevent cases of injury, especially those inflicted by children.

 

Q.4: What policies such as tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, etc. do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?

A: Economic growth and security are one of the primary focuses of our campaign. Congress must take an active role in ensuring American workers receive a living wage and protect their rights in the workplace. Our campaign stands with unions and workers who demand better treatment and pay. Our campaign understands taxes are necessary for our government to function and provide for the citizens. We support ending corporate loopholes and tax breaks on the richest Americans. The trickle-down economics implemented under Ronald Reagan failed our country. We need to build an economy that works for all Americans, not just the rich. After Gov. Sam Brownback’s failed tax cut experiment in Kansas, it is clear massive tax reductions on the wealthiest Americans and their businesses fail to grow the economy. Congress needs to pass legislation that raises wages for workers which will grow the economic base.

 

Q.5: What is your position on using a citizenship question in the 2020 Census survey?

A: We do not believe the use of a citizenship question serves any purpose other than to intimidate people living in the United States. We need to work to build an inclusive country where all citizens and future citizens can achieve success.

 

Q.6: What are your proposals for an immigration policy?

A: We cannot continue to celebrate our status as a nation of immigrants if we fail to adopt a more fair approach to immigration. The years of gridlock on the issue have allowed for abuses of human rights to continue and for families to be torn apart. We need to streamline the immigration process, protect those in-need of political asylum, and people moving to America who want to grow our economy. Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA was without reason and based on xenophobic prejudices against minorities held by his supporters. The majority of DACA recipients did not make the active decision to cross the border– they were brought over by their parents at a young age– and contribute to our society and economy. We need to protect Dreamers by preventing their deportation and passing a Clean Dream Act that would provide them with a pathway to citizenship.

 

Q.7: What are your legislative priorities?

A: Our campaign has several important legislative priorities including protecting workers’ rights, increasing the minimum wage, and expanding broadband access across rural communities. Another unique legislative priority is our mission to end the culture of sexual assault on college campuses and in our armed forces. Our campaign has proposed legislation ready for after we beat Rob Wittman in November that aims to change the discussion on consent and alter the way investigations into assault take place.

 

John B. Suddarth

Party: Dem
Biographical Info:

Email Address: john@suddarthforcongress.com

Website: http://www.suddarthforcongress.com

education: BS in Engineering and Economics from West Point MBA with Certificate in Public Management from Stanford University

experience: US Army Artillery Battery Commander, COO of 6 different multinational manufacturing companies, private equity investor, volunteer chair Hanover Habitat For Humanity, long service with Hanover Democratic Committee, married 33 years with two grown sons

Facebook: http://@suddarthforcongress.com

Twitter: twitter.com/suddarthforva01

 

Questions:

Q.1: What policies do you propose to ensure election integrity in the U.S.?

A: 1. Full protection of the Voting Rights Act with expansion of early voting and vote-by-mail, universal voter registration 2. End of partisan and racial gerrymandering 3. Restoration of voting rights for those who have served their sentences 4. Repeal of vote suppressing identification laws 5. Full funding of the Help America Vote Act 6. Campaign Finance Reform to limit political contributions only to citizens with a reasonable limit to which most Americans can aspire to give

 

Q.2: What changes would you support in our healthcare system to ensure high quality, accessible, affordable health care for all Americans?

A: I am a strong advocate for fundamental reform to our healthcare system through enactment of HR 676, single-payer with universal access to affordable healthcare and unsurpassed global competitiveness. It would create a truly dynamic American economy while cutting our healthcare costs in half, saving us $1.5 trillion a year, half of that in savings to the federal government. The Single Payer System will: eliminate all that wasted effort in begging for-profits to approve recommended care; it will eliminate restrictive networks that serve primarily the interest of the insurance company, not the patient, nor the provider; huge billing costs will be eliminated as will uncompensated care. Most importantly, it’ll assure every American of access to healthcare and eliminate all that related anxiety they currently have. It would ensure a patient base across rural areas where clinics are closing and full coverage for those with preexising condtions. It would fundamentally improve our lives.

 

Q.3: What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence in the U.S.?

A: I am a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate. Stopping gun violence is not a constitutional question, as the ban on machine guns and erstwhile assault weapons ban prove. It is a question of political courage. I am for: • Criminal background checks on all gun sales • Intervention when a person raises red flags, such as being a threat to himself or others • Ban on possession of guns by domestic abusers • Reporting records into the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that those not allowed to possess guns cannot buy them • Funding gun violence prevention research • Stopping Gun trafficking and straw purchasing • Stopping concealed carry reciprocity • Enforcing the law against criminals who try to buy guns illegally • Prohibiting bump stocks • Prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines and assault weapons • Preventing deregulation of gun silencers • Promoting responsible gun storage and ownership • Closing the terror gap loophole

 

Q.4: What policies such as tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, etc. do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?

A: We must do a better job at fiscal management. The GOP is mismanaging our economy because they do not understand the difference between expense and investment. They sum the two and then starve the government of cash in order to give corporations and their wealthiest supporters unnecessary tax cuts. Most of us borrow to invest in our homes and in ourselves. How many Americans do you think paid cash for their homes with one year’s income? Or for their cars? Or for their technical schooling or college education? Not only is it OK to borrow to invest in long-term assets, it’s smart to do so. We should not borrow to pay for entitlements or non-revenue producing assets like the military. These in fact should be paid for out of current revenues. It makes perfect sense however to borrow to invest in our infrastructure and in our citizens. What has been the payback on the Golden Gate Bridge, universal secondary education, our electrical grid, our Interstate Highway System, or the GI Bill? Immeasurable. These intelligent investments made during the 1930’s through 1960’s are what once created the world’s largest middle class and most vibrant economy. We should have done the same thing after the Great Recession of 2008: borrowed money at the lowest interest rates in history and fixed our crumbling infrastructure. This would have put Americans back to work and it’s what President Obama and the democrats wanted to do but the republicans blocked it. Terrified of deficits—unless they’re the ones creating them—and incapable of discerning the difference between spending and investing, the GOP blew one of the biggest opportunities for our country in our lifetimes. The Federal government can borrow money at very low interest rates and invest in our infrastructure and people, greatly increasing our economic potential. In fact by not investing and by giving budget-busting tax breaks to the wealthy and businesses instead, we run a real risk of economic growth outpacing GDP capacity, resulting first in a bubble economy like in 2007 and 2008, and then another huge GOP-caused Great Recession. This is actually what John expects will happen if the democrats don’t win in November and stop this runaway Trump train, the Deficit-Express. I am for: • Equal pay for equal work • Creation of domestic jobs and taking action on climate change by investing in our infrastructure to increase our productivity and efficiency • Eliminating the huge burden our dysfunctional healthcare industry imposes upon our economy by moving to Single-Payer • A $15 minimum wage • Energy independence through increased use of renewables. Action on climate change saves our environment and helps our economy. Accepting climate change as real and taking action to mitigate it essentially means reducing carbon emissions and preparing the infrastructure for more intense storms and a more severe climate. This creates good, high tech jobs here at home, produces products we can export, and lowers the operating costs for our homes, our industries, our schools, and our government. We will live in a cleaner, safer environment. We will be more energy independent and less reliant on Middle East oil and this mitigates our Defense requirements. Our society has broken the link between economic growth and greater consumption of energy. Addressing climate change also makes us more efficient, making us stronger economically and a more energy independent nation. John wants to: • Reduce our carbon footprint: more efficient automobiles, less time stuck in traffic, mass transit, high speed rail, a smart electrical grid, more efficient buildings and interconnected optimized systems • Cap and trade (emission trading) to financially reward those who become more efficient • Renew our participation in the Paris Climate Accord • Prepare our infrastructure for higher intensity storms with better drainage, shoreline protections, higher roads, buried electrical lines, and stronger buildings • Moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration and fracking • Investment in renewable energy • Increased funding for our national park system. Social Security can’t be fixed without addressing our larger fiscal issues. The republicans know that the $2.7 trillion they’ve added to the deficit will not add to long term growth but instead result in an overheated economy and then a recession. At that point they will argue that the tax cuts were not deep enough and entitlement spending is still too high. They will then attempt to hammer out deep cuts to benefits. Social Security and Medicare are the two greatest progressive achievements of the last century, and the GOP has been fighting both of them tooth and nail since they were first conceived. I will block cuts that Republicans intend to make to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare and advocate for raising the ceiling on income subject to payroll taxes to the level that ensures long term funding. If we go to single-payer the increase in payroll taxes will be much smaller than the reduction in healthcare premiums. Social Security and Medicare have never run a deficit and usually generate a surplus that is invested in Treasury bills that fund deficit spending. While some want to somehow segregate the Social Security (SS) Trust Fund from the overall federal budget, this is a naïve idea as there is no practical way to do it. Investing the $2.6 trillion in the SS Trust Fund in T-Bills really is our best alternative and we can only reduce the risk to SS by solving our larger fiscal issues.

 

Q.5: What is your position on using a citizenship question in the 2020 Census survey?

A: I am against it.

 

Q.6: What are your proposals for an immigration policy?

A: I understand that illegal immigration allows unethical employers to suppress wages and exploit legal and undocumented workers alike. I am very concerned that President Trump has created a hostile climate for all immigrants. I want to: • Secure our borders • Renew DACA • Provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have otherwise conducted themselves within the law and become outstanding and productive members of our communities • Require employers to use e-Verify to ensure all workers can legally work • Create a seasonal visa for migrant farm workers and others who fulfill real needs within our industries • Bring in foreign talent under the H1B program • Pass the 2013 Bipartisan “Gang of 8” bill We should always remember that we are a nation of immigrants and that legal immigration contributes to all aspects of our society and helps make us a better country.

 

Q.7: What are your legislative priorities?

A: 1. Single-payer healthcare 2. Campaign finance reform 3. An assault weapons ban and other actions to reduce gun violence 4. $2 trillion investment in publically-owned infrastructure to create secure good paying jobs and increase our international competitiveness 5. Take action on climate change through infrastructure investment in mass transit, better roads and highways, a smart electrical grid, and more use of renewables 6. Investment in education, pre-K through college or technical school so every young American has a true opportunity for a successful career and income that would support the pursuit of happiness 7. A $15 minimum wage.

 

 

Vangie A. Williams

Party: Dem

Biographical Info:

Email Address: vangie@vangieforcongress.com

Website: http://www.vangieforcongress.com/

education: A.A.S. in Construction Management (Montgomery College) B.B.A. in Federal Acquisitions and Contract Management (Strayer University) B.S. in History (Ashford University) M.B.A in Project Management (Ashford University) D.BA in Project Managem

experience: Strategic Planner/Senior Project Control Principal with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); career in high-level project management in aerospace, construction, defense contracting, government operations,IT and national security; licensed realtor; member of several organizations.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vangieforcongress/

Twitter: twitter.com/Vangie4Congress

Questions:

Q.1: What policies do you propose to ensure election integrity in the U.S.?

A: For us to have a democracy that’s truly representative of the people, we must ensure citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Democracy suffers when citizens cannot and do not participate. We must: 1. Fully restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act, end racial gerrymandering as well as discriminatory laws that prevent low-income families, people of color, young voters, seniors and people with disabilities from voting. 2. Expand early voting and implement automatic voter registration. 3. Make the voting process efficient and accessible to all Americans, including seniors, those with disabilities and citizens with limited English proficiency. 4. Restore voting rights for those who served their time. 5. Fight for real campaign finance reform and support legislation such as the DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) Act to overturn Citizens United.

 

Q.2: What changes would you support in our healthcare system to ensure high quality, accessible, affordable health care for all Americans?

A: Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of Americans gained access to health insurance. It was a monumental achievement, but the ACA is not perfect. We have done a lot of things right with Medicare, and I believe a Medicare-for-all system – with dental and vision coverage – can also be a commitment we make to every citizen. We must also find ways for pharmaceutical companies to lower drug costs. Multibillion-dollar health care corporations should not profit based on whether you receive treatment, or live or die. When it comes to our veterans, those who have served our country should not struggle to get timely care because of inefficiencies at the VA. My plan is to greatly increase the role of private hospitals for routine care, where a public-private compromise can best serve our veterans. Healthcare is a right and every American should have access to affordable healthcare. Every American should have access to healthcare regardless of income.

 

Q.3: What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence in the U.S.?

A: Promoting responsible firearm ownership and the purchase of gun safes through tax incentives is key to reducing gun violence. Responsible firearm storage will help prevent thousands of deaths and protect children from accidental discharge. Increased use of gun safes will also slow the proliferation of stolen firearms. I support closing loopholes in private sales, universal background checks, the ban on bump stocks, raising the age for gun ownership and the exploration of a buyback program. Training, special licenses and re-certifications should also be requirements. We cannot allow people like Rob Wittman to co-sponsor bills like the SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement) Act which removes restrictions on the use of silencers and flash suppressors and puts cop-killer bullets on the street. We must also give the Centers for Disease Control the funding to perform meaningful research on how we can be safer without curtailing the rights of law-abiding Americans.

 

Q.4: What policies such as tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, etc. do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?

A: I’m proposing the Income Now for Veterans, Enlisted military families, Safety officers and Teachers (INVEST) tax initiative that will exempt the first $50,000 of earnings of federal income tax. This will give these groups an immediate boost of up to $6,000 a year in income, a first step in establishing long-term solutions. The plan will be paid by closing loopholes from the alternative minimum tax, not costing local taxpayers an extra cent. Additionally, we should: • increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; • close tax loopholes and have corporations pay their fair share in taxes, • promote green technologies for energy generation and a new revenue source; • undo the harm caused by Citizens United by supporting legislation that makes spending in elections transparent; • recommit to our education systems and create flexible paths for students to take on high-skilled, high-paying vocational jobs after high school graduation; and • invest in women so they have equal pay for equal work.

 

Q.5: What is your position on using a citizenship question in the 2020 Census survey?

A: I do not support the use of a citizenship question on the census survey. It’s another tactic to discriminate against people. A reduction in participation can impact accurate census counts that are needed for federal and state funding used for healthcare, education and public programs.

 

Q.6: What are your proposals for an immigration policy?

A: While it is easy for some politicians to scapegoat undocumented immigrants to the cheers of crowds and rallies, there is a human and economic toll that is never discussed. It is unrealistic to think that we are going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. We must find pathways for citizenship, starting with the resident alien (green card) process. Working with members of both parties, I will bring about common sense immigration reform. Such reform first starts with preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. For non-DACA recipients, we need to establish a clear set of guidelines, based on fairness to taxpayers and legal immigrants, that would take into account the amount of time a person or family has spent in the U.S., whether they have paid taxes and their involvement in the community. Comprehensive immigration must honor our fundamental values of treating people who come to the U.S. with dignity and respect, and being true to the rule of law.

 

Q.7: What are your legislative priorities?

A: My common sense agenda for our future looks like this: • An economy that works for everyone. Bring good jobs to the 1st District through improvements and new investments in education, transportation and innovation. • Healthy families with access to world-class healthcare. We must have a Medicare-for-all healthcare system that puts people over profits. I believe healthcare is a right and profit-driven armies of lobbyists are standing in the way of real healthcare reform. • Investing in our communities and our hometown heroes. My INVEST Initiative will address core issues like education, public safety, military families and veteran dignity while revitalizing communities – big and small – across our great nation. In order to make any of this happen, we have to remove greed and excessive corporate profits from the system. It’s time to close tax loopholes by having large corporations pay their fair share in taxes and take steps to undo the harm from Citizens United with legislation.